Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Vintage Swing Becomes New Again By Making New Cushions

A few months back, we just needed to get away from the farm, from the heat.  So we took a ride to our favorite antiquing spot. Willows.  There are two shops there, Gathering Better Junque and Gathering Marketplace across the street.  Owners Holly Myers and Doris.
Holly happened to be working in the store so we were able to have a great chat about what is happening in the antique world; her twice a year Vintage Country Flea Market which is happening this fall, October 17th in Willows; and small time life.
As we walked into her outside garden area, we almost tripped over a very old metal frame to a hanging swing.  It is the type that looks like an old metal box spring to a single bed.  It had turned out Holly had just brought it into the shop and was figuring out how to hang it and make into a bed.  It has a back to it that is adjustable to lie flat with swing seat.  I have seen a few of these in my life in old houses.  My understanding is that during pre-air conditioning days, people used their big outside porches to sit in the evenings to stay cool as the house was too hot.  Especially Victorian two story houses.  Some houses screened in their porches and slept outside when the weather was so hot and humid in a single bed or even a swing.  I think that idea is so appealing.
So the swing ended up in our truck and into Frank's garage for a revamping of all the mechanics and a good cleaning.
I went to Joann's and found the perfect, vintage looking, stripped awning type fabric, and it happened to be made from Sunbrella which makes it weather proof too. Armed with my 40% off coupon, 10 yards was purchased.
Because there was not a scrap of fabric on the swing, I had to improvise as to what I thought it may look like.  I did cruise through Pinterest but never did find an exact photo of a swing like ours.  I remember seeing old swings that had a scalloped edging.  So I made it like a bottom sheet under the cushion.

The next step I took was to make yards and yards of welting/piping.  You cut strips diagonally, sew pieces together, then sew a cording in middle.

I sewed the scalloped edging to a flat piece.
Frank cut the foam piece to fit the bottom cushion.  Have you noticed how expensive foam rubber is?  I also purchased some soft batting that I covered the top and bottom of the foam rubber, not the sides.
The fabric is a stripe and I wanted the stripe to run up and down.  Fabric was 54", the cushion top and bottom are 74" long.  So each cushion top and bottom (x 2 sides) had to have panels MATCHED and added to each end.  That probably took the longest time of everything.
With a side 3" panel cut; the top and bottom pieces cut; I placed the welting between top and side panel, sewed it all around.  Then I sewed the bottom piece with welting to the top pieces, leaving an opening.
 Frank and I wrestled putting the foam piece into the cushion cover and finally got it fitting great.
On to the top cushion.  You notice from the photo of the foam piece, it has a curved edge that mirrors the metal frame of the swing.  I cut pieces the same as bottom, having to add pieces on each end so stripe pattern went top to bottom; added the side panels and welting; sewing all pieces together.  This time, the cushion cover went over foam rubber and batting much easier, I think because we used a 2" foam piece for the back.  The seat cushion had a 3" foam rubber made from a firmer type of foam.

Frank hung up the swing on our old, old walnut tree, with the help of Annie and Bella.  They thought because we kept looking up, we were seeing a squirrel up there, they hate squirrels!!!
The project done.  It only cost???  Well, way, way too much, would have been lots cheaper to have purchased new but we gave an old, old swing new life.
If only we had time to relax and enjoy it!!!
Come back soon.

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