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| | |-+  Patterning Patio Cushions from Client's Existing - Not adding up
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: Patterning Patio Cushions from Client's Existing - Not adding up  ( 292 )
D3Gilmore
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« : July 16, 2017, 12:17:40 AM »

I have six patio cushions from a client that are all from the same patio set.  They are very warn, the fabric has stretched and the foam was even protruding into the boxing area.  I took one cushion apart, laid the top plate flat on my table and traced around a piece of panel board to make a template (probably should have used paper).  Since the curves at the corners were wonky on one side, I took 1/2 of my template, flipped it over to make an identical second half.  Anyway, I patterned the 5 other cushions from this template.  I have since cut out all the pieces, sewn on the welting (both top and bottom of each plate) and finished the zipper plackets.  I just need to assemble.  I did go ahead and finish one cushion completely and inserted the old foam into it.  Hmm....it fit, but my new cushion looks kind of small and because it was old foam, not full.  (Slight panic).  I pulled out the original cover fabric that I used to make my pattern out of and match it to my template - it looks appropriate, but why does my cushion look so small compared to her old one?  (Heart racing).

I grabbed my measuring tape and my final measurement at the corners (curved cushione, not square) was about an 1" SHORT.
The client gave me JUST enough fabric to not make any major mistakes.

I do recall that the original fabric was cut using only 1/4" seams allowances in some areas, not all...Hmm...Problem. 
I used 1/2" all around (especially since this frays easily).

Even factoring in that slight deviation in seam allowance, my cushion still looks smaller than just 1/2" (which is the difference from the original cushion's seam allowance all around).  In fact, when I place it on top of one of her other cushions, it looks like 1-2" smaller at the front corners. How can my template be wrong when I placed the fabric on top of it, and spread it out flat?

I realize I still need to cut new foam and dacron - I am hoping it will fill in and "puff out more".  I'm stressed knowing there is no more fabric to redo this project (discontinued) and my 5 other pieces were cut from the same template.

I asked the client today if she could forward a picture of the patio chairs these came from (should have done that previously).  I only know they are metal frames.

I didn't measure the old cushions from the top (inside piping to inside piping) because the fabric on top was stretched.  Instead, I flipped it over and measured seam to seam and traced around the whole pattern.  I also didn't use the old foam as a second source for measurement because it was distorted and flat.  Looking at her other cushions now, it's very stressful seeing that they all look slightly bigger than mine....some noticeably so!

I recall before I even made my first cut that I laid the original cover fabric back on my template and it looked fine.  (Not going to lie, I may lose sleep over this one tonight).

Lastly, the original boxing was 3" and the cushion had 1" foam w/a springy type of dacron wrap (Nu-Foam perhaps?).  My plan was to replace that with a 2" soft foam (it's what I have) and dacron wrap both on top and bottom for a total of 4".

Would you suggest I use more dacron so it's really taut?

Should I cut my foam the size of the template I made or cut it slightly larger? (I put my template on the client's old cushion tonight and it looks the same size as her finished cushion.  I maintained 1/2" seam allowances so I'm not sure how this got off so wrong.

Am I the only one cringing here?

Sincerely,

Losing Sleep in California
gene
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« #1 : July 16, 2017, 07:27:39 AM »

When you sewed the welt cord onto the fabric panel, did you have the welt cord on top of the fabric panel as you were sewing? This can cause the fabric panel to gather as it is being sewn. Either way, you can take the welt cord off one of the fabric panels and see if the fabric panel becomes bigger. If so, or sew, no so, yes, if so, then re sew all the fabric panels with the fabric panel on top of the welt cord.

If your fabric is stretching or anti stretching, a small stitch length and slow sew can help. I will not hesitate to staple the welt cord to the fabric panel before sewing if it is really stretchy fabric.

On this project I would probably use the fabric panel as a template for the foam. This way the foam is 1/2" bigger all the way around and will fill out the cushion cover nicely.

gene
« : July 16, 2017, 07:29:19 AM gene »

QUALITY DOES NOT COST, IT PAYS!
kodydog
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« #2 : July 16, 2017, 08:45:19 AM »

I didn't measure the old cushions from the top (inside piping to inside piping) because the fabric on top was stretched.  Instead, I flipped it over and measured seam to seam and traced around the whole pattern.  I also didn't use the old foam as a second source for measurement because it was distorted and flat.  Looking at her other cushions now, it's very stressful seeing that they all look slightly bigger than mine....some noticeably so!

The new foam will stretch the fabric somewhat but not likely 1-2". Are you sure all of the cushions are the same size?

I'm not sure I'm reading this right. When you made the new pattern did you pick the old cushion apart and lay it flat to make your new pattern. I like to steam (or iron) it flat and then pin it to the new pattern so it doesn't move around while I'm working with it. Do like Gene said and take it apart and see whats going on. You may be supprised how much a cushion can shrink or stretch around the curves. Remember when going around a curve you are sewing on the bias. The fabric there is very stretchy and some weird things can happen.   

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
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sofadoc
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All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.


« #3 : July 16, 2017, 09:08:08 AM »

That Juki 1541 that you've got your eye on will go a long way in clearing up these kind of problems.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
D3Gilmore
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« #4 : July 16, 2017, 09:36:51 AM »

Gene,

That was a good idea, but before ripping the welting off the cover plate, I instead laid one of the cover plates (with the welting already attached) to my template and it fit very well, no obvious shrinkage.  I could gain a 1/2" if I rip the seams on the welting and resew at only 1/4" seam (like the original cushions were sewn) but man, does that not seem like a good idea.  (I did use a hot-knife to cut this outdoor fabric out so I'm not too worried about the cover plates fraying.  The boxing was snipped as I went around the curves tho, so I'm not really able to make those smaller.

Kodydog, yes, I did take one original cushion apart, and laid the top plate out on my table.  The welting that was attached at only 1/4" began to fray the edges when I tried to rip the seams (so I could iron just the cover plate).  So, I instead left it on, flipped it upside down and laid it out, holding the fabric as I sketched around it. 

The cushions look to be the same - there are a couple that have stretched significantly but there was one that looks to be mostly in tact and I'm using that one to compare to my finished piece.
D3Gilmore
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« #5 : July 16, 2017, 02:18:20 PM »

So, I took another cushion apart (one that doesn't look too stretched out.  I was able to rip the cording off and just have the cover fabric available and steamed it flat.  When I put it next to my original template............(pulling hair out) there is a discrepancy in the front corners.

That being said, I like to think of myself as innovative.  I was considering patching a little swatch of fabric to the corners and using fabric glue to make sure it adheres.  Next, I was going to shift my welting cord from it's current 1/2" seam allowance to the edge of the original plate and sew on that edge (not onto the swatch, but because both are now fused with glue...perhaps it will work).

This will at least get me another 1".

On a sidenote, I looked underneath the cushion and saw what looks to be the imprint of the client's chair frame.  It seems smaller than the cushion, so mayyyybe this is a moot point all together.  I am waiting to get a photo from the client showing me what I'm working with.  I may be able to position it that I want the best fit for the chair and it appears the cushions actually "overlap the sides a bit and perhaps I can bring it in an "inch".

Wasn't there a recent post on "white lies?" Haha.....stay tuned.
kodydog
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North Central Florida


« #6 : July 18, 2017, 07:54:54 AM »

It could be the old cushion fabric has stretched enough to make up the difference. It's always nice to get a few measurements from the frame to make sure everything jives. But when the customer brings the cushions that is all you have to go by.

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
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