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need help: novice couch project

Started by jamielyn, December 27, 2011, 02:21:59 pm

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December 27, 2011, 02:21:59 pm Last Edit: December 27, 2011, 03:19:25 pm by jamielyn
To anyone willing to help with ideas...
I have taken on a large couch project to reupholster for some friends.  The wood frame couch is a very unique design, built in an environmentally sustainable homestead/educational center.
So far, I have been provided the fabric and we are working on measurements.  I am needing to buy foam for cushions and backing and then decide on simplest, most practical cushion design to sew.  I will try to upload some pics soon.  We haven't started yet, so any advice is greatly appreciated at this time!  



Jamielyn you are a true friend indeed.

Built in, wraparound with a post to deal with. Your going to have some beveled cushions. I'm not saying you can't do it, but its going to take a lot of patience and willingness to back-up once in a while.

Also how much experience do you have. Especially sewing. Is this your first job? What type machine do you have? Do you know where to start? Do you know how to measure for fabric?

Your going to have to locate foam. For high quality I'd suggest a local upholstery shop. For a small fee they will cut it to your specs. Places like Wal-Mart or Joanns fabrics carry foam but there quality is questionable.

Good luck and ask lots of questions.

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.


Kody's questions are important.  Bevelled cushions are not impossible for a beginner, but they will definitely provide plenty of "challenge".  It looks like a fun project.


Hello, Thanks for the replies.  Yes, I do have sewing experience...but not upholstery sewing experience.  I have all the dimensions for the foam and plan to order by monday...and get started the next friday.  I will start looking at bevelled  as you suggest.  I'm going to work on a small cushion for a chair of my own, so i can get an idea of the cushion design and some experience before starting.  I have a basic (old faithful)80's Kenmore machine.  The uphol fabric feels thin enough to work with this machine, I will just need to get the right size needle?
As far as measuring the fabric, I will get some help from a seamstress friend who knows more than I do...
Trying to focus on the fun:)


It will be fun, with plenty of challenge.  Just remember to take your time and put the project down when you start to get too frustrated.  Remember to mark your cushion tops and bottoms so that you can line them up one to the other when the boxing is stitched to them.  It is really easy to have the corners of those pcs. "move" and then the corners will not be aligned over each other squarely. 

It will be very important for you to mark the tops and bottoms of the cushions carefully, esp. when you are faced with bevelling.  It's really easy to get "turned around"  or confuse the tops and the bottom pcs.  and nothing increases a level of frustration faster than having to rip out work to correct a mistake made because pcs. were improperly marked, or worse, not marked at all!


May I suggest running some tape on the backside of your fabric to stabilize the bias aspect of those tapered cushions. Make sure your sewing machine can handle it first, maybe a small sample as a test. Good luck!


January 02, 2012, 01:10:17 am #6 Last Edit: January 02, 2012, 01:16:47 am by gene
It looks like you might be able to get the two end cushions to be identical and then the cushions right next to them identical to each other. This will be easier than different sizes all around.

If so, this would leave you with only one cushion for the center, which will need to take into account that beautiful hand hewed beam. I would consider covering that beam with foam and fabric part of the way up to match the cushions, but I'm think I might want to leave that bare.

center cushion shape
!******!   beam

 front of cushion

Let's say the front of that beam is 2 inches back from the front of the seating. Build a front edging 2 inches back from the front of the seating all the way around with foam covered by fabric. This will give you a great finished look and that center cushion can simply have a notch cut out of it that butts up to the post. The raised front will also help your cushions to stay on the deck a bit better.

Please post finished pics. And good luck.