Back in May, I posted an article regarding my investigation of the different kinds of outdoor fabrics. You can read that post at this link. The motivation for doing the research was my decision to make new cushion covers for an inherited set of outdoor furniture. The number one requirement, having 10 cushion covers to make, was easy to work with fabric. I narrowed the selection down to Solarium or Sunbrella, which is a well known outdoor fabric and receives a lot of good reviews. Sunbrella’s negatives are that it is a heavier fabric and it’s also somewhat pricey. Solarium, a more budget-friendly priced fabric and also a little lighter in weight, so I thought it would fit in my budget better than Sunbrella and also be easier to sew with. (Since I had TEN cushion covers to make it easy to sew with was important!) Therefore, Solarium was my fabric of choice. One of the negatives with Solarium is that it won’t be as sun-resistant as Sunbrella. After a few years, you may be seeing a post from me about another new set of cushion covers I’m making! Meanwhile, I want to show you what I bought and how easy they were to make.
This is the fabric I bought Solarium Fiera Marine. It was so easy to sew with. I used a Craftsy class by Cherie Killilea called Custom-Fit Slipcovers: Chairs. She had a great print out for measuring my cushions and then how to calculate the fabric pieces to cut. I watched the video tutorial and once I got going, these cushions sewed up quickly. She has a little trick for making sure the side gussets, which include the zipper, fit perfectly to the larger sections of front and back. I don’t know if this is a trick that she came up with herself or one that is commonly used. Since I have only made cushion covers a few times, it was certainly new to me!
Now, for my own trick…I used some Swedish Tracing Paper to cut the pattern out and then sew the paper pieces together before ever cutting into the Solarium fabric. I was able to fit this paper cushion cover over the cushions to make sure it was going to fit.
The back cushions were a little different because the gusset didn’t continue all the way around, so I had to figure this one out by using Cherie Killilea’s tutorial. Once I got this one figured out, the remaining back cushions went quickly.
Since Solarium does not have as much sun protection as Sunbrella, I have sprayed the cushions with Scotchgard Sun Protecting Spray.
So, the moral to this story is if cushion covers have always seemed a little daunting, just start slowly taking good measurements, and before you cut into that expensive fabric make a paper pattern, sew it together and try it on your cushion. You can make the adjustments then using the paper to get a perfect fit. This will give you much more confidence when it comes to cutting the fabric.
Hope this has given you some encouragement to try those projects you have always wanted to tackle, but haven’t…until now.