Thursday, June 23, 2011

Porch Prep Part 2 (...28)

My plan to convert my porch into an outdoor haven for the Summer has been put on the back burner due to impending kitchen renovations.  Currently the porch is in semi-decent shape.  A grill, furniture, and now some lovely growing plants are all set up nicely.  But it's uncomfortable. It's hard.  It's not a place to lounge, as I'd hoped it would be by this point.

What have I been waiting for?  Frankly, I've been waiting for my fear of French seams and box cushions to subside.  My mother sent me this video, "How to Sew a French Seam."  It helps and this looks like the way to for a durable cushion.  Unfortunately, all the box cushion instructions I've found on the web so far don't make the job clear to me.  It's making me long for help from my sewing coach, Carol, who taught a class I took last fall.  She's an expert in the traditional methods of haute couture and an interior designer.  She'd be able to make a box cushion in the time it takes me to make a really good omelet.  And, check out her very funny, very clever Etsy shop name:  hemme fatale!  I love this name.  If you knew Carol, it's even more fitting because she's armed with charm and a good sense of humor.

To deal with the fact that I have less time for sewing while I work on my kitchen and to get over my fear of the French seamed box cushion, I've broken down my project into steps.  If I can get 1 step done every other day, then I'll finish well before porch season is over.

Today I cut the cushion to the shape of the bench.

Using red builder's paper that I had for a past renovation project, I made a pattern.  I held it up to the bench and drew a rough outline of the seat.  Then I did some more concise measurements with a yard stick to make the outline neater and symmetrical, and held it up again to see if I was on target.

Next I pinned the paper to the foam.  Having so many cutting boards came in handy.  I needed to weigh down the foam so it would not roll up as I worked.


 I used a marker to draw an outline of my pattern.

 Next I used 2 tools to cut the foam.  One is an electric carving knife.  The other I'm not sure the name of, but it's exactly the tool the sewing store clerk used to cut the foam when I bought it.  I didn't have these on hand.  I asked a friend if he had them.  He did not.  That same day he was at a yard sale where they happened to sell both of these for about $3!  I hope this serendipitous coincidence means I am meant to make the most perfect French seamed box cushion ever!!

Finally, foam that fits my bench fantastically! 

 Maybe not's a little too deep.  Notice the carving knife leaves bumpy ridges, but I'm guessing that will be undetectable in in the end.

I'm not sure how much to cut off. You don't want your legs to squish it down and be on the hard metal.  But you don't want it too deep after adding batting and a cover.

 I'm going to need to trim the inside edges by half an inch.  Or an inch?  I'm going to get a second opinion (Mom?).

Now for that fear-inducing French seam...

No comments:

Post a Comment