One of the things I love most about having learned how to sew is the ability to see something that needs to be made around my house and just MAKE IT! The perfect example of this happened just this past weekend.
We scored this kid’s Ikea chair for free from a neighbor, but since it didn’t match our dining set, Tim painstakingly disassembled, sanded, stained, and polyeurothaned each piece and then put it back together. It looked great!
And then, for reasons I didn’t quite understand, Ella decided that every time she sat on the chair, she needed to have this on it. She called it her “flapper.” Um… huh??? The workings of a two-year-old mind are beyond me.
This is actually a pyramid baking sheet that she pulled out of a drawer in our kitchen. Not exactly attractive when placed on a chair, and actually kind of uncomfortable, if you ask me! After a couple of days where this happened over and over again, I realized that what she wanted was a seat cushion, since we have cushions on our other dining chairs. So… I dug through the fabric I had on hand and got her input on what fabric she wanted (surprise! it’s pink!). Then when nap time came around, I made her a seat cushion of her very own. Here’s what I did if you want to do something similar! (And if you don’t, just skip to the end to read her reaction upon seeing the new cushion… it’s super cute, I promise.)
First, I made a pattern. I pieced together some paper to make the shape I wanted – I was really only concerned with the shape on the right side, since I knew I would cut on the fold.
My pattern piece looked like this. You can see that I made a note to cut on the fold in the middle and add a seam allowance around all the other sides.
I then cut out all my pieces, including a top, bottom, and four strips to make ties to attach the cushion to the chair. I also cut out a square of that tacky shelf liner (tacky as in slightly sticky, not as in tasteless… but you can make your own opinions there LOL ;)) to help make the cushion stick to the chair and not slide around when she sits on it. (Note: It looks like I added a seam allowance on the folded side of the top piece, but I didn’t – the pattern piece just shifted over before I took the picture.)
I started by making the ties. I folded the strips in half length-wise, then unfolded and folded each edge in toward the middle fold line, then folded again. This sounds confusing, but hopefully the pictures make it clear.
Next I sewed along the edge to close it, and did a zig-zag stitch on one end of each tie (I zig-zagged back and forth a few times to make sure this was really secure).
I then prepped my bottom piece by pinning the tacky piece in the middle and sewing around the edge with a zig-zag stitch. I didn’t change my thread color before doing this… laziness or design choice? I’ll let you decide. 😉
Next, I placed my top piece right side up and pinned my ties where I wanted them.
Then I tucked the ties in so that I wouldn’t sew over them.
And then… I inexplicably stopped taking pictures of what I was doing until the whole thing was done. Sorry! What I did was put the bottom piece right side down on top of the ties and pin the bottom and top piece together around the whole outer edge. Then I sewed around the whole edge with a 1/2″ seam allowance, leaving about a 4″ gap at the back. Next, I turned the whole thing right sides out through that 4″ gap and stuffed it with a little bit of poly fiberfill. I didn’t put a ton of fill in because I didn’t want it to be super puffy – just enough to give a little softness to the cushion. Then I sewed the 4″ gap closed. You could do this by hand with a ladder stitch, but I made the… ahem… design choice ;)… to just sew it closed with my sewing machine, so you can see the stitches if you look closely.
Ta da! Seat cushion. I admit that it’s not the most tailored cushion ever, and if I made it again I would at the very least use the same fabric for the bottom that I used for the top, just because you end up seeing the bottom fabric a bit when it’s on the chair.
The best part of the whole project was that when Ella woke up from her nap, I told her to go look at her chair and she said, “Oh! It’s bee-U-dee-full!!!” And my heart just couldn’t get any more full. I sure do love that girl.
Thanks for reading!