Tropical Print Chair Cushions (aka boring home decor sewing)

31 Jul

Hello everyone! I’m back again with my annual ONE boring home decor sewing project for the year!

Chair Cushions made with Mood Fabrics

When I moved into this place last year, one of the biggest perks was the amazing porch that takes up an entire side of the house! Situated in the perfect spot to catch a good cross-breeze, and shaded by several walnut trees at the peak of summer, it is a seriously cool area (both literally and figuratively) to hang out in. I love sitting out here, whatever the reason – while working in in the morning, while having cocktails with friends, I even use this space to clip my cat’s nails (she loves it haha). Real talk, I am sitting on this very porch right now writing this blog post hahaha.

I brought this patio set (originally from IKEA – here is the table & the chairs)) with me when I moved here – it’s a bit small, as it was originally intended for a MUCH smaller space. Anyway, I have been wanting to add chair cushions to make them a little more comfortable. Since the seats are very small, I couldn’t find any cushions that fit – plus, outdoor cushions are expensive! I figured I’d make my own, which set me on a looong quest to find that perfect outdoor cushion fabric. That fabric ended up being this Sunbrella Fusion Tropics Jungle Leafy Jacquard from Mood Fabrics (surprisingly, still in stock!). I’m loving this botanical vibe that’s currently taking over home design, and this fabric is one of the best ones I’ve seen! Since it’s an outdoor-suitable home decor fabric, I knew it would stand up to the sun, wind, and rain. At $42 a yard, this fabric certainly isn’t cheap – but it’s wide, so even a yard goes a long way.

Chair Cushions made with Mood Fabrics

I bought some inexpensive upholstery foam from Walmart and used the seat measurements to make a very basic pattern (basically 2 big rectangles, then 4 smaller rectangles to go around it). I wanted a cushion cover that would box around the entire block of foam, with a zipper at the back so I could remove it to wash if needed. The foam I used is quite thin, so I doubled it for a cushier chair pad. The metal zippers were pulled from my stash.

I debated on whether or not to pre-wash the fabric before sewing – ultimately, I decided against it. The fabric is polyester, so I don’t think it runs the risk of shrinking. That being said, it does fray like CRAZY (seriously, my studio was covered with little green hairs after this project), so I serged every single seam before attaching pieces together. I don’t sew a lot of home decor projects, so I want the ones I do manage to make to last!

Chair Cushions made with Mood Fabrics

Chair Cushions made with Mood Fabrics

Chair Cushions made with Mood Fabrics

To attach the cushions to the chairs (mainly so they don’t fly off during a windy day!), I added long velcro strips that wrap around the metal parts of the chair. In retrospect, I’m not crazy about how this looks – I may take those out and replace them with self-fabric ties. But they are functional for now. I had also considered getting fancy and adding piping around the seams, but, again, real talk – that shit was never gonna get finished if I kept upping the ante. Basic and boring is about all I can manage these days.

Chair Cushions made with Mood Fabrics

And that’s pretty much it for this project! Short and sweet, pretty simple, but a nice touch to my outdoor space! I actually finished these a couple of months ago and they have been living on my porch since then – through Tennessee summer storms and crazy sunshine (although my porch is pretty shaded, so not *that* much sunshine), and you can see how well the fabric has held up! The colors are still nice and bright, and the cushions have avoided stains. I will bring these inside when winter comes, of course, but they are great for staying out all summer long.

Writing this post made me realize that I have been in this house for a solid year now, and still haven’t shared my new studio! I finally got around to taking photos over the weekend, so I’ll be sharing those soon πŸ™‚

Chair Cushions made with Mood FabricsSoooo then – who’s coming over for a cocktail?!

 

Note: The fabrics used in this post were provided to me by Mood Fabrics, in exchange for my participation in the Mood Sewing Network. All opinions are my own πŸ™‚

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23 Responses to “Tropical Print Chair Cushions (aka boring home decor sewing)”

  1. Caitlyn July 31, 2018 at 11:11 am #

    They match your Archer shirt (and the wall at Spoonflower HQ). It was meant to be. πŸ˜‰

    • LLADYBIRD July 31, 2018 at 11:45 am #

      Yes! I am nothing if I am not incredibly predictable πŸ˜› haha!

  2. Deborah July 31, 2018 at 11:33 am #

    Wow these are really great. Never apologize for a home decor project. Did many of those back in the day because I could not afford the retail or custom items. I learned that a staple gun was my friend to recover seat covers on chairs. Good for you! The sun resistant fabric is worth the price and looks lovely. What size needle did you use for this fabric?

    • LLADYBIRD July 31, 2018 at 11:46 am #

      Thank you! I find these projects sooo boring to sew + talk about, but they are really satisfying to have done and are definitely an area where you can save loads of money! TBH I don’t remember which size needle i used.. probably an 80/12, that’s my standard. I really only pay attention to needle size if it’s a very fine fabric, or if my sewing gets wonky (skipped stitches, broken needles, etc). This fabric isn’t super thick.

  3. Inclement July 31, 2018 at 11:44 am #

    It’s amusing that you’re so good at decorating your house and yet you find it boring. πŸ˜›

    • LLADYBIRD July 31, 2018 at 11:52 am #

      Well I actually really love decorating – I just don’t like sewing for it! That’s the boring part πŸ˜›

  4. NORA McGRANN July 31, 2018 at 11:57 am #

    Really enjoyed reading and seeing your lovely cushions..Lucky you having a porch..something I would absolutely LOVE!! xx

    • LLADYBIRD August 1, 2018 at 10:06 am #

      Thank you! I am thankful for this porch every single day and I hope I never take it for granted!

  5. John July 31, 2018 at 4:36 pm #

    Sunbrella doesn’t shrink. No need to pre-wash. Sailrite.com has dozens of designs. Get the upholstery grade, as it is softer to sit on than the canvas grade. Use V-69 outdoor thread (not upholstery thread) as it stands up to UV light far better. Regular sewing thread usually doesn’t last much longer than a year. V-69 thread wants a #16 needle. Use stitches as long as your machine can make. If you can afford the price, higher price foam lasts longer. Sunbrella abrades easily, so you don’t want to use it for covers which might flap in the wind (such as charcoal grills). Same manufacturer makes a different cloth with higher abrasion limits, which used to be called Sun Forager, though I don’t know what it is called today. Sunbrella frays on the edges, so turn the edges inside, or use a Hot Knife or small soldering pen to cut the cloth. Sunbrella is also great cloth for duffel bags and tote bags. Sewing eight layers of Sunbrella (in a corner, for instance) is about the same sewing machine effort as sewing eight layers of blue jeans denim.

    • LLADYBIRD August 1, 2018 at 10:06 am #

      Thanks for your tips!

    • Barbara Showell August 3, 2018 at 12:50 am #

      Wow, I had no idea sunbrella came in two grades or that there was outdoor thread! Nice info for my next outdoor project.

  6. Anthea July 31, 2018 at 5:19 pm #

    What a great spot and the cushions look inviting. Totally worth the effort (says she who didn’t do the doing)

    • LLADYBIRD August 1, 2018 at 10:07 am #

      Haha well my butt is definitely happy about the effort πŸ˜›

  7. karenderbes July 31, 2018 at 7:53 pm #

    They look very nice Lauren – I love your fabric choice, and you cannot beat Sunbrella fabric – it lasts almost forever! What kind of needles and thread did you use on your serger & sewing machine for this project?

    • LLADYBIRD August 1, 2018 at 10:08 am #

      Thank you! I don’t remember what size needles I used (see previous comment where I answered this in more depth) – likely an 80/12, as that’s my go-to for fabric this weight – and I just used standard polyester thread to sew them.

  8. Heather Myers July 31, 2018 at 10:04 pm #

    Looking wonderful! I hope summer is treating you well!

    • LLADYBIRD August 1, 2018 at 10:08 am #

      Thank you! Summer is FABULOUS! πŸ™‚

  9. liz-o-matic August 1, 2018 at 8:59 pm #

    Love your porch!! And the cushions look great….although I too HATE home decor sewing! I actually bought my curtains :-/
    And I will totally be there for cocktails! I’ll even bring the gin πŸ˜‰

  10. Barbara Showell August 3, 2018 at 12:52 am #

    You are going to appreciate these for years to come!

  11. FashionNotFear August 6, 2018 at 7:43 pm #

    These turned out really cute!

    https://www.bluelabelsboutique.com
    https://www.fashionnotfear.com

  12. Karin August 8, 2018 at 9:33 am #

    I don’t think it’s boring at all! Actually I love how I can make unique things for my house by sewing πŸ˜€ Although that doesn’t mean I’m willing to make curtains. UNLESS the fabric is super cool. And 42$ is a looot of money for something to sit on 8D I hope you have a no-fart-rule on your porch πŸ˜›

  13. Ciara August 12, 2018 at 5:37 pm #

    I like how the print almost looks cross stitched. Or maybe it’s the texture of the fabric? I know some people think cross stitch looks mumsym & it definitely can, but it can also be very cool & modern.

    I make boring crap for my house all the time (making curtains at the moment–one room down, two & a half to go), so it’s nice to read about from time to time.

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