Fabric and Fluff

Well here I am looking at the aft cabin cushions again, wondering where to start on re-configuring them for our new cabin arrangement (see Aft Cabin new bed is usable). The original cushions were the first cushions and covers I had ever made, with a new scarily industrial sewing machine (from Sailrite). I checked and re-checked everything with Sailrite videos and my adviser (Canvas for Cruisers by Julie Gifford). When Dave and I finally wrestled them onto the foam (covered with wadding and stockingette as in The Book), it seemed a minor miracle that they looked respectable. They turned out to be very comfortable so I was glad I’d heeded all the advice. But now we need to change them and it seems even more dauting than starting fresh. I have since discovered that rectangular cushions are not easier to cover than weirdly shaped ones, which doesn’t fill me with confidence.

‘When in doubt think about it’ is my motto so I started by leaving them for a while with the new fabric spread out and turned over to check if it had a nap. One of the irritating things about the original fabric was that I had no idea I would need so much so one section was oriented differently leaving a strange line across the cushion due to the unexpected nap. Also the bases had to be a different fabric altogether as both pieces were remnants. The new cushions will be a step up because we have lots of lovely new fabric 🙂 I have industrial remnants this time (available from Emmaus South Manchester) so we have 10 metres and it is very hardwearing as well as fire resistant which is good for piece of mind.

Next I took off the covers and stockingette which was easy, leaving fluffy foam. It took several days of measuring and agonising over the position of a straight edge to take the plunge and cut off a straight line where our new seat will be.

Cushions after left side cut off

Unfortunately we had used spray glue to wrap the foam with wadding for these first cushions, whereas later I realised I could just wrap and stitch it to hold it in place. Ungluing the wadding was mostly ok, except for a few well stuck places where it tried to pull the foam with it so I had to cut it away. The foam sticks together very easily but needs to be free from fluff. We are changing the locker lids under the cushions so we decided to go with two nearly rectangular cushions for more comfortable sleeping. I have now cut small pieces off both large cushions and they are ready to glue together in the new shape. I am pleased that the left over foam should be enough to make a very comfortable cushion for the base of the seat.

Preparation work done – now I need to set up the machine and cut the fabric! I will re-use the zippers as the cushions are still the same length. I think I will fit them across the base this time, rather than along the edge as it was so hard to get the foam into the cover before. It’s not as if they are reversible as the edges slope to fit the cabin walls.

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