Thursday, January 24, 2013

8 Straight Stitches + Hand Sewing = Pocket Bench Cover + Victory over the Mommy-Brain

Please ignore the unsightly air return...
I've been thinking through a rather simple concept for months: a cover for my foyer bench cushion that could easily be removed and cleaned when necessary. The trick to making something beautiful and removable is hours of thinking or store-bought. I was up for the challenge and so I began my quest! The measurements were simple to come by, it was those 8 stitches that threw me for a loop!

I purchased my foam at the local Army Navy store where they cut it to my specified dimensions. (In hind sight, I should have reduced my desired size to account for batting and fabric so that the final product didn't hang off the edge of the bench, but it was my first time, so I'll let that be my excuse.) Then I wrapped my cushion with some high loft batting I had left over from a quilting project. I made do without the spray adhesive, wrapped the batting, and hoped for the best. I'm sure it will need to be smoothed out after a few months of use, but that's the beauty of the pocket cover!

Here's how I did it!

Figuring out measurements...
  • Foam 15" L x 50" W x 1.5" H.
  • Fabric 37.25" L x 52.75" W. (If you want your pattern on a specific spot of the cover, you'll have to mark your starting line and measure back 1.5" to get the correct cut line.)
  • Coordinating Thread.
  • 9-10 Hook Fasteners like these. (Sure you could try Velcro, but I didn't like how far apart my pocket pulled. The fasteners give you a much cleaner line.)
  • Sewing Machine.
  • Needle.
  • Scissors.
  1. Iron the 52.75"W sides 1/2" and then another 1/2" to create a beautiful hem line. Ironing eliminates the need for pins and gives you such a smooth surface to work with.
  2. Stitch along the ironed edges to create your pocket hem.
  3. Fold the fabric just over the halfway mark (one side will measure 17" and the other 17.5") with the right sides together.
  4. Stitch down the unfinished sides with 1/2" seam allowance. (The fabric now resembles a large pocket that you'll be able to slide the cushion in lengthwise.)
  5. Create box pleats in all 4 corners. I drew a chalk line at 45* and then drew a perpendicular line once the width of the triangle was 1.5".
  6. Turn the cover right side out and your pocket will automatically appear! (I struggled to figure out how to reverse the direction of my pocket until I was working on my hand sewing of the fasteners. If you want to reverse the direction of the pocket, simply make your longer side of the "half" fabric on top rather than on the bottom. Oh, Mommy-Brain, one day you'll give way to my full capabilities, I'm sure of it!) 
  7. Finally, hand stitch your fasteners in place. I started with my bars first and placed those 3/4" from the edge of the inside fabric on my pocket. I placed the hooks 1/8" from the top of the fabric on the adjacent fabric of the pocket.
Crisp Box Pleat
Pocket of the Cover (normally faces said air return)

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