You may recall a previous post concerning an outdoor cedar table and bench. Check the September archives for details about making the table and bench.
I found some super-on-sale chair and bench cushions at Crate&Barrel.com last winter in Sunbrella Cilantro (Cilantro is the color). I was going to make the cushions from scratch but considering the price (and time savings), I went this route instead. The bench cushion had to be shortened about 20 inches, and the plan was to make the chair cushions smaller as well, so they fit the seat of the chair exactly. I decided in the end that the chair cushions were fine the way they are.
The manufacturer thread I took out was nylon–almost invisible. Luckily, I had some slightly lighter weight Coats & Clark nylon thread from some long-forgotten, previous project. I keep laughing at the thought of sewing with invisible thread. It was kind of ridiculous. Threading the needle was a major issue. I mean, really? The stuff was practically invisible. But, I diligently plugged along with reading glasses and the required glare from the lamp because in my mind I could see, vividly, the inevitable, over time mildew trailing from the seam if it were sewn with the usual cotton and poly thread. I cut the 1″ foam with sewing scissors.
This project involved a lot of hand sewing with freaking invisible thread! I read somewhere online that to successfully use this type of thread in a machine, you need to reduce the tension on the machine. I took the tension down a couple of notches (numbers) on my ancient Singer and got good results. The bobbin wound on fine too.
To resew the bench cushion I mimicked the factory needle marks that were left after ripping out the seam. This Sunbrella fabric is very easy to work with. The invisible thread…? …not so much. You can see in the picture above how water beads up instead of soaking into the fabric. I like the color and fabric so much that I bought more online to make cushions for two other deck chairs that our friends left with us when they moved. More about that project later.