Friday, August 2, 2013

DIY Floor Pouf: Take One

Floor poufs, Moroccan poufs, floor pillows, floor cushions, whatever you want to call them that ish is all over the internet like a bad rash. Everyone and their dog has at least twelve of those suckers (or so it seems) which leaves you feeling like the last kid picked for kickball at recess every time a West Elm email pops into your inbox to mock you with their ridiculously priced 'poufs.'

I'm sorry but you've got to be kidding me. It's an oversized pillow. For your butt. And feet. Retailers seriously expect people to pay $300.00 (after taxes and not to mention shipping if you're not lucky enough to live near a West Elm store) FOR A BUTT PILLOW?

I'm sure someone out there is more than happy to pay that price, but for something that is just going to get kicked around the floor and end up smelling like farts and cheesy feet? No thanks, I'll pass.

Of course, one of the main things Laurel hit upon when talking about design elements she wanted to incorporate in her house was floor pillows. I thought about it, and after looking at the pictures a few times I was pretty certain it was within the realm of DIY possibility. If I can sew an ottoman cover, I was pretty sure I could do a pouf. Cushion. Whatever.

After coming across this hack (which isn't a great tutorial--sorry) I was assured that, yes this could be done.

I had enough fabric and batting in my stash to do a dry run for one pouf and there have been enough rainy days lately that I certainly had enough time to climb pouf-mountain.

I started out but measuring and cutting two 18"x18" squares from some random lightweight fabric I had inherited from an aunt's sewing stash and had no other real use for. Since I was working with no pattern this floor cushion was all guesswork. Based on the size of standard dining chairs and the ottoman I made last summer, I figured 18 inches minus the seams would be a good place to start. As for the vertical/side pieces, they measured 18"(long) x 8.25" (wide). 

Press your fabric before you cut to make your life easier, unless you're a rebel. I sewed all the sides of the (top) square first, then pressed the seams.

Folding the square in half diagonally to line up the corners.Sewing the first two corners and then fold the square diagonally in the other direction to line up + sew the remaining two corners

It won't look like much, but essentially you have a floppy empty 'box'. All it needs is a bottom and some stuffing.

I attached the 'bottom" piece on three sides and double sitched approximately 2-3" on either corner to allow enough room to shove stuffing inside. This will take a lot more poly fill than you think, as you want to cram as much of it in there as humanly possibly to get a nice dense fill that actually feels good to sit on.

Pin and whipstitch that sucker shut and then double bind for good measure. If you can get the seam through your machine you are clearly a sewing god/dess. If you're like the rest of us plebes, you're gonna have to do this step by hand.

One off the cuff pouf form. not the prettiest, and a little lumpy since I had to scavenge and used up the last bit of poly fill I had but I figure it's going to get all butt-squished anyway.

Sewing the pouf cover was essentially a repeat of sewing the form. The only things I did differently was pay more attention to lining up the pattern, and creating an envelope closure of sorts on one side.

To create the envelope side-closure I sewed on side piece to the top square, and one to the bottom (pictured above). The overlapping ends were hemmed before sewing the corners for a clean overlap. Before attaching the top and bottom I pinned, measured and sewed a button hole for the simple reason that it is pretty much impossible to sew a good button hole on something that won't lay flat.

After some serious manhandling I got the form in the cushion cover and just had to sew on a button before I could say the pouf was done.

**Now, as a disclaimer: this is not the prettiest thing I have ever made. In fact I was pretty annoyed at how difficult it was to get the damn form into the cover and how misshapen it ended up being after being forcibly crammed inside. I would not sew a pouf cover this way again. If' I were dead set on making it a removable cover I'd go with an invisible zipper along the bottom instead. You've been warned. Yes the button is cute, but it was a pain in the ass. I would advise against it. strongly. 

That said, it's pretty darn comfortable, if you like sitting on the floor. Which this guy is a pro at. I'm thinking there might be more than a few of these poufs in my sewing future, since Vince has already not so subtly suggested that they would be great for a lego table.. or watching tv.. or to build forts with.

They aren't really that hard to make at all. And I do enjoy sewing. And not having to tell a certain seven year old to keep his butt off the throw pillows wouldn't be such a bad thing.. especially if he had floor cushions for specifically that.