Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Home Depot Fabric Department

Not a lot of selection, but just what I wanted for a home dec project.

My introduction to the idea of sewing on a paint drop cloth occurred when a new sewing friend showed her sweet embroidered pillow at a recent ASG neighborhood group meeting. And then my BSF told me she had heard of people using this stuff for upholstery. And now I remember that Diane Eriscon and others have talked about transforming used drop cloths into totes and other pieces.

It took two 6x9 drop cloths to cover my sun room love seats - one drop cloth each. Total investment = $20. Not really. I still ended up replacing the back cushions rather than using the pillow forms from the original. And there were the zippers and thread. My first time with cut-to-length zips. Love that!

Oh and the new rug.

DH was very sweet when he saw this in progress. He said, "I don't want to spoil your excitement, but have you noticed the color?" So diplomatic.

Yes, it's white, but entirely washable and if it gets too bad, then I will get the grands to help me decorate the fabric with fabric paint. That might be great fun, actually.

Final room - still a little cluttered but it is a playroom for the grands and it gets quite a lot of use.

Here is how it looked before:

I had just started replacing one side when I decided to take a picture!

This canvas-like fabric is a blend of polyester and cotton. After I washed and dried it, I liked the feel of it very much, despite the fact that I am normally snobbish about (not) sewing with poly-cotton blends. It could not have too much polyester because it took high heat and steam just great. In fact, it was kind of fun to sew.

Usually when I start a home dec sewing project, I end up bored or overwhelmed or both. Even simple curtains can be so BIG.

These pieces - 4 seat cushions and 4 back cushions - were not terribly overwhelming. And now that it is complete, I am above average happy with the result.

New love seats:

Old love seats:

And of course, I learned some things:
  • Harvest the old fabric to use as a pattern.
  • Use fusi-web to secure the zips before sewing them in. The existing covers had centered zips so I went with that technique. This is not my favorite zipper insertion but it was so easy using the fusi-web and no pins.
  • Rather than individual zips, I bought an upholstery-weight roll of cut-your-own zips.
  • Wrap a dry-cleaning bag around the cushion before putting it inside the new cover. Brute force was still required but so much easier. And the bag is easy to remove by simply ripping it.
I will cheerfully return to sewing garments now. I so admire those who do this kind of sewing regularly.


  1. Drop clothes, I'm hitting myself in the head!!! What a great idea. Love it! And your little spark of color and pattern are absolutely the perfect touch.

  2. Wow, do I ever hate auto correct, that should have been drop cloths, but then when I paint, my clothes do become drop cloths too ;)

  3. Interesting fabric! It would give some peace of mind knowing it's not an expensive upholstery fabric, and it looks so neat and clean. I sewed several cushion covers for my husband before we were married. Piping, the whole nine yards. His dogs sat on the two couches and left them covered in hair. I think I enjoyed the home dec phase of mine, but do find it boring work, now.

  4. Very creative, and they look very fresh!

  5. Oh pretty! I like the idea of using painter drop cloth, in theory. I am not comfy with home dec sewing.

  6. This is such a great idea!!
    I would love to use it on my outdoor swing cushion.
    Did you use specific needles and presser feet that you found helpful?

    1. No special needles or presser feet. I did switch to polyester thread, rather than my usual 100% cotton. I thought the poly would be stronger. HTH!

  7. Very nice! I regard home dec as a necessary evi, and I'm always glad when it's done and that my efforts improved the look of my home, as yours did!

  8. that looks great! I have to admit; I love white, for everything! so I've eyed off paint drop clothes a few times in a longing way when I visit the hardware, but never yet taken the plunge! Maybe I should follow your good example :)