Summertime Pastime

I recently dusted off my sewing machine again for a little project courtesy of the Tod's preschool. I gave a facelift on the ugly-stripped floor cushion using a salvaged denim nursery curtain.

The cushion may look ugly and dated, but it still has a lot of life in it. With a little TLC, I ripped the stripped cover, washed it thoroughly, patched the many holes in it and put it back on permanently to protect the foam cushion. The foam was thoroughly spot-cleaned and sunned for several days to get rid of germs and wanna-be fungal infestation. The curtain was washed, cut, and sewn. It was upholstery-weight denim, so it presented a challenge both for my machine and my sewing skill.

Sewing denim requires a bit of preparation. First, the right needle is a must -- consult your machine's manual for the right type of needle. Second, the right thread is also a must -- apparently my machine will accept #60 or #50 weight all-purpose thread so long as the right needle is used. Finally, fiddling with stitch tension is another crucial point. I found the automatic adjustment in my machine was not enough to compensate so I had to fiddle a bit. I also experimented with the stitch length, turned out around 4-5 was perfect. If I were to do this project all over again, I would also serged the raw edges as denim is notorious for unraveling.

I didn't have any pattern for this particular cushion cover, all they wanted was a removable cover with velcro (not zipper) so I improvised the best that I could. I'm sure there are many improvements I could have thought of, but I was in quite a bit of a hurry, not to mention measuring and cutting fabric on the floor gave me a backache.

In the end, I'm very pleased with the result, so was the Tod who, as you can see, couldn't wait to nap on the cushion. I was very glad leaving it in his classroom on his last day of class, thinking it will get a lot of use and abuse from the many children who need a soft spot to rest.

My sewing adventure shall continue. I found this "Sew Chic Kids" book with its lovely illustration and simple design that I had to buy for my own inspiration. And serendipitously, I found this happy homemade sew-along with a hoodie project perfect for the Tod to wear in the Fall. When the stars are aligned, I will post my sewing project here as well.

Do you sew or have other summer hobbies to share?


  1. Ah! Lookit him rolling around the cushion! SOOOO CUTE! Claire, I so with I had a sewing machine to do simple things like hem a pant leg or something. I fear I would machine-gun style sew my fingers together or something as I lack all manner of coordination and reading an instruction manual reminds me so much of a calculus class (failed). Anyhoo...

    1. LOL Belly, def. no need to pass calculus to sew. If you can operate your fancy schmancy brand new camera, you can sew as well! There are lots of tutorials/blogs out there to inspire, esp girls, they are fun to sew things for.