19 December, 2010

Dog Beds & Christmas Presents

The dogs have been banished to the garage since the new wood floors went in. I not only love the new wood floors but I absolutely adore the NO DOG HAIR ZONE. Still - it is a hardship for Rocket & Rusty.
 We had a couch reupholstered and I am re-purposing the tired old cushions.
 Recovering a basic cushion isn't too difficult. All you need are two rectangles for the top and bottom. And one long strip for the sides. 

Since these are doggy beds, I am rough cutting. My rectangles were 22" and 24" on a side. I used a barely 1/2" seam as I planned to utilize my serger to whip these up super fast. 'Cuz you know, there are only five more days until Christmas. 
Anyway - this is how I cut the side piece. I needed this (sash) 4.5" wide and actually cut it 5" wide by laying my tape measure on the fabric and cutting to the tape measure. Then I would move the tape measure up and cut again to the tape.  I purposely cut the sash with less than 1/2" seam allowances so it would pull the fabric tight, --so there would not be any loose fabric for the dogs to worry on. (hope & pray)
 For two cushions, I needed three strips. I pieced two together to make one long sash but I did not cut it to length yet. I wanted to wait until I got all around the cushion. Now if this was a chair cushion that someone would actually critique, you would want to place this pieced seam on the back side of the cushion and possibly centered. Thankfully, in the name of last-minute projects, these are dog beds that the dogs will probably run around with their heads cut off and chew up in delight - so You Have To Get Real Here.

 In this photo, I have sewn one rectangle to the sash - all around. Where the sash seam is, I serged off about 1/2" beforehand. Then I pinched the fabric together to meet and serged up the sash seam. Then I stuck the fabric back under the serger foot and finished meeting the rectangle to the sash. Hope that made sense since I was doing it instead of taking photos with my left hand.
Just to help me in the next step of joining the second rectangle to all this, I stuck a pin in to mark the 'corners'.    Caution: Sergers and pins are bad.
 In my first cushion, my pieced seam and my corner ended up being almost in the same spot. The serger handled it all beautifully.
 I am about to turn a corner here.
 Don't (Do Not) forget to leave an opening to turn AND stuff your big old foam cushion in. I serged around the corners to the fourth side but left most of that  side seam open to hand-sew after I wrestled the cushion in. I love how the serger can finish off those single edges that will be hand-sewn closed.
 Wrestling. Groaning. Grunting. Foam cushions are quite dense and too-big-to-fit.

 To finish: I stuffed the cushion in and manually moved it into position, then I hand-sewed the opening closed

Rocket on the right had to be coaxed up to come lie on the cushion. He had already settled in for the night.
As you can see the dogs are much bigger than the cushions. Both of them rather like pillows and are always pawing up their rugs to make a head rest. If I get time, I have some four inch foam  I could make a Deluxe bed out of with an attached pillow. I am still getting used  to my serger and seeing what it can do.

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