This week's challenge was entitled "Best In Show". I've had a couple of projects waiting in the wings for my pup, Zsi-Zsi (a new dog bed and placemat) and I decided to tackle both of them this week. If you don't have pets, don't fret, both projects have other applications.
First up, the dog bed. This is a good project for beginner sewers. I made Zsi-Zsi's bed out of scraps of outdoor fabric (approximately 1 yard) and an old patio chair cushion. I used the cushion as the filler for the bed and sewed a cover out of the fabric. You could use this same technique to make washable covers for any pillow or cushion.
Step 1: Cut fabric. Measure the height, width and depth of your cushion. Add 1 to the depth measurement (ie. if depth = 3", 3"+1" = 4") and add that number to the height and width measurements (i.e. if H=15" and W=20"; 15"+4"=19" and 20"+4" = 24") . Cut out one large rectangle with your new height and width measurements.
Step 2: Divide the new width by 2 (24"/2"=12") and add 5 to that number (12"+5"=17"). Cut out two rectangles with the new width measurement and the old height measurement (H=19" and W=17"). Fold and sew the raw edge along oneside (the height edge, 19") of each of these pieces. Lay the pieces on the floor (right side up), over lapping the pieces so that the height and width is equal to the first rectangle you cut (19" x 24"). The edges you stiched will be facing in, overlapping each other. Place the first rectangle you cut (right side down) on top the overlapping rectangles. Pin all of the sides and sew closed (around parimeter of rectangle) on the sewing machine. When turned inside out the overlapping edges will create an opening for the cushion - but don't turn it inside out yet!
Step 3: To give the cushion some dimension turn each corner so that the seams that make the corner are laying flat against each other, this will create a point. Sew a straight line perpendicular to the seam to create a triangle, this line should equal the depth of your cushion (4' in our example). Repeat this process for each corner and cut off the tip of the triangle above the seam. If you know the terminology for this please add it to the comments - I'd love to link to a video of someone demonstrating this.
Step 4: Turn the cover inside out and place the cushion inside of it.
I made Zsi-Zsi's placemat with a scrap of oil cloth from this project (actually the table topper in this picture met an untimely demise thanks to my three-year-old's scissors so I made a new one with polka dotted oil cloth). To make the placemat I traced an old placemat, then traced an empty yogurt container to make the scalloped edge. I cut it out and put it right to use. You could do the same thing on a larger scale and use it as a high chair splat mat.