Nothing like finishing projects at 5 am! This time it's patio cushion covers once again! Each cushion is made of water repellant polyester fabric, 2" thick Nu-Foam, and 2 layers of 1" thick polyester batting. These suckers are gigantic; the smallest being 48 x 17.5 x 3" and the largest at 61 x 18.5 x 3".
This is my first time making covered buttons and 2nd time using upholstery thread. I broke my sewing machine beyond repair thanks to the super strong nylon thread and have learned many important lessons from this.
1. Fabric Tack glue is one of the few things that will form a rigid, waterproof seal on outdoor fabrics. Fray Check and other alcohol/water based sealants bead and roll off fibers. It takes a full 24 hours for a Fabric Tack dry, but all the button covers are now fray free and weather resistant.
2. Use razor blades on foam. Box cutter, 20 cent utility blades, etc. Avoid shears.
3. Cut side panels on the bias so they'll stretch with the foam when people sit on them.
4. Upholstery thread was never intended for use on home sewing machines. Industrial machines highly recommended. I've learned the hard way. R. I. P. White 1700 machine
5. If you are STILL planning to sew furniture with upholstery thread anyway, do yourself some favors:
A) Buy a pack of denim or leather needles.
100/16 worked well because of the large eye and thick shaft. Smaller needles can't handle the super thick thread - friction through the eye will cause THREAD UNRAVELING, needle snapping, and all order of bobbin snags behind the case. Did I mention that the unraveled thread likes to collect in the tension gauge? A toothpick and floss may help. I ran through 4 needles and 18 bobbin case readjustments over the course of 2 jumbo cushion projects, so beware of an impending NIGHTMARE with plastic cased sewing machines.
B) Set your thread tension between 3.5-2 and stitch length to 3 for medium thickness fabrics. Never attach thick interfacing or sew 6+ layers of said fabric.
Forcing your machine at higher thread tensions will cause major snags and serious mechanical malfunctions. Both the White and Singer machines I used for this project appeared to handle a 4 because the stitches were embedded properly, but both became overworked and need oiling/tuning after 3 hours.
C) Invest in sharp snippers. Your thread cutter at the back of the presser foot lever will not cut the upholstery thread and your shears will dull quickly.
Those are my footnotes for today! Commissions are officially closed for August, but stay tuned for more Xenosaga and Venusaur photos in the upcoming weeks.