beading, covering patio cushions, French country decor, French Country Home, how to make piping, how to make welting, jewlery making, lolabelle designs, Maria Montgomery, MiaMia, patio furniture, sewing projects
Our patio furniture is about six years and, until recently, was desperately in need of a face-lift. The furniture itself is in great condition. The seat cushions were another story. They were pretty at one time, but now are faded and stained from years of being outdoors. It was time for a face-lift, so I gave them one. There is another chair, and an ottoman that didn’t make it into this photo.
Now that we have a screened-in lanai that, in all but the hottest weather, functions as an additional room of the house, I really wanted to change those cushions. This led to a search of more stores than I can remember, and even discussions with a company that would have new ones made for us. For a price, of course. A ridiculous price, if you ask me.
Next, I began looking at outdoor fabrics. I found the perfect fabric at JoAnn’s Fabrics. They had put their $50-per-yard outdoor fabric on sale for $19.99 per yard. I bought all they had, which wasn’t nearly enough, but I knew I could order more. Fortunately, the next time I was there, they had more of my fabric, and it was marked down to $8.99 per yard. Oh, happy day! I bought yards and yards of it, enough to cover throw pillows, and the seats to two wicker rocking chairs, too.
Next began the arduous process making decisions, and of measuring and cutting. Did I want to put zippers in the cushion covers? The old ones could not be removed for cleaning, and I definitely wanted removable covers that I could simply toss into the washer. Did I want welting on the cushions? Of course I did — it just looks so much more professional. It would require a lot more work, but I was up to it. Did I want all the furniture (1 settee, 2 chairs, 2 rockers, & an ottoman, plus throw pillows) covered in the same fabric? No. I didn’t. I searched for a stripe of the same blue and white to be used as a contrasting fabric, but no luck. So they will all be the same. I was almost afraid to take a pair of scissors to that beautiful fabric, but finally I did.
To make the welting (a.k.a., piping) cut long strips of fabric about 2 inches wide. Two inches is probably wider than necessary, but I wanted the welting to have a good seam allowance so it would be easier to handle. This will vary, of course, with the size of cord you are using. The cording I used is 6/32 inch (4.8 mm) in diameter. Center the cord down the length of the fabric strips as shown above. Fold the fabric over the cording, taking care to match the 2 fabric edges. Then, using the zipper foot on your sewing machine…
sew a seam as tightly against the cording as possible. You will have beautiful welting that matches your fabric. For some of our indoor throw pillows, I think I will try a double welting. Wish me luck.
I began last fall (2013) by covering the back cushion to our love seat (settee) first. Then we were away a couple of weeks for a family wedding, and travel to see all our kids. After that, the holidays came, and so it went. I did no more sewing for months. Then, one day, I decided to put it in high gear and, little by little, the work was finished. We now have what we think are beautiful cushions for our lanai furniture — just the beginning of creating a French Country/Florida decor on our lanai.
Here is one of the wicker rocking chairs that still needs its cushion to be covered, and the ottoman that Bo gave me for my birthday, so I could put my feet up while reading. It will be the last to be covered, because even though it doesn’t match, it does blend in far better than the rocking chair seats.
When my daughter was here visiting in June, she and I spray painted that old plant stand at the far right of this photo. We had fun doing that and a lot of other projects such as beading, drying and grinding herbs, and of course, shopping. Lots of shopping. Over the past year or so, whenever we could get together, I have taught her the art of jewelry-making. She has far outdone me, and has made some beautiful pieces that you can see on her Etsy Shop, “Designs by LolaBelle” by clicking right here. Here is a photo of LolaBelle:
Our lanai is still a work-in-progress. I’ve bought some old shutter-type door panels that I plan to paint and use as a screen to keep out the morning sun. That sun shines right in our faces when trying to sit out there and sip coffee in the mornings. We have decided to glass-in the lanai so we can use it year-round. For now, though, it is the perfect place to start seeds, and to put plants into ICU when needed, and I can hide a few garden tools behind those shutters. Not so sure I will want garden tools behind the shutters after this becomes a room of the house. I guess I’d better start looking for an old chest that I can paint for storing those tools. That little teak folding table that holds the lamp may have to go, too. It’s not exactly French Country, you know.
I also still need to finish the drapery valances I began for our bedroom, but before I do any more sewing for myself, I have to finish the pillow covers and table topper I promised to make for my dear friend, Becky.