I know some of you are wondering where Tate ran off to. Maybe I stuffed him in one of my many cushions? This blog has sort of become the Dani Stewart show but don’t worry. We’ve run into to some complications with the bowsprit and I promise Tate will enlighten you soon.

For now however the show must go on!

A little over a week ago I called out into the deep and vast canyon that is the internet looking for color suggestions and surprisingly found almost every color recommended in the comments! It’s really neat to me how a random group of people could offer up such diverse opinions. Well your suggestions were taken to heart and shortly after I picked a color!

Tate has declared himself color-blind and exempt from all matters concerning interior decorating (unless it involves pink) so I’m super appreciative of the responses! Like one big happy decorating family, sniff sniff. Everybody got their scissors and pencils? Great.

Let us begin the Cushion Chronicles:

If you haven’t noticed I’ve been pretty darn excited about revamping our foam, and now, FINALLY I have made an Ultrasuede slipcover with the Ambiance fabric, color Doe 3851.

Choosing this color was difficult and risky as it appeared to be the lightest one. Most of you warned me against it but I like taking risks (Elliot). Too many times I’ve gone the “safe route” and wound up with more drab brown on brown than one person should ever have to handle. No, this time around I’m bold, daring, risk aware and loving it!

The material actually looks darker and more tan in real life, for which I am thankful.
ultrasuede fabric colors

I always knew I was going to slipcover our Sunbrella cushions in the salon. The foam is layered and all together a real pain to remove if I ever want to wash the covers, which I will. No, just as Tate needs Gforce unbreakable incredible boards for the bowsprit, I need slipcovers. But what fabric to use? After tons of research I’ve concluded that Ultrasuede must be the best, however I nearly gagged when I saw the list price at $90/yard. I would never ever pay $90/yard if I needed more than one, which I do. So I took to Ebay to get a feel for what was out there.

I know some people are scared and skeptical of Ebay, but I love it. I’ve been a member for about 10 years now and have bought all kinds of great authentic items at low low prices. I found the seller “pestycat” and her separate website Joyce Fabrics where she sells “remnants” of Ultrasuede Ambiance (upholstery line) left over from furniture manufacturers in North Carolina at a fraction of the cost.

Now when buying things on sale you can’t be too picky. You have to check the Toray swatches for color as the pictures on Ebay aren’t accurate and the color selection/quantities are limited, but I was lucky enough to spot 6 yards of the Doe color on Ebay. Before making the purchase I contacted the seller to see if she had any more and by a chance of fate she was getting 3 more yards in a few days so I bought both the 6 yards and the 3 yards.

Can you believe I got 9 yards at $23/yard with free shipping? SUPER GREAT DEAL. The fabric arrived and it was magnificent and everything I had imagined. There’s no doubt in my mind this is the real deal but I am getting a actual swatch from Toray to compare if it will help someone else.

So check it out!
cushion before

After (The shoes are about the color of our wood interior for reference)
ultrasuede slipcover Doe color 01

Oh goody. So then how to cover them? I have never made slipcovers before and the thought redoing all the cushions was daunting to say the least. I tried other “easier” Charlie Brown methods to avoid the big cut and stitch. I cut off a small section and produced this, my shameful evidence:
slipcover idea

But my mom works with canvas and is just as stubborn as me. Finally I was convinced to let her show me how it’s done. She promised it would be easy. So how on earth do you cover 7 cushions with limited fabric now split in 3 different pieces/sizes?

First I took detailed measurements of each cushion SEAM TO SEAM and knew to add 1/2 inch to each and every side. Next I used Microsoft Visio to make a scaled drawing of each piece of fabric and each piece I knew I needed to cut for the cushions (original measurement plus 1/2 inch each side) and rearranged them until they all fit and looked easy to mark and cut. I’m good at Visio so opted for that any graphing program or simply pencil and paper will work. My mom said she sometimes cuts little pieces of graph paper then moves them around to make best use of the fabric.

Here is the outcome(Sorry it’s fuzzy, click for a better view):
Ultrasuede Slipcover Measurements

Alright! Looks like 9 yards will Just work. I made it up to my mom’s shop and she worked her magic. Basically we used a #19 needle with V92 thread, which was the smallest she had on the industrial machine although you can use a home machine with a #18 needle and Heavy Poly or Nylon Thread. We laid the fabric front side down and using the diagram above marked and cut out all the pieces then attempted to sew Cushion ONE.

I can’t really go into detail lest I reveal her trade secrets but pretty much we sewed a zipper down the middle of the bottom panel first which works great with the none fraying Ultrasuede, then sewed 3 pieces of the boxing together, then sewed that to the bottom panel. Next we sewed the top on and lastly the forth corner. Flip it right side out and Voila! A great slipcover that fits just right.

We even sewed webbing loops into the back seam to make it easy to hang, dry and also move. I sewed about 1/4 of this cushion and learned how to use the heavy duty canvas machine, which is awesome since I have so many canvas projects to tackle.

From idea to reality:
ultrasuede slipcover start
ultrasuede slipcover measuring
ultrasuede slipcover cutting 01
ultrasuede slipcovers cutout
ultrasuede slipcover boxing
ultrasuede slipcover zipper
ultrasuede slipcover Doe color
ultrasuede slipcover Doe hanging loop
ultrasuede slipcover completed

It really wasn’t that hard to make (easy to say when the Cushion Queen is running the show) and it came out perfect. The cover goes on and off easily and I actually love the color!! The Ultrasuede is truly luxurious and soft. I bet it will feel great on sun and wind burnt skin.

We cut it face down on a dirty floor, stepped on it with shoes, laid my wet hair on top and it remains totally unaffected. Hopefully it will hold up as good as they say it will but if not I can always give it a wipe down or wash and hang to dry. So far I give Ultrasuede two thumbs up.

Thanks mom for all your hard work. This Tuesday (Mardi Gras) we may finish the rest!