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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Outdoor Fabrics + Patio Furniture Remake

I know that for some of us the idea of being outside and enjoying those patios and backyards is still a long way off but never the less I thought it would be the perfect time to share a post with you on Outdoor Fabrics to give you all an idea of what options are available when it comes to redesigning your outdoor space. Outdoor fabric has been made to withstand the elements much more than other fabrics and you will find the materials will hold up much longer as they resist mold and sun. You will also find burlap and fisherman's rope to be ideal for outdoor materials. 

Prices do vary depending on the fabric desired but I was rather surprised to find the prices were around $4 or so less than the non-outdoor upholstery fabrics in some of my local shops. Feel free to ask on prices but to give you an idea some of the prices of fabrics below were around $12.99 per yard, some $10.99, some around $14.99 but those are some of the more popular prints shown in the various photos. I don;t think there were any with prices as high as $18, but if there are, it was certainly not the majority by way of price. In some cases I have a snap shot of the prices for some fabrics, but not for all prints, in which case I will need to pop over to the store to check. If you have a general idea of how much fabric will be needed for your project that helps too when inquiring at the shop. 

Enjoy the photos below and if interested in having a project made feel free to shoot me a message over @ www.Craftzies.etsy.com. You can also email me images to Craftzies@gmail. 

Though the fabrics shown below are from a local store that does not have fabric available online, I have also included a few links to other fabric shops with Outdoor Fabric prints available:

Shops with Outdoor Fabrics available online: Both of these shops are local to me. 

FabricDepot.com: https://www.fabricdepot.com/index.php?page=searchPage&searchstring=outdoor%20fabric

You are also free to ship fabric to me.

(below this patio slip cover post section you will find a link to different Craftzies fabric samples)

Patio Remake-

As mentioned above burlap and fisherman’s ropes are great for outdoor use, but burlap is a very itchy fiber and despite how popular it has become because of its versatility and a low price per yard, it is a much loved material for outdoor decorating. I get it, it looks great in the garden and in the kitchen, you can decorate it however you want and you can’t beat the price right? I hear ya. It is however a nightmare of a fiber to sew. And I mean a nightmare. It itches and you think you need to de-burlap your house, your cutie, your closet, the inside of the washing machine, yourself, your sewing area, your ironing board and you still itch. I kid you not.

So, how do we get around that? We’re going to sew all burlap outside. That’s right, I suggest you take that sewing machine + sewing table (or a smaller table might be easier for this project) and cut and sew that itchy burlap fabric outside. That’s number one. They you can sew your little heart out. You might want to wear sewing gloves because the fabric can really make your hands rough, but if you cut the materials outside and sew the panels together outside, and then shake off excess in the yard (if you want photos take them while still wearing your ‘burlap clothes’) and shower and change your clothes after you are done making the items, you will be good. Failure to follow these simple steps will be to your itchy peril-you have been warning. 

Here is another note on burlap fabric. Once it has been sewn it is a bit better and certainly less itchy. So yes, in some cases you can have an outdoor item made of burlap that is not just a jute garden growing bag, but I do not recommend burlap as a fiber for slip covers. It is just too itchy. I once had a customer who wanted a number of burlap items and one of those was a burlap pillow sham set and a bed skirt. I can do it, but I do not recommend burlap as a material for pillow shams. We can find you a fiber that has the look but will not be so very itchy for pillow shams. For something like a bed skirt it’s a little different. It might make the dog itch but at least it’s not up on your skin and irritating your skin. When I make burlap items for customers I sew those outdoors, so it is a weather permitting job for me and usually done in the Spring and early summer.

Now that you have had an opportunity to scroll through and get an idea of the materials available for outdoor use, we now have an opportunity to chat about what we can use those fabrics for. Patio styled slip covers are a little different than other slip covers, but not by much. A lot of my customers want slip covers to fit over existing inserts or slip covers and there is a difference between the two. If a customer wants me to make a slip cover for an existing seat insert + slip cover already on the insert, then I would make it a little bit bigger to accommodate for the slip cover. Some want to have an entirely new slip cover made so they can switch out the cover they already have. The first one may be retired or just switched out when desired. Whatever the reason, I have made these types of slip covers before and can offer them to you. As with a lot of my custom work I will be charging for the materials needed + work fee + shipping, and if you do need padding inserts then I can include them in the sale for you however please keep in mind it may be more economical for you to find them locally as I will be charging you the price the shop charges me as well as additional shipping to accommodate for the bulkier package.

So when you are looking at a photo of a sun bed like this one, what is the general breakdown of such a lovely slip cover? Excluding the insert, you are looking at about 3 ¼ yards of fabric for the top cushion and about 3 ¾ yards for the bottom cushion. You have about 28 yards of piping needed, the excess in fabric from what you have above will cover the piping being covered and the side panels (piping is around 35 cents per yard). You will want about 1.5 yards of piping for pillows made with piping, give or take a little bit depending on size. Each slip cover will want a hidden zipper in full length. Those are about $3-$4 each. It is a little hard to see from the image but you will want either simple stitching or little covered buttons for the design in the middle of the cushions. Stitching would not cost extra, buttons can be about $3 per set of 4-5 so you can count on $6 minimum for buttons and we can cover them in the excess matching fabric.

Material charge: price per yard of fabric as cost set by shop-local shops are Joann, Mill End, Fabric Depot/ Online shops: Joann, Fabricdepot.com, fabri.com, fabricguru, Beverly’s, J&O-I like all of these places but feel free to pick fabric from other online sources. Do make sure however if you want these to be outdoor items you want outdoor upholstery fabric.

*If you need to know how much fabric you will need for a project send me the measurements (via etsy @ www.Craftzies.etsy.com) and I will let you know J


Project Cost: This is the work fee and the price I charge for making your item. Despite how simple some of these items appear they do take a lot of time for me to make and I can easily spend a few hours making your item and preparing it for shipping. In many cases, and the reason why I have very few slip cover images for patio furniture, is mainly because I do most of my outdoor upholstery sewing in the spring and it is way too wet to get decent photos of the larger items inside or outside. I also in many cases do not have the chair your slip cover will fit in nor the insert available. Despite that I will be making a number of slip covers for my own patio furniture so you will see some photos soon. In the mean time, for those interested in how much the work fee will be for making some of these items, simple chair slip covers will be $14 per slip cover for the work, pillow slip covers will be $12, the simple lounge slip cover will be $20 and the larger ones such as the sun bed above would be $55 for the large set of two.


 Shipping Fee: The price the postal service charges me is what I will charge you and in most cases I find usps priority flat rate shipping in the states to be the most economical. Having custom slip covers made can be one of the most economical way in which to get what you want in the sizes, colors and prints that are perfect for your outdoor space, and shipping should not cost a fortune however as I try and keep my prices as fair as possible, I do have to charge you for the full price for shipping an item. Once I have given you a quote and charged you shipping any additional costs will be covered by me however. International shipping tends to be higher and an item such as a bulky heavier weight slip cover for a large lounge styled chair can cost up to $40 to go to Canada so please keep this in mind when placing your order. I can give you an estimate on what I expect shipping to be once I see the measurements of the slip cover and the fabric you have chosen but until the item has been made and boxed I will not have an official shipping quote for you.

Note: When your slip cover arrives it is important that you slowly slip the new cover over the inserts and be patient as you do so. I have personally found that the slip cover is the perfect size, it may just take some time to wrestle with the giant foam insert before the slip cover goes on and everything fits perfectly So when your slip cover arrives have no fear, it will fit and it just takes a bit get it perfectly adjusted inside. I specifically mention this because I have personally made slip covers for lounge chairs and window seats and when you are dealing with the larger pieces of foam, even I have had those moments where I have been wrestling with the foam and saying to myself there is no way this is going to fit. Why not? I made it perfectly and nearly given up, only to wrestle a little more and maybe grab someone to help you a bit and you will find it will fit, it just takes a bit extra. It really should fit. If it doesn’t-no matter what you do or who you get to help-of course, definitely let me know, but before we get to that point definitely keep in mind the idea that even I have had my moments of doubt only to find the cover did fit, it just took a bit of adjusting in order to work perfectly. 

Links to different Craftzies Fabric Samples: 

Fabric Bolts! Fabric Bolts! (more cotton prints): http://craftzies.blogspot.com/2012/07/fabric-bolts-fabric-bolts.html

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