You all are probably scratching your head as you read the title for this post and asking yourselves..."Sew What? and Why?" ha! ha! Well there are a couple of really good explanations as to why I'm taking the time this week to sew vinyl covers for two items that will be on my patio...especially when I am also trying to get ready for a yard sale this weekend...eeekkkkk!
ACTUALLY the yard sale is the main reason...because I am trying to clear out the second storage unit that we have had to have ever since we moved here to the Love Shack! Most of the stuff in storage is going into the yard sale but, there are a few things that I refuse to part with. Which meant that I had to find a place for them and the only place available is on my patio. But since they require coverage from the elements...I decided to make vinyl covers to protect them...hope this makes sense...lol
Also...back when I posted about my Vanity Re-Vamp...I promised to show you all how to make a simple cover for an ottoman...and since the same sewing instructions were required for making the vinyl covers for the items going on my patio...I decided to kill two birds with one stone and just demo that for you today :}
First up is my Rolling Cart that I use for my Spray Paint Work Station and it use to sit on my covered balcony at our apartment in Charlotte...here's a photo to remind you:
The second item is a Wicker Hope Chestthat I have had for years...got this in Taiwan when we lived there over 35 years ago...wow! The wicker is actually vinyl coated and can take high humidity and moisture and I use to have it in my master bathroom when we lived in Charlotte...but there is no room in the house for it now.
Inside this chest I store alot of recyclable items that are old tins, plastic bottles and boxes, etc., that I use for Altered Art. You can see in the above photo that the materials used in the construction of the inside of this chest are wood and therefore it cannot take being outside all the time in the elements...hence the need for a vinyl cover.
So there is not need to purchase a pattern when sewing simple covers for your household furnishings...simply start by taking all the measurements:
Again...you need the length, width (or depth) and the height.
Then you need to sit down with a pad of paper, a calculator and your measurements for your household items as well as the width of your fabrics. Depending on the circumference (the total area of all four sides) of your furnishings, your will need to cut a piece of fabric for your top and one or two pieces for the sides. For the rolling cart I only had to cut two pieces and for my chest, I had to cut three pieces because it was so much bigger all around.
So once you have cut your pieces, pin together and sew the first side-seam using a regular 1/2-inch seam allowance. Then I placed the fabric around the outside of my chest and measured for the finished circumference again.
In the above photo, you can see that the second side-seam has excess fabric and it needs to be trimmed. Because this is an inexpensive piece of fabric, I didn't worry about being "exact" when I was cutting the two sides from my 54"-wide vinyl.
So I have an excess of 12-inches that needs to be trimmed and because I want BOTH of my side-seams to be in the middle of the ends of the chest, I simply line up the two sides together (you can pin them if you like) and trim off 6-inches from each end.
Next, I pinned the second side-seam and ran it through my sewing machine, again with a 1/2-inch seam allowance as shown in the above photo.
Once you have finished sewing your side seams, you can pin the bottom to the top...
Now, I like to start by pinning one end and proceeding down both sides and then placing my pinned piece onto my furnishings to get an accurate, final fitting.
Now my top piece is a little too long for my bottom piece...so I need to trim about an inch and finish pinning...this is why I like to fit my piece as I go so that I can get a good final fit :D
Here is a close-up of how I pin my corners...I find it easier to fold and pin the fabric from underneath the edge that I'm pinning for sewing...and then go back and pin the tops and then remove the pins from underneath before sewing...this usually gives me a nice mitered corner.
So here in the above photo, you can see the top piece pinned all around to the bottom piece...and it looks like the top is a bit small at this point...but not to worry! That is because the pin sides are taking up much more fabric than the actual sewn sides will and it will lay nice and flat.
Now, it may seem like a lot of extra work to lay-out and pin your fabric on top of your actual furnishings, but you will know if your top is too large for your bottom...because there will not be enough fabric to go pin all the way around your top. AND you'll know if your top is too small for your piece when you have excess fabric on your sides to pin to the top. SO...I choose to avoid that by first, sewing the side-seams and then re-measuring before sewing the second side-seam...and THEN...adjusting my top to my bottom by pinning it on top of the actual furnishings and trimming the top if needed...as I've shown so far...it's a personal preference...that's all :D
OKAY...back to sewing...sew the top the bottom by using a narrow seam-allowance...I just use the pressure foot on my sewing machine.
Remove all the pins and REMEMBER to trim your corners before turning your finished piece, right-side out.
Now because this is vinyl when you cut it...the fabric does not fray so you do not need to turn up any extra fabric for "seam allowances" when hemming vinyl.
For my chest, I want the cover to rest on top of the legs and not to go down to the floor...so I'm measuring my finished hem accordingly. I'm simply turning the raw edges up 1-1/2 inches, pining them in place for easy sewing and running them through the machine.
Here is a photo of the finished bench cover on my patio...sew simple :D The only thing I need to do now is to spray the legs and the inside cover and bottom of the chest with some varnish to protect the exposed wood from the elements.
For my rolling cart, I only had one side seam because I had enough fabric to cut one continuous piece to wrap around it's circumference. So I simply pinned the top to the sides and double checked it before sewing the top to the bottom as explained for the chest.
The big difference in this cover is that I wanted an elastic bottom to further protect the contents of the cart as well as to keep the vinyl from getting caught up in the wheels of the cart. SO...I measured for the finished hem and sewed it as previously described for my chest...BUT to add the elastic I cut a piece of elastic a big shorter than the circumference of the cart...then...I put a large safety pin into the end of the elastic and cut a small slit on the inside part of the finished hem...just large enough to fit the safety pin through.
Once I pulled the elastic all the way through the hem of the cover, I put it on-top of the cart and tested how tight my elastic bottom was.
Once I was satisfied with the bottom, I trimmed my elastic and pinned the two ends together and sewed it together by hand with heavy duty. quilting thread to secure it before pulling it all the way through the slit I originally cut in the vinyl hem.
AND now I'm all done with this cover as well...yeah! I know that as I post about making these covers, it seems like a lot of work...but it actually took me less than 3 hours, from start to finish, to make both of these covers. It took me longer to write this blog post...ha! ha! The end result is so worth it...especially when I got this vinyl on sale for less than $12.00 at Hancock Fabrics...and I still have some left...hmmm...what else can I cover?
Hope this post has helped you all feel like you can try making some covers for things in your home...so many possibilities...like kitchen appliance covers, printer covers, ottomans, benches...oh my!
AND if you need some more inspiration...be sure to hop on over to: