I love outdoor furniture because it means the weather is finally mild enough to sit outside and use them. All of our outdoor furniture is the heavy hearty type that can survive the elements during Chicago winters. That kind of durability is terrific for the lifetime of the chair but bad for its comfort. Naturally you need cushions to soften that durability. I do not make my outdoor cushions, I buy them at Homegoods where they are quite reasonable. But that doesn't mean there is no sewing involved, nope, there is because keeping outdoor cushions in place requires your sewing skills.
Let me explain. If you use these reasonably priced cushions they will look super cute when the weather is great and will feel good to sit upon. However, when there is wind these cute cushions will blow around your deck and yard and make you crazy. I am speaking from experience here as I am on my second set. I have found that really expensive outdoor cushions have ties, the bargain cuties do not.
Here are the even cuter than the first set new cushions. Perfect except for the tendency to take flight in the wind which I solved last time by attaching ribbons to tie them on the chairs. As I was buying them I thought, I wish they had ribbon here at Homegoods, now I have to run up to Joanne Fabrics. And then before my very eyes, packs of ribbon appeared. They were so darn cute I bought two of them.
Each cushion needs a long length of ribbon in the middle of each side. That's ten pieces of ribbon. When I went to sew the first set on a cushion I discovered that my beloved Bernina could not sew the ribbon. The cushion was too thick and the machine too wide, I absolutely could not get the fabric under the pressure foot. What to do?
Featherweight to the rescue! My husband gave me a Featherweight three years ago for Christmas and I adore the little cutie. If you haven't heard of these light Singer sewing machines, hang in there, I plan on doing a whole post on them in the near future. As the machine is smaller the left side allowed for the cushion to fit and have its ribbon sewn on.
Once I figured out what I had to do, the cushions didn't take that long and I actually felt pretty darn clever that I was able to problem solve so effectively because I am lucky enough to have such a great little machine.
I sew on quite a long bit of ribbon because it is inexpensive, I even used the ribbon that tied the cushions together. Once I have them tied on the chair, I clip them. I am never quite sure how much ribbon I will use as I slip in through bars and tie it in bows. The new cushions look great in the chair.
Are you thinking that it looks dark on the balcony? Then you are very observant because it was nighttime before I got the sewing machine problem solved, therefore it had gotten dark. Sometimes I just have to finish a project or I can't go to sleep. (Yes, I am a bit obsessed.)
I am also pleased with how the bench turned out. The set I replaced was just not my favorite and every year I've been cruising the cushions at Homegoods, waiting for something in shades of blue. This was my lucky spring and since I adore them so much, I shouldn't have to sew any more ribbons for a long time.
My balcony is protected and so visible from the front that I like to leave them out all the time. On the back deck, I just put them out when we use the chairs so no ribbon sewing needs back there. I took the pictures on an angle so you could see the famous ribbons in action.
Sewing just a bit of ribbon can anchor your cushions for a summer of comfortable seating. In life sometimes a stitch in time really does save nine, or a cushion!
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