Saggy Couch Cushion Clinic.

It has the most ridiculous stuffing structure ever - microfiber covers, stuffed with popcorn like bits of wadding.  May be at one time it was a glorious one piece wadding, in shape of the cushion..  But, as it was, if I wanted to wash the cushion, I had to empty out it's contents into a giant trash bags getting it all over the house in the process.

And then there was the sag.  Since the cushion resembled loosely a potato sack, they lost their shape way before you ever leaned back on them.  And got worse from there.

We tried overstuffing them to cure the problem, and ended up with giant vienna sausages of cushions that ricocheted you across the room if you sat down too enthusiastically.   And no couch room for your butt.  Both not good things.   I set out to make some internal cushions, to hopefully hold the stuffing in a more rectangular shape, with the motto "it can't possibly make it worse".  May be at least smooth it out, so it doesn't look like I store vegetables in them.

Mr Snork inspected a lone couch cushion we found at Salvation Army and informed me we needed baffle channels in the internal cushions.    It would also help if we had 4 giant trash bags of premium down as opposed to JoAnn's grade stuffing, but sometimes finer things, like, say, AG dolls, or down of any grade are just out of my reach.   Still, their stuffing is better than a giant piece of foam, cut to shape (my back up plan), so I crossed my fingers and sewed the cushions out of double layers of some muslin I have about 200 yards of around.

There's a glimpse of the last remaining sad cushion, and two 'fixed cushions beside it'.  I am pretty pleased with the final outcome.  See how even the back of couch is showing?  It was really disgraceful.

The homemade cushions in background  seem to retain their cushion shape, lean back against the couch appropriately, and generally behave in a way a good cushion might.

I made the internal cushions 3" longer than that microfiber cover, that seems to fill them out nicely, following the Salvation Army cushion measurements.  I have no idea how channels are regularly sewn, so I made the top seam, on the wrong side, made the 3 channels, 7" each, and the remaining seams on the cushions are sewn on the outside.  The top seam makes the top of the cushion round, as opposed to boxy, and that way molds into whatever top seams the cushion cover has.  This is how the commercial cushion was made, so I copied it.
I was a little in love with the serger for finishing the outside seams.  I don't know that it's necessary for the inside cushion, what with it never seeing the light of day, ever, but it pleased me anyway.  I left one side machine basted closed, in case I want to get in there and add/take away/readjust stuffing.

The original cushions were 41" by 22" by an unspecified width, may be 4".. (shapeless, and all)   My inserts were cut at 43" x 21.5 x 6.5, with half inch seam allowances on all sides.  Since the top seam is traditional "turn inside out" type, to lay flat at tops of cushions and not show, I added 3.25" on each side of the cushion to the top, plus seam allowance, to make room for the ~6.5 width.  The channels are 6.5" each, cut at 7.5".  (I serged these too, for fear they'd unravel indignantly at the weight of the crap I was making them hold, and I'd be back where I started.  In retrospect, probably not a valid concern.    The insert looks a lot bigger than covered cushions, but I think it needs to be to fill it out right.  

After I had already measured out and cut my cushion parts, I read on an upholstery message board somewhere, that they make their channels wider than the cushion, so they don't 'pull in'.  But the same people also fill them with down and wrap them with down, so they are clearly overachievers.

Mr Snork went over with nicer bits of batting over the cushion, to smooth it out.  It took a lot less lumpy stuffing to full these cushions, then it did to fill the cushion cover originally.    I still have 3 giant trashbags of lumpy stuffing that I can't seem to part with.  There's GOTTA be something else I can sew.  Backrest pillow? Body pillow..  Floor pillow?  There must be something, and it will occur to me the second I throw away all the batting, I just know it.   If all else fails, I can spread it around the Xmas tree, snow-like, and drive Mr Snork mad for a couple weeks.  So, if you're local and need a lot of poor quality wadding..  do let me know.

I am pretty pleased with the outcome.   And with the fact that no additional funds had to be added to the couch's original cost.  (Even my serger thread was a yard sale box find)  Although, for a Pottery Barn look (ha) I would probably use some nice, stiff duck canvas.  I think the channels would show less, and the lumpy factor in the stuffing wouldn't matter at all.  But then we get into that whole, 'buy a $90 Craigslist couch, spend $200 'working on it' phenomenon, and anyway, at the rate I sew, there's no way I'll ever use up the 8 football fields of muslin I once got at Goodwill for $5, unless I implement it every chance I get.

It's been about two weeks between this project and the time it took me to post this, and I am happy to report the couch cushions are behaving very nicely.  I also occured to me I have a bolt of thick curtain interlining, that I could 'wrap' the inside cushions with to get rid of any left over lumpyness, but I'm a little too lazy for revisions like that.  


Obsession Du Jour - Dolls, (and getting them for freeee.)

Also known as obsession #478567.

I have a bit of an obsessive compulsive personality.  When I was little I thought the world would come crashing down if I stepped on a crack between cement tiles, and it made for very long travel times to the playground.  So, it could be worse, I could be compulsively licking lamp posts and other random objects, and instead I cultivate the obsessive side of my personality. 

I'm on the fence, between thinking it's creepy and unseemly for a woman my age, but then I think of all the old ladies who collect dolls, who,granted, I think are creepy, and it seems alright that I just want one little doll, mostly to practice my tiny doll sewing for.  

Not just any dolls.  What I wanted was a Magic Attic doll.  Partially because I stumbled upon my little sister's American Girls catalogue, and Mr Snork informed me we could afford nothing in there.  (Not even the stuffed raccoon that comes in a tiny tin trash can, for $40, to accompany the $300 camping trailer with a fold down bed).  

And partially because after that I decided their dolls are dumb anyway.  They all look the same.  Poo on you, $95 doll with no personality and funny looking thighs.  I don't care that you come with a book.  Your outfits cost more than mine, and it's just not good for my self esteem.

My stepmother had dug out a no name but pretty doll for $3 at Goodwill, and long, methodical Saturday morning Google image search of every doll image available (on the worldwide web) turned out it is Megan, of the Magic Attic Club.  An obsession was sparked.

This is my sister's Megan.  (My sister is 11, so only one of us is creepy).

A quick Craigslist search turned up a couple Megan's in New York and Ohio, and a couple of her sisters a little closer to to home, but not quite.  I also stalked Ebay, but it's hard to shell out $40 for a doll when my stepmother paid $3.  It's not good for my psyche.  AND, I'm almost 30, so my dolls would really need to be free, so I can tell people it was an accident.

"I don't know how I ended up with that.. I bought a car, and it was rolling around in the back seat..."

Fast forward to this last weekend, when a doll surfaced in Oceanside.  After some mild haggling, for $20.  With 'extras'.  Extras, is doll speak for all the doll crap that should naturally come WITH the doll,  because there's no other use for it, but instead, people will charge you $10-$30 per outfit, shoe, and anything that doll's ever touched and that originally probably came in the box with her.  Not that I'm bitter. 

But this Oceanside lady was very reasonable, and for $20, she set a trash bag of doll, and all her worldly belongings on her porch with an empty envelope for payment.  Like every good Craigslist transaction should be. 

Meet Alison:

I found that Mr Snork gets really creeped out when he finds the doll staring at him, so naturally, I've spent larger portion of the weekend staging the doll off to his side, or behind him, with an inquisitively tilted head aimed right at him.  When he's watching football..washing dishes...stripping some furniture..googling Ebay rates for doll sales...  

And, speaking of Ebay, ridiculously priced doll accessories, and American Girl phenomenon.  Couple blocks down after we picked up the doll trashbag, was an estate sale, where I picked up a pink doll trunk, and a shoe box filled with doll crap.  Mr Snork almost stopped talking to me, in a "are you seriously going to fill our house with doll shit in your old age" kind of way, but I was too busy mourning a doll bed someone swiped right from under me to pay him any attention.

Last night, I put some doll stuff on Ebay.  3 people have excersized the Buy it Now Option, and as of last night, Alison was officially free and paid for.   The doll trunk and the shoe box of doll crap, also paid for.   Couple other items have bids.   I have a feeling our gas and lunch expenses that day will be paid for shortly as well.  And, I have more doll crap to list.   Woot.

Apparently, I arrived at the sale too late for a doll bed, and possibly a doll (I'm assuming there was one), but just in time for shoe box of "extras".   It appears that AG 'extras' not only sell at stupid prices, but after they become discontinued and replaced by more ridiculous extras, they become "retired" and even more sought after.  Score.

Needless to say, Mr Snork is talking to me again.   Now I gotta go ship some stuff.