I am finally getting around to decorating my daughter’s play room. In the past it has been a place I don’t like going in because it’s messy, disorganized and undecorated. However those issues are pretty much my fault and not likely to get better unless I actually go in there more often than right before company comes. So I’m getting it organized and making it pretty. One of the things I liked about this house is it has three window seats. I thought they were so cute, I imagined decorating them, etc. Then a week after we moved in I realized that my daughter and husband both had already started using them as junk collectors shelves. So I’m making a window seat cushion in order to try to reclaim the playroom window seat from Lego mayhem. If all goes well, I will move on to the other two windows seats.
Let me first start by saying I really don’t know how to sew the right way. I pretty much just wing it every time I sew. I’ve never used a pattern because I don’t know what to do with one. As a result my sewing is pretty much limited to squares and rectangles like curtains and pillows. So if you are one of those really talented seamstress type people, you may want to skip this tutorial because you will probably hate me afterwards. But here’s my window seat tutorial. I like how it turned out, and it only took about two hours to make. Which considering it takes me about 15 minutes to figure out how to thread my sewing machine, isn’t bad.
I ended up buying my foam for the cushion on Ebay. The window seats are big… 80 inches long. And Hancock Fabric only went to 72 inches. Plus foam is expensive there. I was able to get an 84″ piece on ebay for $22 shipped which was $18 cheaper than the one at Hancock that was too short. I got the fabric at Hancock Fabric. They were having a $6 a yard sale on indoor/outdoor fabric, which has the added bonus being stain resistant, which is a good thing in a child’s play room. I was able to get coordinating fabric for pillows and curtains. So later on I will post tutorials on the curtains.
First step was to cut the foam down to size. I simply drew a mark with marker where I wanted to cut and then used my electric knife. You know, the one that you got as a wedding gift that most people use to cut things like the Thanksgiving turkey. It does a great job on foam.
Once I cut it out I laid it down in my hallway because I needed a long space. It surprised me to realize my window seat cushion was bigger than my living room sofa! I left it to get my fabric and came back to find my dog decided to lay on it… again. Just like he did when I was unrolling it and trying to flatten it out. Turns out you can’t vacuum dog hair off of foam. They stick like glue. So my secret is out… there is dog hair inside my pillow!
|Cut the size of cushion plus 1/2 inch on all sides.|
|Top piece after it is cut out.|
I laid the fabric out and cut around the foam for my top piece. I added an extra half inch on each side for seam allowance, which I think just means that you don’t sew too close to the edge and have the fabric fray and then end up with a hole.
I cut out the top, plus the two long sides and the two end edges.
|Bottom piece with six extra inches on the end.|
For the bottom, I cut it to the same width as the top, but I added six inches. This is because I wanted to be able to take off the cover and wash it. It’s a play room and my daughter (a.k.a. The Spiller) may somehow accidentally get something on it.
|Cut the bottom piece in half.|
Next I took the bottom piece and cut it in half. This is because I want the opening to be in the middle. The extra six inches I added when I cut out the bottom will give me an overlap without having to sew on a zipper. Which is a good thing because I don’t actually know how to sew on a zipper. If you really want to get fancy, you can sew in buttonholes and buttons. But it’s really not necessary the extra few inches of overlap keeps it from gapping at all. And judging from the wrestling match to get the foam in there, it’s not going anywhere.
Next comes the tedious fun part. Pinning and ironing. You sew on the inside of the cover so your seams don’t show on the finished piece, which means you put your pretty sides together. I started with the big top piece and pinned on the side pieces. I also used this time to iron everything because, well, it’s harder to iron once it’s all together. This ended up to be a waste of time because my daughter decided to play with it after it was finished in ways a window seat is not intended to be used, and by the time she was done it was wrinkled.
I started buy taking my two bottom pieces and folding over the middle edges twice, so the ends are tucked under. I folded it about 1/2″. Next I pinned them. I went ahead and sewed these edges because I can’t pin them to the cushion until that part is sewn.
Next I started pinning the sides to the top piece. Take extra care pinning the corners. Remember to put the pretty side in! You should be looking at the ugly side while you are pinning.
Once I finished pinning the sides to my top piece, it’s time to sew them together. We will add the bottom piece after you’ve sewn the other pieces together. Trust me, it’s just easier this way.
|Bottom pieces overlap to form a pocket opening to put the cushion in.|
Once you’ve finished sewing the top and sides, it’s time to pin and sew the bottom piece. Start from each end and work to the middle. Your two pieces should overlap about four inches. Sew it all together. Then you can iron the seams flat to help it lay well, after that turn it inside out, stuff the foam in and enjoy!