January 6, 2010

The bench, or, adventures in sewing with piping

Well, we have a bench folks.

This morning I applied a coat of fast drying poly (I don't even want to know what's in that stuff, nasty) and while Evelyn was busy making lunch for her doll Baby Three - who she now informs me is named Baby Four because SHE is three so NO ONE ELSE can be three - I sewed the cushion.

I have to say, the hard part was done for me. Part of what attracted me to the bench in the first place was that someone had already cut a plywood seat out for it. Getting wood cut for something in my house usually involves endless discussions on why the wood I want is not the right choice, or why the thickness I have chosen is not the right one (hey, I married an architect, it's my own fault) multiple trips to Lowes, and some moaning about not having the perfect tool for the job. (Will will not be satisfied until he has a Norm Abrams kind of tool inventory, so there is always tool envy moaning during a project) So having the wood already there made the project 100% easier.

Which is probably why I decided to make life difficult by adding piping to the seat. I've never done piping before. Partly because, in most cases, it hasn't been the look I'm after, partly because, well, frankly, it was just downright scary. SO what possessed me this time? Was it that the style of the bench screamed piping? Was it a hidden desire for something a little girly mixed in with the dark woods of the bedroom? Or was it the new and exciting sewing machine. I'm not sure, but somehow, mid fabric purchase, I reached out and grabbed the giant spool of pre-covered (I'm foolish, not stupid) piping and said casually "and 2 yards of this please".

Using the base as a guide, I drew and outline on the fabric and cut the seat top out with a 3/4 inch seam allowance.

Then, using the sharp side of my sewing scissors (because I don't have one of those cool foam
cutting tools - hey, I sound like Will!) I cut the foam in the same shape.

For the sides I cut strips almost twice as wide as the foam was tall so that I had plenty of overhang.

And then, with a little nod to the gods, I sewed all the pieces together, including the piping. The rounded corners got a little hairy but in the end came out decently.

Once I had the whole thing together I draped it over the foam and used the staple gun to fasten the excess to the base. A little tightly in spots so that there is a slight wonkyness to it, but not enough to rip it out and begin again. No thank you.

The end result is pretty good. Not perfect, but I'm happy with the look and I LOVE the fabric. In fact, I've been trying to decide what to do with the extra fat quarterish sized piece. Pillow maybe? We'll see.