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Monday, March 18, 2013

The Window Seat Wrap-Up.

This one's a bit long, so get comfy and get a beverage.

First up, the seat cushion:
The Window Seat Wrap-Up via turnrightatlakemichigan.com
I knew when we started this project that I wanted a cushion for the seat part, because I have terrible hips and hard surfaces are ... well, hard. That and the sound of my kids jumping on the wood made me cringe.

So I went about researching cushion tutorials and upholstery foam and quickly had a coronary and cried into my duvet cover because DO YOU KNOW WHAT UPHOLSTERY FOAM COSTS? A KIDNEY A YARD, THAT'S WHAT.

Also the cushion tutorial I found that was only similar to what I wanted/needed was translated from it's original Portuguese and my head, it throbs.

So I set out to do my own tutorial throughout this whole process. And then promptly stopped because about a third of the way into this ordeal I realized that my sewing skills are sadly lacking and very much made up and not at all something to be emulated and plus, I wasn't sure it was all going to work out in the end so really, here's the English-from-Portuguese tute if you want to attempt something with actual directions and a nice end product. I just made my stuff up.

Honestly, If I hadn't spent all that time deconstructing our old Ektorp cover when I tried to revamp the ottoman, I'd have quickly found myself up Shiitake Creek without a paddle, if you catch my meaning. So self-taught slipcover making ahoy!

First, to deal with my foam issue, since the original plans we were hacking intended this to be a day bed, we ended up buying the cheapest foam twin bed mattress IKEA sells because it was literally a third of the price of buying rolls of upholstery foam and it was only a wee bit larger than we needed it to be instead of having to piece together smaller sections of foam and hope no one fell in the cracks when they sat down.

If you were paying attention back in February you might have caught the hint of that on Instagram:
The Window Seat Wrap-Up via turnrightatlakemichigan.com

But just in case I did manage to snap a couple "real" photos of my kids camping out on the random twin size mattress we had no real place for while we were finishing the actual building of the window seat.
The Window Seat Wrap-Up via turnrightatlakemichigan.com
Between this and Tova's early adoption of the seat before we even had it painted, I was pretty sure we'd hit the jackpot with this project.

Anyway, after removing the outer shell you see there (oh so easily with that all-the-way-around-zipper!) using a large serrated knife from my cutlery set and super precise measurements (ha!) I cut away two squares for the bookcases and trimmed a couple of inches off of the back smallest part so there wouldn't be any overhang off of the front of the bench.

Then, like the super pro I am, I draped the crap out of the IKEA fabric I'd picked out and somehow figured out how to make 58" wide fabric cover a 72" long mattress with the stripes all matching up because I am slightly OCD about things like that. And then I had the bright idea to add the lime green piping for character and more clean-looking finished edges despite never actually sewing piping in a seam before, so that was fun.
If you can call maddening fun, I guess. The hardest parts were the back corners -- to get the edges straight so it fit the cushion well and kept the stripes lined up and had the piping not look a jumbled mess.
The Window Seat Wrap-Up via turnrightatlakemichigan.com
Just if you ever find yourself at my house, don't look too carefully, okay?

Anyway, in order to attach the piping and then, of course, make the cover removable because of the general menagerie that is my house, I had to devise a way to make the back, angle-y part open and close enough to get the mattress out if need be and not look a wreck.

Some 2" wide Velcro did the trick, while also testing my sanity and patience and sewing abilities.
The Window Seat Wrap-Up via turnrightatlakemichigan.com
Oh, and of course I wanted the whole thing to be flippable so it can get twice the wear, so ALL THE LINES, THEY HAD TO MATCH UP. The Velcro actually wasn't as bad as trying to sew the flaps I made for the Velcro to be sewn to onto the bigger cover pieces with the piping tucked in and having everything line up and look as straight and clean as possible. It was a lot of fabric to shove through my little 10 year old sewing machine. We did it, though, and now our cushion can be sat on either side, has cute little piping, and is completely removable and (fingers crossed) washable for the inevitable disasters that may befall it with the kids and the cats and frankly us using it all the time.

I'm pretty proud of it.

Next, I promised you a peek into the drawers.

Here's the small, middle drawer, which is roughly 2' x 2':
The Window Seat Wrap-Up via turnrightatlakemichigan.com
It opens up pretty much to the pony wall, which was a factor we didn't consider until we'd pretty much finished the whole thing, so go us for accidentally doing something right. And obviously we painted them white as well. We talked about getting drawer liners or something for the insides, but we couldn't find anything we liked so for now, it's just paint on wood.

And here's the long one by Tova's door, or farthest away from the stairs:
The Window Seat Wrap-Up via turnrightatlakemichigan.com
I think that's about 2' x 3' but I'd have to check. There are a couple of things I'd change about the plans for these drawers -- first, we actually used 1x10s as the sides instead of the called-for 1x8s because the seat definitely had the height and obviously I hate wasting prime storage space. Second, we used thicker plywood for the bottom than called for so that they'd feel super sturdy, bear weight, and could stand if a child climbed into one because it's only a matter of time, let's be real. The one thing I wish we had thought about and done differently but didn't is how the boxes were constructed -- I'd have squared off the corners of each box with the front and back nestling inside of the sides instead of the other way around, just so it had a cleaner, more finished look from the side. But nothing's perfect, so just a point of reference.

Lastly, I also put these on Instagram the other day, but I've been hoarding them for a while now while the blog caught up to the build, but I thought you might like to see the finished product in action:
The Window Seat Wrap-Up via turnrightatlakemichigan.com

The Window Seat Wrap-Up via turnrightatlakemichigan.com

I think it's safe to say this was a very good idea for not only our first project of the year, but for our family. 

DITD 2013

1 comment:

  1. What an ingenious idea to use a pre-made cushion for the foam. I have long lamented the cost of upholstery foam and will definitely be using this idea. Your seat is beautiful and looks even better with all of you sitting on it and reading!