The Sewing Place

Giant floor cushion

Francesca

Giant floor cushion
« on: January 03, 2018, 13:58:36 PM »
My first planned project for 2018!

OK, so about three years ago Harvey's the curtain people did this promotion where they gave away a metre of fabric for free. All you had to do was request it. They wanted people to make things with the fabric and share their creations. Soooo of course I never got round to it. I also made my boyfriend apply so I got two free pieces of fabric in the post.

The pieces are a gorgeous thick upholstery weight exactly 1m square with a silver houndstooth print on them (called "Patina" if you fancy searching it).

I decided a while ago I wanted to make a floor cushion with it and this will be my next project as part of continuing house improvements.

The idea is to make a very thick, square cushion that can slide under our loveseat and come out when we have people over. We have people over a lot and we tend to end up drinking and eating around the coffee table and inevitably one (or sometimes two) people end up sat on the floor which is OK for a bit but gets a bit sore after a while. It's usually me to be honest, so I'm quite excited about having a floor cushion!

I want to pipe the seams, probably with black velvet (rather than using the fabric as I don't have a tonne of it). I also want to make it unzippable so I will use a chunky metal exposed zip down one length.

I'm going to order the foam from a foam specialist which will be cut to size.

OK here are my queries if anyone has any ideas:

* How much ease should I allow between expected finished size and foam insert? For example, I was thinking of making the square top 70cm square. I need to figure out how deep (need to work out how I can cut the side panels out of the fabric and still have a nice square top and bottom).
* What thickness piping should I buy (with velvet, I can't be bothered to buy it. Too expensive to buy velvet to cut on the bias)
* Any other ideas from people who have tackled something like this before?

Madame Cholet

Re: Giant floor cushion
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2018, 14:15:05 PM »
Re. ease.
In the past when I have covered foam, either for motorbike seat covers, vintage car seats, or foam cushions, I used to make the cover exactly the same size as the foam, ie no ease. But I was entirely self taught, so hopefully others who know more than me will chime in here.

Francesca

Re: Giant floor cushion
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2018, 14:16:11 PM »
How heavy was the foam? I am looking at the recommended density and it is called simply "high density - firm". I expect how squishy it is has a bearing on how easy it is to stuff it in.

Ellabella

Re: Giant floor cushion
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2018, 15:48:58 PM »
I wouldn't allow any ease, a 70cm cushion needs a 70cm foam pad.

The foam I use is sold as high density seating foam. I get mine from eBay, I can check the name of the supplier for you if you want.

I would Put the zip in the middle of the back side piece and carry it around either side by about 10cm. This makes it much easier to put the foam in.  If you make a slip cover for the foam in some lining material this also helps to reduce friction.

There is a YouTube video that shows someone inserting a foam inner. They covered it in that thin plastic that covers dry cleaning but left a small gap.  They then put a vacuum cleaner nozzle onto the foam, switched it on and compressed the foam. They then inserted it into the cover before pulling off the plastic and letting the foam expand.  I tried it and it worked very well but I couldn't remove all the plastic. This didn't worry me but it might put some people off.

There is a very good YouTube video by Peg Baker that demonstrates making a piped seat cover.
Desperately trying to alliterate in North Yorkshire

Madame Cholet

Re: Giant floor cushion
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2018, 15:53:42 PM »
It's been a while but IIRC the density varied from relatively soft (eg vw camper van seats that pushed together converted to a bed) to rather firm (eg foam to make removable window seats).

I used to make sure any fastening, be it zip or velcro, was for the full length of one side, as it was a bit of struggle getting the foam in the cover otherwise.

(Bike seats and the vintage car seat covers I made were different, as the covers are 'open', and are stapled, hooked, glued or wired on... With square/regular shaped covers I would just use a tape measure to make the pattern and check the angles were 90 degrees. But with awkward shapes like bike seats and seats with curved contours I would make the cover pattern by stab pinning tissue paper to the 'flat' surfaces of the foam, drawing on the 'contours' or natural ridges of the shape in question, and cutting out). 

Madame Cholet

Re: Giant floor cushion
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2018, 15:56:27 PM »
I wouldn't allow any ease, a 70cm cushion needs a 70cm foam pad.

The foam I use is sold as high density seating foam. I get mine from eBay, I can check the name of the supplier for you if you want.

I would Put the zip in the middle of the back side piece and carry it around either side by about 10cm. This makes it much easier to put the foam in.  If you make a slip cover for the foam in some lining material this also helps to reduce friction.

There is a YouTube video that shows someone inserting a foam inner. They covered it in that thin plastic that covers dry cleaning but left a small gap.  They then put a vacuum cleaner nozzle onto the foam, switched it on and compressed the foam. They then inserted it into the cover before pulling off the plastic and letting the foam expand.  I tried it and it worked very well but I couldn't remove all the plastic. This didn't worry me but it might put some people off.

There is a very good YouTube video by Peg Baker that demonstrates making a piped seat cover.

That is excellent advice - thank you  :)
Like I said earlier I was totally self-taught, and I did much of my upholstery-type sewing prior to youtube.

(Edited for spelling).
« Last Edit: January 03, 2018, 15:58:31 PM by Madame Cholet »

Francesca

Re: Giant floor cushion
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2018, 15:58:31 PM »
Thanks for all the advice! So great.

Now I just need to figure out how to cut my pieces so I can have 6 pieces... maths is not my forte but I will have to scribble it down!

Madame Cholet

Re: Giant floor cushion
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2018, 16:20:04 PM »
Thanks for all the advice! So great.

Now I just need to figure out how to cut my pieces so I can have 6 pieces... maths is not my forte but I will have to scribble it down!

You are very welcome, and if you have any doubts at all then I would suggest making a paper pattern as you go, a piece for each 'face' of the foam. Then cut the paper pieces out, and stab pin them back on the foam to double check.

Mark which side of the paper is the 'right' side (this is not always an issue with a square pad, but is a good habit to get into). 

Then you can arrange your pattern pieces to your liking on the fabric. Mark on your seam allowance on the fabric, and any allowances for zips etc, and then you can cut out.

Sounds labour-intensive but it is great practice for any weird shapes you may encounter in future.

(I also did much cloning of high-end designs many moons ago when I earned my keep sewing, and the basic principles for that are the same ... well sort of...).

Iminei

Re: Giant floor cushion
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2018, 16:28:46 PM »
What a fabulous font of knowledge we have here at TSP, with so many helpful and friendly peeps!!!

Bravo to all of you!!!
The Imperfect Perfectionist sews again

Ellabella

Re: Giant floor cushion
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2018, 16:46:24 PM »
What a fabulous font of knowledge we have here at TSP, with so many helpful and friendly peeps!!!

Bravo to all of you!!!

 Planning his boat cushions are you Imi? :ninja:
Desperately trying to alliterate in North Yorkshire

Iminei

Re: Giant floor cushion
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2018, 16:50:29 PM »
Nope ... (vigorously shaking head) .... That's anothers job, some one who wants a new challenge ??!!! (Whistles)

Fran? Can we get some more smilies please???
The Imperfect Perfectionist sews again

Madame Cholet

Re: Giant floor cushion
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2018, 18:09:16 PM »
Planning his boat cushions are you Imi? :ninja:

Yes I wondered that too...  ;) :ninja:

Francesca

Re: Giant floor cushion
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2018, 14:06:01 PM »
Everything ordered, yay!

I have found some nice faux leather piping cord in silver which should go great.

I will be adding a big silver metal zip down one side. Yes not very elegant, but I think it will go with the silver fabric.

Firm foam has been ordered. Cushion will be around 22cms high and 72cm square so hopefully a really good comfy size for sitting on the floor.

This is my January project!!

BrendaP

Re: Giant floor cushion
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2018, 16:04:22 PM »
Cut the cover pieces to be the same size as the foam, plus seam allowances.

For getting the cover onto the foam inner it is VERY much easier if you make a slip cover/lining using a bit of cheap slippery fabric, I used poly-satin in the box cushion I made for the hall bench.  I didn't neaten any seams and did the last one by hand.

It will be easier if you have enough fabric to put the zip into the middle of the cushion rather than try and get it next to the piping, and have the zip long enough to go around two corners.

The photo shows what I mean about taking the zip around two corners
Brenda.  My machines are: Caroline a Singer 201K-3 born 1940, Thirza a Featherweight 221K born 1949, Azilia a Singer 201K born 1957 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.uk/

Francesca

Re: Giant floor cushion
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2018, 17:12:38 PM »
Yes I am planning to put the zip right in the middle of one of the side panels which is why I've gone for a chunky metal "feature" zip that will sit on top of the two pieces rather than something invisible. I also didn't want to lose seam allowance for the zip so it will literally by raw edges with the zip topstitched on each piece. I figured as long as I can feasibly get it on and off, it's likely rarely going to be removed (considering it's an occasional use cushion it may never need a clean).