Updating MORE before Replacing!

A few weeks ago I wrote about a chair I upholstered with some great IKEA cross section bug fabric. I loved the selection of heavy weight cotton fabrics and cool patterns they offered so I grabbed a few other patterns as well. In addition to a chair that needed updating, we also had some hand me down patio chairs that were perfect for us but the cushions that came with them were worn and needed some love. I love the idea of new cushions but the ones were good with these – they just needed a new cover! Enter again – IKEA fabric!

Up until I started sewing masks for my family, my sewing capabilities were limited to these types of shapes – squares and rectangles – or loosely cutting fabric and sewing TO an object – like a chair or ottoman. I sewed these two sets of cushions in two ways, the pouch/envelope approach, and the actually fitting 3D approach (think of sewing a rectangular box). While each method has a specific shape, the envelope approach is the easier of the two, and both allow you to cover existing patterns/cushions with a new or refreshed look!

Outdoor cushions aren’t cheap and styles change frequently so I wanted to make something to cover these that can be removed and washed too.

I cut the fabric to match the size of the squares and got to sewing! Again I am winging this portion of the sewing project, and used two different methods, and I am pleased with both of the results! Hand sewing has a cleaner feel for the fabric, since you can tighten down as you go, but the stitches show if you use contrasting thread like I did, so grab some matching thread if these bugs you! While looks potentially less polished than machine sewn, it does make for easier “sew by the seat of your pants” style. What I mean by this is that you can pull the fabric tight and sew it down, vs creating a pattern and hoping your measurements were 100% accurate. Either way can produce great results – and help you refresh your look!


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Next up were some patio chair cushions that were brought home and were not my favorite pattern…

I decided to disregard the ties and just keep it simple, essentially just sewing a long rectangular envelope. A few odd buttons at the bottom for removal and washing purposes. Same great cushion, updated print! I know what you are thinking, is my how house covered with bugs – no! But a few pieces here and there can be fun and bright!

With many of my pillows squeezed into old pillow cases or dirty from years of wear. I chose to recover a few of those too. If you can sew in a straight line – you can make a square! Pillows are a little bit trickier if you don’t do the button approach from the top. When you get to the end of a pillow, you need to ladder stitch it up and it can be intimidating to do! BUT – if you learn it, it will save you many tears from torn teddies, squishmallows, and other pillows (not sure how many kids/parents cry over torn pillows, but it happens!!) Click on the bold word Ladder – and you will see a great tutorial. Needless to say, I use this often!

Sewing a square is about as basic as you can get and as you can see, I had A LOT of this IKEA cross section fabric. Just another example of updating your look with a bit of thread and fabric – sometimes adding ONE pop of color is all you need!

Bottom line, don’t do what I do or as I say – find the way that works for you! Just don’t be afraid to try something new! (I didn’t mean to make that rhyme but lets go with it!)

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