It was tolerable this weekend, in the mid 50s, which is a little chilly, but definitely tolerable for those of us who survived the polar vortex. I like to think in relative terms: It was 100 degrees warmer than it was a few days this winter. See? That sounds better.
I continued work on the patio swing and canopy, and progress was made. That canopy is gigantic, and unlike the original, I had to do it in two pieces. Since it has a seam down the center and I wanted to make it a semi-flat felled seam, it took a little ingenuity to figure out how to position myself to actually sew the topstitch.
Sewing standing up is very awkward for me, but it’s what I had to do to get it done. I positioned my tables end to end because I needed the length to support all the fabric. I put the sewing machine in the middle of the table, and stood to the side with my foot on the pedal and slowly fed it through. It worked out fine, but like I said, it felt very awkward. Midway through, I noticed the machine was shifting on the table so I found some of that no-slip grippy rug stuff and cut a piece and stuck it under the machine, and that worked great.
I hemmed the main canopy pieces and bound one of the cushion overhang pieces. The nice thing about working with Phifertex sling fabric is that it will remember creases pretty well, so to do the double hems (which honestly, it didn’t need, but whatever), I just drew a line at 1” up from the edge and folded up once to that line, then folded again and clipped it in place.
The original cushions had the foam sewn into each baffle, and I don’t like that. It’s so permanent. So, I planned to install zippers in each baffle or channel so that the foam can be taken out and it will be much easier for me to assemble. I had visions of myself wrestling with 74” long channels stuffed with foam and it wasn’t pretty. So, I thought I’d put zippers down the center of the bottom pieces of the cushion.
To do this, I needed to get a hella lot of zipper chain. I laid out the zipper chain on the bottom of one of the pieces to estimate how long I wanted to cut it. I did not want any part of the zipper teeth to be in the seam allowance, so I added tabs (1.5” x 2.5”) to each end of the zipper chain.
After installing the sliders, I put a tab right sides together with the chain, lining up the raw edges and sewed down at 1/2” seam allowance. Then, I flipped the tab back over on itself and topstitched down. When these are installed, the tab will serve as the stop and there won’t be any chain in my seam allowances, making it easier to sew through.
Well that’s it for this weekend, looks like the weather is going to start warming up this week, so I look forward to a lot more progress next weekend!