Window Seat Bench Cushion

I occasionally get obsessed with a project that I just can’t get out of my head. The window seat daybed in our master bedroom was definitely one of these!  The daybed itself was easy to assemble from purchased benches and crib mattresses, but projects for this cozy alcove went on and on! One of the biggest was sewing the covers for the daybed mattresses.  I love the Robert Allen Souk fabric in Dove, and I’ll show you how to make these covers yourself.

I love this comfortable and beautiful daybed nestled under a window.  Step by step instructions for assembling the daybed from purchased parts and sewing all the accessories. Jewels at Home.

As a guideline, I used these instructions from Kate at the Centsational Girl blog to sew the covers.  My dimensions are different, and I didn’t see how she did the back corners, so I’ll show all the steps here.

Supplies for covering two crib mattresses:

  • 5 yards of 54″ wide fabric
  • Velcro – total of 104″ sew-on strips for both mattresses
  • thread, scissors, pins, general sewing supplies

Because the daybed is made from crib mattresses that are 52″ long, I was able to use the full width of a standard 54″ wide decorator fabric across the mattress.  For each mattress, I cut a 70″ long x 54″ wide (full width) section of fabric and zig-zagged the raw edges of each piece.

I laid the fabric over the mattress and marked where the front seams would be. (Pictured below)

Instructions for sewing an cushion cover to make a daybed out of a crib mattress | Jewels at Home

Mark the fabric to where the front seams will be.

I then folded the fabric at the seam and sewed with a 3/8″ seam allowance to create a clean seam for the front edges of the cushion. (Pictured below)

Instructions for sewing an cushion cover to make a daybed out of a crib mattress | Jewels at Home

Fold and sew to create the front seams.

Each mattress required two 6.5″x 32″ side panels, and I again zig-zagged the edges. These are longer than the width of the mattress, so they can wrap around the back to keep any of the mattress from showing.

To attach the side panels, line up the end of the side panels with the front of the main panel (between the seams) and sew that small section with a 1/2 inch seam allowance. (top left picture below)

Next, turn and pin the long edge of the side panels in place and sew with a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Since the side panels are longer than the mattress, I marked on the main panel where the back edge of the cushion should be and sewed up to that point. (top right picture below)

Instructions for sewing an cushion cover to make a daybed out of a crib mattress | Jewels at Home

Adding the side panels to the cushion cover. Sew the front edge first and then the side seams.

After attaching all the side panels, I finished the ends of the panels by folding under a 1/2 inch hem and stitching.  (Top left picture below)

For the back closure, I had one short flap and one long one, so the closure was along the edge of the cushion. While this looks very neat when finished, in retrospect, I would have centered the closure on the back, so I could flip the cushion over if it gets worn without any of the closure showing at the edge.

I sewed one side of the Velcro to the outside of the short flap and the other side to the inside of the long flap. (Top right picture below) It looks very neat when done!

Instructions for sewing an cushion cover to make a daybed out of a crib mattress | Jewels at Home

Finishing the cushion cover. Finish the edges of the side panels, so they can wrap around the back of the cushion. Sew velcro to the inside of one back flap and the outside of the other. Ta-da!

I’m so happy with how these new cushion covers fit and look!  A neat tip: to keep the cushions from moving around, I used a rug pad underneath.

We’ve already started hanging out on our new window seat already, and there are just a few more projects left to finish up this cozy alcove!

Dreamy daybed window seat.  Assemble this from packaged benches and mattresses.  Today, instructions for sewing an cushion cover to make a daybed out of a crib mattress | Jewels at Home

Dreamy daybed window seat.  Assemble this from packaged benches and mattresses.  Today, instructions for sewing an cushion cover to make a daybed out of a crib mattress | Jewels at Home

Dreamy daybed window seat.  Assemble this from packaged benches and mattresses.  Today, instructions for sewing an cushion cover to make a daybed out of a crib mattress | Jewels at Home

I’ve got more cushions planned, including round bolsters to finish off the ends of the bench.  I’m looking forward to showing you the finishing touches soon!

“Jewels”

Wipeable Fabric Bib Tutorial

Do you do this? We had several friends who had babies recently. I’ve been wanting to make something special, but I haven’t had the time, so the result of my best intentions is that I have not given them anything at all yet. Boo!

Well, I finally got motivated, because Lucas’ teacher is expecting her first baby this fall. She has been absolutely amazing. We were lucky enough to have her in pre-kindergarten and then again in first grade. She has that perfect mix of wisdom, energy, and affection that wins over parents and children alike.

I’ve sewn bibs before, but I tried something new this time, by making them wipeable. This is also a great project for using up those scraps of fabric that are too small to make a project on their own, but look great mixed together.

Wipeable baby bib tutorial | Jewels at Home

Materials:

Instructions:

I created a bib template that is 17″ high (the width of the vinyl) and 11″ wide.

For the backs of the bibs, I used a single piece of plain fabric.

For the fronts of the bibs, I joined together two or three strips of coordinating fabrics into 11″x17″ rectangles and ironed on the Thermoweb Heat’n Bond Iron-On Vinyl according to the instructions.

I cut the template out of the joined and coated piece (pictured below)

Wipeable baby bib tutorial | Jewels at Home

Join together scraps of fun fabric to make 11″x17″ rectangles. Cut the bib template out from the joined piece.

I then sewed the fronts and backs together, right sides facing, with a half inch seam allowance and leaving about four inches open on the side to turn the bib right side out (pictured below).

Wipeable baby bib tutorial | Jewels at Home

With right sides facing sew the back and front pieces together, leaving a 4″ gap on one side to turn the piece.

To help create smooth curves, clip the seam allowances at all the curves, as shown below.

Wipeable baby bib tutorial | Jewels at Home

Clip the seam allowance around the curves, as shown.

To finish, turn the bib right side out and iron again,  Stitch all the way around close to the edge, and add the 1.5″ velcro strips to the top.

Here are the finished bibs.  I love the way the different fabrics work together!

Wipeable baby bib tutorial | Jewels at Home

Wipeable baby bib tutorial | Jewels at Home

Wipeable baby bib tutorial | Jewels at Home

Wipeable baby bib tutorial | Jewels at Home

Wipeable baby bib tutorial | Jewels at Home

To wrap it all up, I created another custom gift bag, like these bags I made for my nieces last year.

Custom gift bags | Jewels at Home

Congratulations to all the wonderful mamas and mamas-to-be in my life!

“Jewels”

Pillowcase Dresses for Girls

These little “pillowcase” dresses have been catching my eye for a while. The style is very simple to sew, and the results are so cute! Not to mention that for growing kids, you can’t beat a style that will grow along with them!

Sweet and simple pillowcase dress pattern for little girls | Jewels at Home

For my birthday, Steve and I went to an amazing fabric store in Berkeley, Stone Mountain and Daughter, and among other treasures, I found this cute Japanese-style rabbit print.

Cute Japanese rabbit print. Pillowcase dress tutorial | Jewels at Home

I have a weakness for anything rabbit-themed for my little nieces, who were born in the year of the rabbit. You may remember the custom gift bags and silhouette Christmas ornaments that I made for them.

For the basic pattern, I used this tutorial from the Aesthetic Nest. I did alter the pattern in a couple of ways.

Here’s what you will need to make your own unique designs in size 2T:

  • 1/2 yard of 45″ quilting cotton for the main fabric, if the print has no direction or runs across the width of the fabric. You will need 2/3 of a yard, if the pattern runs the length of the fabric.
  • 1/4 yard of solid fabric for the tie
  • bias binding to match your main fabric
  • thread to match your main fabric and tie fabric

Instructions:

  • Prewash and iron your fabric
  • Fold the main fabric in half and cut into to two pieces that are 18″ wide x 22″ long each. You can see here why they’re called pillowcase dresses. It would be fun to find some pillowcases with a great design for dresses, though the pattern is usually oriented the other direction.
  • Cut armholes from the top corners: 4″ from the top and 2″ from the side, as show below:
Girl's pillowcase dress tutorial.  Sweet and simple design | Jewels at Home

Cut armholes from the top corners of the front and back panels.

Next, join the front and back panels using a French seam:

  • First, with wrong sides together, sew a 1/4 inch seam along the sides of the dress (top left picture below).
  • Iron the seam open, turn the dress inside out, and sew a 3/8″ seam with the wrong sides facing (top right picture below).
  • Turn the dress right side out again, and you can see your dress taking shape (bottom picture below)!

20130610-205238.jpg

To finish off the edges, start with adding bias binding to the armholes. I didn’t get good pictures of this with the dresses, so the picture below is from the pillowcase top I made for myself:

  • Open the folded bias binding and line up one edge to the edge of the armhole on the right side. Stitch along the crease nearest the edge.
  • Clip the seam allowance in the curve, to allow it to lie flat. Fold the binding to the wrong side and iron the binding flat.
  • Sew around the armhole to sew down the binding.

For the neck casing:

  • zig-zag the top edges of both panels, unless you were able to line the selvedge up here (top picture below)
  • Fold down 1 3/4″ from the top edge and iron (second picture below)
  • Fold back up 1/4″, so that you have a 1/2″ casing (third picture below)
  • Sew along the bottom edge of the casing and voila (bottom picture below)!

Pillow case dresses for girls.  Tutorial for a sweet and simple design | Jewels at Home

For the bottom hem, fold up 2″ towards the inside of the dress and fold back under 1/4″. Iron and stitch the hem in place.

For the tie, I started with two 3″ thick strips of fabric, each 42″ wide.

  • I joined the strips end to end (top left picture below)
  • I the folded open the joint and sewed the seam allowances down (top right picture below)
  • I finished the tie all the way around by folding under a 1/8″ twice and sewing it down. I didn’t measure this part exactly, but I did put a piece of painter’s tape down on my machine, to make sure I was keeping approximately the same finished width all the way (bottom picture below).

Pillow case dresses for girls.  Tutorial for a sweet and simple design | Jewels at Home

And here are the finished dresses! So cute!

Pillow case dresses for girls.  Tutorial for a sweet and simple design | Jewels at Home

Pillow case dresses for girls.  Tutorial for a sweet and simple design | Jewels at Home

Pillowcase dress tutorial | Jewels at Home

Pretty dress for a pretty girl!

Pillowcase dress tutorial | Jewels at Home

My cutie niece in her birthday dress!

 

Happy 2nd birthday, girls!

Auntie “Jewels”

Tutorial: Sewing Decorative Pillows for the Living Room

Well, I started gathering inspiration for decorative cushions a while ago and got the nudge – or was that a kick in the pants? – to finish them in preparation for holding my friend’s baby shower at our house. I’m so happy they’re done. It’s amazing how accessories can really complete a room.

Pillow Forms
At our house, the insides of our cushions come from all over the place: old cushions I wanted to recover, ready-made pillow forms, and pillow forms I made myself.

It goes without saying that you could make pillow forms by sewing a fabric pouch and stuffing it. Here are a couple of other things I’ve done.

  • I made some pillow forms from inexpensive sleeping pillows (look at Target or discount stores) cut in half and sewn closed. These turn out to be slightly rectangular, rather than square, but I think that adds some interest and variety.
Cut an inexpensive pillow in half and sew closed for economical pillow forms.

Cut an inexpensive sleeping pillow in half and sew closed for economical pillow forms.

  • For bolster pillows, I use a piece of foam in the center and wrap it in a few layers of batting, before covering it in a plain fabric. This makes a more solid form that will, you know, bolster.
Make a firm bolster pillow form with foam wrapped in batting. Cover the whole thing with plain cotton.

Make a firm bolster pillow form with foam wrapped in batting. Cover the whole thing with plain cotton.

Basic pillow cover
If you have a fabric that makes a statement on its own, a basic pillow is perfect for letting the pattern shine, without making your pillow too busy. That’s what I did with some of this Robert Allen Lake Paradise print that I had left over from reupholstering our dining chairs. This pillow ended up in our foyer and was a great opportunity to tie the entry into the adjacent living-dining room. Here are the instructions for a simple cushion cover.

  • Cut the front piece of the cushion about a half inch bigger than your pillow form. You don’t need to allow for the depth of the pillow – it will squeeze in there and give some fullness.
  • The back of the pillow is two pieces, each 2″ wider than half the width of your pillow, for example, this pillow is 19″ wide. 19 divided by two is 9.5. 9.5 plus 2 is 11.5, so each half of the back will be 11.5 inches wide
Tutorial for sewing a simple cushion cover.  From Jewels at Home.

Cut one piece for the front of your pillow and two pieces for the back.

  • Finish the center edge of the back pieces by folding under a hem and sewing it down.
  • Attach Velcro to the center of each of the back pieces, on the front of one piece and the back of the other, as shown.
Tutorial for simple decorative pillows.  From Jewels at Home.

Sew a hem on each of the back pieces and attach Velcro to the center.

  • Close the Velcro and treat back as one piece.
  • Lay the back piece on top of the front piece, with the right sides facing each other.
  • Sew around all four sides of the pillow with a half inch seam.
  • Clip the corners at a 45 degree angle, as shown, to reduce bulk.
  • Finish the edges with a zig-zag stitch or serger.
Tutorial for sewing a basic cushion cover.  From Jewels at Home.

Tutorial for sewing a basic cushion cover.

Bolster Pillow Covers

I made these the same way, but I placed the opening towards one end, so it is easier to get the pillow in, especially since these have a foam center and are stiffer than the other throw pillows.

Tutorial for sewing a simple bolster pillow.  From Jewels at Home.

Tutorial for sewing a simple bolster pillow. Place the opening at one end, so it’s easier to stuff.

Contrasting back pillow covers
I made these the same way as the basic pillow, but it has a whole new look when you use two different fabrics. Did this deserve its own section heading? I’m not sure.

Add interest to your pillows with a contrasting fabric on the back.  Tutorial for sewing simple cushion covers.  From Jewels at Home.

Add interest to your pillows with a contrasting fabric on the back.

Room View of New Living Room Pillows

Tutorial on sewing decorative cushions.  From Jewels at Home.

Living room with DIY pillow forms and cushion covers.  Tutorial from Jewels at Home.

New living room cushions with sewing tutorial.  From Jewels at Home.

New living room cushions with sewing tutorial.  From Jewels at Home.

The living room is almost complete.  I’m considering adding a ribbon border to these turquoise bolsters.  Are they too plain?  Or would a ribbon border be too busy?

Tutorial for sewing pillow forms and cushion covers.  From Jewels at Home.

I’m considering adding a ribbon border to these bolsters.

That’s it for now. I wanted to use more of the creative ideas I had collected, but I still plan to sew some pillows for our guest room-craft studio, so you’ll see more pillows in a post coming up soon.

Hope you’re inspired to do this easy project that adds so much personality and comfort to your room.

“Jewels”