Do you believe in fate? Or do you believe life is a series of coincidences? The fabric on our new daybed makes me believe in fate! Never in a million years did I imagine the perfect fabric for my pirate-themed playroom would have “marine” in the name. How perfect is that for an underwater-themed room?! And, on top of that, the darkest blue in the fabric is an almost identical match to the blue I painted on the walls. It was meant to be!
I think some of you were skeptical when I placed this very modern, steel-based daybed in the playroom. It looked cold and uninviting, but I had a vision. The warm wood rolling storage crates were just the first step of the plan. They definitely warmed up the look, but I knew a new cover for the daybed would make this space amazing.
I hate to boast, but I kind of feel like this corner of my home should be in a magazine now (minus the fact that there is no good light in here for photography)! The new daybed cover brings this space to life! It completes the modern whimsical pirate look I imagined all along.
First things first, the fabric. I know you are dying to know what this gorgeous fabric is and where I got it. Well, the story starts years ago before we even started the basement project and conceived of this playroom. I first fell in love with this fabric print when Jonathan Adler was using it to upholster chairs. The print is so striking. It falls somewhere between a damask and an ikat, but it is all modern! I love the star like shapes in the brighter color. Oh, this fabric just makes my heart sing, and I knew someday this print would be mine.
A couple of months ago, I teamed up with OnlineFabricStore to recover the daybed. As I was browsing through their amazing selection, there it was…Robert Allen New Damask in Marine in 100% cotton home decor weight. It was the same print I fell in love with at the Jonathan Adler store years before (in Graystone), but in a colorway that was beyond perfect for the playroom. I could not place my order fast enough!
Once I found my dream fabric, I had to decide exactly how I wanted to cover the daybed cushion. The thing is, this is a very nice daybed from Room & Board. We will probably keep it forever, but it will probably not stay in a playroom for ever. The existing upholstery is in great shape, but too boring for the playroom. I did not want to permanently recover it. For a while, I thought of taking the easy way out and just covering it with a fitted twin bed sheet, since it is almost the same size. I just couldn’t disgrace these beautiful piece of furniture that way. I wanted to keep a tailored look.
With requirements like removable and tailored, I had my work cut out for me. I wanted the ease and removability of a fitted sheet, but the style of a well-upholstered piece. After a bit of brainstorming, I settled on creating a fitted sheet type cover, but adding a little something to make it special. The result looks like a custom upholstered piece, but I can pull it off just like a sheet for cleaning or to return the daybed to its original state. See…here is the underside:
It is the large self-welt detail on the top and bottom of the cushion that gives the cover an upholstered look. The good news is this method is even easier than creating a welting or piping. This cover was made with one piece of continuous fabric, cotton cording, and simple hand-quilting. It fits on the daybed like a fitted sheet and removes just as easily. I made my cover from new fabric, but the welting detail could be added to an existing cover, too.
- 54-60″ wide Fabric
- 1″ Cotton Cording (usually in the upholstery section of the fabric store)
- Thread to match fabric
- 5/8″ Elastic
- Sewing Machine and/or serger
Fabric and Notion Measurements:
This cover is made from one large piece of fabric. To cut the fabric the right size measure the width, length, and depth of your cushion. Then cut a piece of fabric that is:
(width + 2 times depth + 12″) x (length + 2 times depth + 12″)
My cushion measured 35″ wide, 73″ long, and 5″ deep. Based on those measurements, I cut my fabric piece to be 57″ wide (35″ cushion width + 2(5″ cushion depth) + 12″) x 95″ long (73″ cushion width + 2(5″ cushion depth) + 12″). My fabric was only 54″ wide, but with the selvedge it was 57″ total. The raw selvedge edges will end up on the underside of the cushion.
For the elastic you need about 1.5 x (length + width) of your cushion.
For the cotton cording you need 4 x (length + width) of your cushion.
Step by Step:
1. Cut a notch out of all four corners of your fabric. First, fold the fabric into fourths, so all four corners are together. Cut a notch out that measures the depth of your cushion + 6 inches. In the case of my 5″ depth cushion, I cut my notches 11 x 11″ square.
2. Finish the raw edges of your fabric. Since I had the selvedge on both long sides of my fabric, I only had to finish the two short ends. Either hem or use an overlock stitch. I used my serger to finish the raw edges.
3. Sew the notches together to form the corner of the cushion cover. To do this, start with your fabric face up.
Fold your fabric on the diagonal, until the two edges of the notch meet.
Stitch 1/4″ in from the edge or use an overlook stitch (shown here), to form the corner.
The finished corner will look like below. Repeat for the other 3 corners.
4. Create a casing around the entire bottom edge for the elastic. Do this by folding under the bottom edge and sewing 3/4″ in from the fold. Make sure to leave a 6″ opening in the seam to insert the elastic. Do not insert the elastic, yet.
5. Put the cover on the daybed cushion and ensure a good fit.
6. Remove the cushion cover and lay the cotton cording along the edge of the cushion top. Use a few straight pins, if necessary, to hold it temporarily in place. Put the cushion cover back on over the cotton cording. Remove the temporary pins and reinsert them from the top of the cover fabric, if necessary to hold the cotton cording in place.
7. Hand quilt the cotton cording onto the fabric. This sounds way more intimidating than it is. Thread your needle, pulling the thread through to meet the tail end (double thread). Knot the two tails together. Bring your needle up from the bottom of the fabric just above the cotton cording.
8. To stitch the cording in place, you need to make small stitches above and below the cording. Make sure along the way you do not catch the actual cushion underneath. It is easiest to put your needle through the back edge of the cording to avoid inserting it through the daybed cushion.
If you are right-handed, you will likely be most comfortable working from right to left.
First, angle your needle down at 45-degrees from right to left and insert it through the top back edge of the cotton cording (indicated by the dotted lines in the graphic below) and bring it out the bottom back edge of the cording.
Second, make a small stitch (about 1/8″) and re-insert the needle at the bottom back edge of the cording angled up at 45-degrees from right to left.
Third, make a small stitch (about 1/8″) and re-insert the needle at the top back edge of the cording angled down at 45-degrees from right to left.
Continue in this pattern all the way around the top cushion edge. Make sure you are positioning the cording under the fabric at the cushion edge as you go along. When your thread runs out, pull it through to the back, knot, and start a new thread.
This is what the finished cording looks like stitched on the inside of the cover:
While topside, it looks like this:
9. Insert the elastic in the casing on the bottom of the cover, before adding the cording to the bottom edge. This will ensure a nice tight fit. Attach a safety-pin to one end of the elastic and feed it through the casing starting at the 6″ opening in the seam. Feed it all the way around until you come out the other side of the opening. Pull the elastic tight and tie the two ends in a double knot to secure.
It will look just like a fitted sheet when you finish.
10. Insert the cotton cording for the bottom under the edge of the cover and push it into place at the bottom edge of the cushion cover.
11. Repeat step 8 to hand stitch the bottom cording in place. When you are done, you will have a self-welt effect on the top and bottom of your cushion.
Voila! An upholstered look that is easily removable…just like changing the sheets!
I took my youngest with me to shop for some new pillows to dress up the daybed and make it a cozy spot to snuggle and read. I used leftover fabric to make an easy envelope pillow cover for the large 26″ pillow in the back. The two turquoise pillows are Sanela velvet pillows covers from Ikea with some of my secret cheap pillow inserts. I made the yellow textured pillow from a body pillow cover I found on clearance at Target. And, the studded pillow was Jax’s pick. I normally don’t buy pillow covers, but at only $12 for a studded pillow cover with down insert, I was sold.
I love how the yellow pillow ties in with some of the yellow accents on the nearby gallery wall. And the pretty turquoise in the fabric coordinates with the DIY striped school-house light. Oh, how I love when a plan comes together!
A Favorite Fabric Source
Many have asked me to share my favorite sources for fabric and I have hesitated to do so. For any online retailer to be considered one of my favorites it has to not only have great products, but the website must be well designed and useable. Unfortunately, the second part escapes most online fabric stores. I am happy to share one favorite fabric source that gets it all right, OnlineFabricStore.net.
There are three issues I typically find when shopping online for fabric:
- Bad or small pictures of the fabric swatch.
- A large collection, but search and filters are poor making browsing the fabric collection impossible.
- Badly designed website, both aesthetically and functionally, with a very cluttered and confusing layout.
I love shopping OnlineFabricStore because they have:
- Large, clear pictures of the fabric both while browsing and on the individual product page.
- A vast collection with easy to use search and filters to make browsing enjoyable. My favorite filters are by color and by design. Everything under the geometric design category is my favorite!
- A clean, minimal, uncluttered website design that makes the fabrics stand out.
And, because they are so awesome, the lovely folks at Online Fabric Store are offering each of you a coupon to try it out for yourselves. Now through October 7th, get $5 Off orders over $50 (plus free shipping on orders over $50 within contiguous US) when you use code: TEALANDLIME5
Disclosure: OnlineFabricStore provided me with the fabric used in this post. The fabric selection, project, and all comments in this post are my own.