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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Side Project - Slip covering ottomans

I was unable to get to the home of my friends Chris and Lu this last weekend as Lu caught a virus.   On top of that Don and I entertained our friend Mike from Arizona the weekend prior, so progress on the Laundry room is on hold for this post.

I couldn't just sit still (or worse, do housework that is really needed!) so I went to a couple of stores during lunch on Friday looking for inspiration.  I didn't find anything at the Habitat Restore that I could use now so I left empty handed.  But OH!  Outside of the store they have stuff for free and I captured a full gallon of Benjamin Moore white paint which is always useful and doesn't take up much space.  

I drove a couple of blocks further before going back to work and visited a St. Vinny's.  There I found something to do this weekend.  I got a piece of fabric for $1.00 and decided to cover our old tired vinyl ottomans which we always use around our coffee table.  So here's what I ended up doing...

The brick colored fabric is from St. Vinny's.  It is a heavy weight small cable corduroy type of fabric.  The tan fabric is leftover and matches our couch.  I want to create cording so I pulled out my extra cording from leftover projects.  Both ottomans are ripped on top, but have been so useful we've just kept them around.

Let's start with choosing the style for the cording -

First of all, what is cording? has a simple definition which fits just fine - it is cord covered with yarns or fabric, used decoratively.  The result of using it gives your furniture a clean look and optionally a pop of color.  I folded my tan fabric and placed the brick colored fabric right up to the edge just to see how the cording will look

The first is my favorite - Diagonal.  This takes up the most fabric because you have to fold it on the diagonal and cut strips from there.  I had a small piece of fabric, so this won't work.

The second shows I folded the lined pattern perpendicular to the edge of the brick fabric.  I ended up using this method.

The last one is a parallel fold which was just too messy and boring.

I cut my strips and sewed them together creating two long strips, one for each ottoman.

Lay the cord on the wrong side of the fabric about 1/2 inch from the edge.  Fold the fabric over lengthwise and pin in place.

Sew with a zipper foot so that you can get the stitches up close to the cord and create a snug closure.

Cording Completed
How NOT to prepare fabric

I set my iron on high and got ready to iron out the wrinkles in my brick corduroy like fabric.  One quick touch of the iron to the fabric (without testing a small section first, of course) melted the fabric to the iron.  Again, this is NOT how to prepare fabric.  Thankfully, I have enough even though I rendered one section unusable.

How to straighten the edge of heavy weight fabric

I pulled out my T-Square and a yard stick and set the T on the 'salvage' edge of the fabric.  This "Make it-Love it" website has a quick explanation of salvage, bias, and grain.  I then used a thin sliver of old soap to draw a straight line on the fabric so I could cut off the uneven edge.

I set out to measure the ottoman - height and circumference.  I then put the ottoman upside down on the fabric and measured 1 inch all the way around marking again with my soap.  I could have used a bit more fabric - like 1.5 inches.  That's hind sight.

Pin the cording to the circle of fabric.  The raw edges of fabric go together and the cording lays on the right side of the fabric. 

Test Fit

When starting to sew, start about 2 inches from the start of the cording and end (temporarily) about 2 inches from the end of the cording.  This will allow you to cut out cording and fold the fabric on one end.  That end will cover the other cord closing the loop without having to sew cord on top of cord. Cut the cording to just meet the other end.

After the cording was sewn to the circle, I cut a rectangle of brick fabric the length of the circumference measurement plus a few inches.  I sewed the rectangle to the circle leaving the edge open.

Once sewn I put it on the ottoman inside out and pinned the seam closed tightly.  I then pulled the fabric off the ottoman and sewed this seam.  I finished up the small opening I left while sewing the cording and trimmed the excess fabric off the seam.

To eliminate as much bulk as possible, I cut the fabric on the seams of the circle by graduating the height of each material.

Finally, I sewed a simple hem on the bottom as there was no way for me to staple the fabric to the bottom of the ottoman due to how it is made.  I did the whole process over for the second smaller ottoman.  I will probably add some stick-on Velcro between the material and the ottoman to prevent it from slipping off.  For now, I'm done.

The Finished Result

Fall is here and even the birds are decorating their home - I noticed a sprig of some plant material perched just above the door on this bird house at our cottage.  How fun!

Get better Lu!  I'll see you soon to continue your remodel.

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