Welting question

2ajsmamaApril 12, 2010

Hi, I just had a thought and figured I'd run it by you experienced seamstresses/upholsterers. I am making cushions for my porch furniture, don't have very much fabric, and can't find a coordinating fabric I like. So could I "cheat" welting on a box cushion by making the seam allowance on the top (and maybe bottom) seat piece(s) a little larger, "pinching" some clothesline along the edge (leaving enough on the outside to sew the seam), sewing it all around so it kind of stands up, *then* attaching the boxing/gusset on the outside of the clothesline? Kind of like this, skipping the separate steps of making the bias strips, covering the cord with the fabric, and then sewing it on. Starting with the "attaching piping", see how seat piece is right-side up, I'd put clothesline under following the edge, kind of fold it in towards the middle of the cushion, use the zipper foot on the outside and leave plenty for SA on the outside. Then continue as in the tutorial to attach the gusset, using the sewn-in piping as a guide.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cushions with welting

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nicole__

Hello, and yes that is actually done on professional pieces....but in your case, with stripes...the stripes will line up on the welting. If you don't mind, I don't mind. :0)

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 8:20PM
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2ajsmama

I tried it on an old napkin I was going to make into a pillow, it looked horrible, no way to hide the stitching on top. I found a site that sewed the cords into the top and bottom of the boxing, but the instructions are pretty bad. This *might* look better since the only stitches that should be visible would be on the boxing, that might not be seen from the top (would be under the top welt) but you might see the one on top of the bottom welt. So I guess I'll have to experiment some more, maybe actually make another cushion, might do top of boxing and edge of bottom seat panel?

I'd like the stripes to line up on the welting.

Here is a link that might be useful: self-welted cushion

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 9:28PM
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nicole__

Welting ......generally speaking, is cut on the bias. So the stripes do "not" line up....but sewing is an art. YOUR THE ARTIST!!!! Anything goes! Have fun! Whatever you decide it will look great!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 10:39AM
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2ajsmama

Ok, tried it on a scrap and a napkin. Folded the scrap over the clothesline, sewed it with cord to right of zipper foot and needle on the right, wished I could have gotten closer. Put right side of scrap to right side of napkin (damask), flipped the "right" side of scrap (boxing) so it was right side to right side of the napkin, tried to sew in the seam allowance with the cord/boxing underneath, the wrong side of the napkin facing up, cord and fabric to the left, seam allowances to the right, switched foot to the left side to try to get close to cord.

It didn't get as close as I liked, and I caught the "right" side of the boxing a little at the end (see where my thumb is). At least it hides the stitching.

Do I want to catch it like this and make a fold under the welting to hide the stitching? Or make sure I don't catch the fold (see where my index finger is) so dirt doesn't collect in there? I don't know how these are usually done.

Here's the top - I'd like to get a little closer here, any suggestions?

Overall, how does it look? It's going to be tough I think to sew the cord into the boxing, then try to follow the cord *and* have the cord follow the curves of the corners when I sew it to the seat panels (esp the 2nd one). Should I just forget about the cord and make all the cushions like my test cushion?

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 1:30PM
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2ajsmama

OK, I'm "thinking out loud" here, also trying to document what I did. I think I figured it out. I ripped out the seam, separated the pieces, and this time I laid the boxing with the cord on top of the "seat" (damask) with the cord to the left, the "right" (outside) facing up to the right of the edge of the "seat". The messy stitching at the top of the pic is from backstitching when I inserted the cord - the "right" side was the bobbin side and it's not pretty. Put the zipper foot on the left, put the foot right on top of the cord and slowly sewed right along the cord. The stitching still shows on the boxing, but this got it close (bobbin side) to the seat.

Then, just for giggles, after taking these pics, I went back and folded the free edge of the "boxing" over the cord again and stitched as close as I could, forming a fold on the underside (the part that will be inside the cushion).

This was like "catching a fold" that I did by mistake earlier, hides the (double) row of stitching on the edge of the welting, but as I said may catch dirt. Probably would look really nice pressed, but would be a bear to do on the second edge since by then the seat panels top and bottom would be attached and I'd be folding the entire (let's say bottom seat panel is the last to be sewn on, then I'd have to fold the top) seat cushion and boxing over to fold it. Maybe I would do this just on the top, and either do no welting, or let stitches show, on the bottom of the boxing? Only place anyone would see those stitches would be bottom edge of front gusset. What do you think?

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 2:41PM
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nicole__

To be quite honest....it all turns out fine, any way you do it. :0) Just so long as it's piped. I remember your asking on another thread what happens to the striped fabric on the sides...so here's a pic(black plaid chair). The blue wingback chairs were piped from the factory with the piping sewn in front, under the fabric, there's no seam. The top piece continues down the side and forms another piece of piping for the bottom. I've never tried this. :0)When I put the seat cushions back together for the wingback chairs, I sewed seperate piping(not cut on a bias, to mimick the look of folding the fabric around the piping(because I replaced the fabric on the bottom of the cushion with a solid blue fabric. (One of the cushions was missing. I wanted them to both match, So I got the same look as the factory)

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 8:55PM
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2ajsmama

So did you use this "self-welt" technique where the cording is sewn by folding the fabric used for the front edge under? I could use a closeup of the underside of the black plaid cushion. Could you give more details?

And then (from other thread) you used separate small strips of piping for the sides?

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 10:39PM
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nicole__

The techniques for piping are "endless". There are stated reasons why you "have" to do it one way or another, it wears better or it turns the corner better. I do what I need to do to get the job done. :0) When I started running out of the plaid fabric I used some very small pieces, cut on the bias, you'd never know. I was just encouraging you to use any technique "you" like. Sewing is "artistic". You can do whatever "you" want as long as the finished product looks good "to you". The online tutorials you've posted have it all.....I don't have anything to add except encouragement! :0)

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 11:26AM
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2ajsmama

Thanks - I took a quick look at the covers for our FR couch this AM. They're made using the self-welt method with the fold - I can only see 2 raw edges (boxing and seat) not 3 so it's not separate piping. I may pull one apart (rip in the back from a staple - store gave me replacement cover I haven't put on yet) and reverse-engineer it. Thanks for the encouragement!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 12:02PM
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2ajsmama

OK, I pulled off the cover and clipped a few stitches by the run - they did the self-welt, looks like they folded (and pressed?) a 1/2" fold over the piping, didn't stitch the piping in first, but used a twin needle to stitch 2 rows to attach the piping/boxing to the bottom of the seat. I'm not that good and don't have a twin needle, so I'll stick with sewing the clothesline in first, attaching it the seat, and then making 1/4" fold like I did on my practice piece (napkin) and stitching it down again.

I pulled stitches out of the end of my practice piece and measured - took an extra 1.25" total to cover the piping and for the 1/4" fold (doubled so it's 1/2" just for the fold), give myself some wiggle room so say add 1.5" (plus normal seam allowance) for the self-welt. So cut my boxing strips 3" bigger than I normally would (3" foam plus 1" for seam allowances) to do this, means 7 inches to cover 3" thick cushion. I should be able to get that much out of my striped fabric, even if I can't get it in one long piece to cover front and sides back to the closure, I could make it separate front and side pieces like they did on my sofa and just have 2 seams on each side, 1 near the front and 1 near the closure.

Then I can use the solid color for the bottom of the cushion - if I have enough stripe I can even get fancy and do the first (front) few inches of the bottom in the stripe just in case the cushion overhangs the chair a little, like they did on the sofa (thin green material on bottom, top, sides and a panel on the bottom in microfiber). I might even make that front panel on the bottom wrap around the sides of the bottom a little where the front edges of the sides might show, and put the piping on that, then sew that to the bottom seat panel (won't worry about piping on the bottom back where it won't show). Seat cushions definitely would not be reversible this way, but that's OK.

Thanks for letting me run this by you all.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 1:12PM
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nicole__

See.....if professionally a self welt is done, then why do "we" have to welt another way? :0) Kidding....
Sounds like your doing a GREAT job.....!!!!! Would love to see pics of the finished product.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 4:37PM
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sheesh

Dear ajsmama,

STOP THINKING AND START SEWING!!! The Queen of England is not going to examine the cusions, and neither is anyone else. You're not going to submit them to the State Fair for judging. Honestly, piping is not that hard, it is something you can do. It doesn't matter how long or how short your bias strips are, when the cord is in it and sewn to the cushion, you cannot tell.

You're overthinking this, dear, but I understand; I've done this kind of overthinking myself. Until you actually do it, and maybe make some mistakes, you won't really understand how it's done. So, as Nike says, "Just do it!"

Sherry

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 5:29PM
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2ajsmama

Sherry - I'm an engineer (or was before I became a SAHM) so I *have* to think of every detail, design it, maybe build a prototype or 2 before we go into production LOL!

Busy day today, so's tomorrow, and as I posted on Home Dec, going to start some PJs for DD tomorrow night so maybe I can do 1 cushion on Sat?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 8:39PM
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nicole__

Sherrmann.....she was an engineer, I was a programmer. We're used to working with other people in a group to obtain a "group" result. She's just going through the process. :0) :0) kidding guys......

DH thinks sewing & upholstery is too much trouble, he says....then he hands me his torn silk sweater. :0)

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 9:11PM
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2ajsmama

Nicole - you hit it on the head! I'm just doing my research and trying to find a mentor (or 2) right now before I start designing my project, want to make sure it's suitable for large-scale production not just a handmade expensive one-of-a kind prototype LOL. (JK since they're all handmade but I really do have to take production methods into account since I'm making more than 1 and don't want to have a terrible struggle).

Silk sweater I wouldn't touch. But DD's Build A Bear animal she made on Sat came undone at the seam the first day, I don't know how the woman finished it off after DD stuffed it but I don't think she even knotted the end. I used a blind stitch to close it, can't even see it. I draw the line at socks - white cotton socks turn into stain rags, others get thrown out.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 9:38PM
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nicole__

DH bought silk sweaters to wear under his wool ones, to work construction. :0)

I do think my projects drive him a little nuts. I bought a plain ivory duvet cover & I'm thinking of copying this one, in tan. ??? When you can sew, everything becomes a project!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 10:15PM
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2ajsmama

Ok, so more like a silk undershirt. I bought one for DD at Goodwilll.

I've quilted before (baby quilt for DS, repaired DH's) but the piecing on that, keeping lines straight and spacing just so with long lines on a queen (?) quilt would be challenging!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 7:01AM
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sheesh

Oy. OK, I get it. This is why it takes so long to get a road built, I guess. Me? I'd have had the cushions cut, piped and finished last week, and they'd be perfect!

I do have a lot more sewing experience than you guys do, but, still, it seems to me there comes a time when you actually have to DO it. (I understand having life and other projects take precedence) I always read and reread instructions before I begin, even for things I've made before. I refer to the instructions as I go, and sometimes get puzzled. But, to be trite (and not snotty), I don't reinvent the wheel.

Anyway, I think of sewing projects as pleasant things I love doing, with results I am proud of. I do get vexed, even now, but for me it's the hands-on doing - going into production - that helps me understand the project. I often make muslins (prototypes) before I make the actual garment, so I understand that function. You were right to try the cording methods you did, but, for me, I'd have to get to the project before I lost my enthusiasm (or the season passed!)

I have a gown in my sewing room right now that I have to alter because the bridesmaid gained weight, and I'm stalling because I don't like that kind of work, but I promised. I have no idea yet how I'm going to make the garment bigger!

I really, really hope you enjoy your experience. I am visualizing you fretting, measuring, stewing, rethinking, measuring again, reconsidering your first thoughts, agonizing over the outcome.....I'm waaay overthinking your situation! For me, it's creative and enjoyable. I hope it is for you, too.

Sherry

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 12:15PM
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2ajsmama

Well, when you don't have "instructions" you ask for help and/or try to puzzle it out on your own. That's what I've been doing in between "life" (kids and house). I haven't actually put that much time into "research" even though I've been posting about the type of cushions for almost a week now. It's hard to get anything done in 4.5 hours a day that DD is at school, when I have to do housework, shopping, and other "projects" (like getting vehicle fixed) in that time too. I have even less time on weekends, and next week is school vacation so if I don't get to these this weekend (hope my mom can take DD til Sunday PM) it'll probably have to wait a whole 'nother week.

Off to take a shower now - went shopping after the kids left, bought a eunomyous (sp?) and was scoping out places to plant it, watering the other plants, etc. when I got back.

Baseball practice and my first attempt (with help!) at cutting and piecing from a pattern tonight!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 1:43PM
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sheesh

I wasn't being critical at all. If anyone knows about housework, a job and kids, and scheduling it all, it's me! I have six of 'em! We had only one car when most of them were little, so I drove hub to work so I could drive the kids around after school. Believe me, I admire your willingness to try something you're not familiar with.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 2:01PM
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2ajsmama

I was just thinking that if you would have had all 5 cushions done this week, either you don't work, don't have kids, and/or sew at night or weekends. Even if any/all of those are the case now, with 6 kids you remember how it was!

I'm a SAHM but I don't stay home much (except this Mon and Tues when I was without a car but Mon was spent on phone trying to get Ford to pay for the repair, plus housework, Tues was a little bit at dealer - my mom picked me up - and then DD came home, I was doing laundry all day). Wed was all AM at dealer, run DH to airport, take shower, then DD came home, help her with homework, run to store (in DH's car)and get pizza, DS came home, eat, drop him off at cousins, take DD to practice. Tonight is his practice, DD and I are going to my aunt's to learn how to sew ;-). I have no idea what to do for dinner tonight since we have to leave 20 minutes after DS gets home. PB&J? Cereal?

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 2:49PM
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pris

I understand the engineers mind. I was married to one for 16 years. LOL Just let me say this. There is NOTHING about sewing that someone else has not already engineered for you. All you have to do is find the proper instructions and/or instructor and begin.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 3:06PM
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2ajsmama

That's why I'm posting on this forum and searching the Internet. Though I agree nothing beats hands-on experience!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 3:12PM
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shadylady2u

The self welt cushion cover you have is made in a factory, with a special machine, so don't even try imitating it. It's also not easy to do this self welt at all, but if you really want to, then do it on the boxing strip rather than the top and bottom pieces. You really don't need to cut the cording pieces on the bias, but with a stripe you should because the design element looks nicer.
Honestly, I think you should just forget the cording since they're outdoor cushions. It'll look fine without it and will be a lot easier for you. Just make sure to match up the stripes on the front of the boxing strip with the top and bottom cover.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 4:24PM
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2ajsmama

Like my prototype? Oh, well, something else to think about now (I was kind of excited about trying welting).

I just found out that baseball practice is canceled tonight, so my aunt said come over Sunday morning instead to start pajamas. That means we have a free evening, DS finished his homework on the bus, so either we do something together or I stick the kids in front of the TV and start the cushions (or wait til morning). Now, to welt or not to welt, that *is* the question!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 4:34PM
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shadylady2u

If you really want to add cording, then do so. You just sound nervous about it which is why I suggested leaving it off.
But you'll find it at lot easier to add a separate cord, rather than the self welt.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 5:01PM
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