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Old 31-12-2011, 22:20   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Washington
Boat: 36' steel cutter
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Salon Cushion Redo


I'm recovering our 1980s salon cushions and, surprisingly, the foam is in great shape. We bought the fabric on a deep deep sale a few years ago, and I finally have space to do the job. My plan: deconstruct existing cushions and use pieces as a pattern for the new ones.

The fabric we purchased the Jo-Ann fabric as the store discontinued a line of really great Waverly Sun N Shade (or something like that) outdoor fabrics. It's similar to Sunbrella, but I believe a bit lighter in weight.

Having never done this--or anything beyond the most basic of machine sewing--I have questions:
  1. the old tweedy upholstery material has a sort of rubberized backing. Doesn't appear that it was waterproof, but wondering if anyone knows the purpose?
  2. in cutting new pattern pieces from the old ones, should I be concerned about the old material possibly having stretched over the years? Do I need to make any allowances for this?
  3. are there any issues when I sub with a significantly lighter weight material?
  4. If I wish to split the main settee cushion in two (1/3 and 2/3), for easier access to the two lockers beneath, should I be worried the gap will need velcro or snaps or something?
  5. I plan to eliminate the welted edging because it's not comfortable. Is this sort of thing only cosmetic, or does it serve another purpose?
  6. Should I be concerned about cover creep? I see mentions of buttons that help to prevent this but I think they'd be uncomfortable. Any other options?
Anything else I should know?

s/v Bluewater
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Old 01-01-2012, 20:14   #2
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Re: salon cushion redo

1.the "rubber" is there to beef up the quality of the material and provide some slip resistance and possibly wear better.
2. throw away the old pieces and pattern from the foam and add exactly 1" to each measurement (ex: if the foam top measures 24 x 24 the final piece should be 25 x 25). Do this for the top and bottom, but cut the side plates to exactly the same size (don't add the 1"). Then sew using a 1/2" seam allowance.
3.longevity (use 2. for patterning)
6.not if you use 2. This should provide a snug cover.

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Old 01-01-2012, 22:29   #3
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I recovered our v-berth cushions in the summer. Don Casey in his 2nd edition of This Old Boat has very detailed directions for cockpit cushions, which worked perfectly for even our odd shaped cushions.
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:11   #4
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Re: Salon Cushion Redo

The easiest way was to have my mom make the covers. Now I would ask my wife I just don't sew.

But personally I never ever use the old foam. Foam seems to last and then break down very quickly. Use the old foam to cut a new foam. It will not be exact so use the new foam to make the pattern.

I used old foam once in a car I restored. It looked and smelled fine. But when I was done there was a mystery smell. I finally pulled the seats and replaced the foam and the smell was gone.
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