I couldn't possibly be any happier with the result of yesterday's efforts. It took many hours, but I have successfully replaced the blue and white striped (polyester?) fabric on our gaucho with cotton. The bottom cushions are now covered in a rich black, and the back cushion has an amazing mushroom print on it. I also removed the very long side cushion and replaced it with black and silver pillows, giving us even more room to stretch out—seven whole feet equals Hutch-size! Overall, an epic success!
Gaucho ... it's a word that is used for the Airstream couches that can turn into beds. There is a shelf that slides out and the cushions are rearranged such that you get a double bed out of it. We've never had guests—and don't expect to—so we haven't done this other than to test out the theory. However, lots of families we know who have Airstreams use this function every night. Our particular Airstream boasts being able to sleep six (the table also folds down to create yet another double bed), but we always say it really only holds two.
So, this is what it used to look like (see below). I had already replaced the curtains and had recovered the side cushion on the left with black fabric, but you can still see the stripes well enough to understand why I didn't like them. Also, we were on the road the day this picture was taken, so everything was stowed.
Since we purchased the Airstream in May of 2012 I've been looking for fabric to cover the cushions. I've brought home so many swatches and scraps in the hopes of finding just the right fabric/print, but nothing worked perfectly ... too busy, too plain, clashed with the floor, one of us didn't like it well enough, et cetera. Until last week when I discovered this amazing mushroom fabric in Poulsbo (at Heirloom Quilts & Fabrics).
I texted a picture of it to Badger who was afloat on his cutter, but thankfully still close enough to shore to receive the image, and he immediately replied yes! So I bought two yards knowing that if it wasn't going to work for the cushions, I would use it for something else. I loved it. The scale of the pattern was a perfect match for the pattern on the table, the colors were perfect, and it had mushrooms on it! Win, win, win. I draped it over the gaucho for a few days and decided it was a winner. It got washed and dried. Then it was only a matter of finding the time to actually clean off my desk, get the sewing machine out, and do the project ...
Also though, I decided that if everything was mushroom-themed, it would be too much—both aesthetically as well as financially—so I found a nice black cotton to cover the seat cushions. That was also washed and dried.
Covering the seat cushions with the black cotton was simple enough, just time consuming because I needed to splice multiple pieces of fablic together to account for the enormous nature of the cushions (two of them are 30 x 30 inches, and the other is 25 x 50).
Then came the hard part. The mushroom fabric was printed width-wise across the yard, so I needed to splice two pieces together to get the 70 inches of width I needed (the cushion is 60 inches across, plus extra fabric to wrap around the ends. I was going to get one shot at it.
First came the ironing. I wanted to maximize my chances of getting it right, so I ironed the heck out of the edges. I love my little travel iron, and it was perfect for this job. I put an old bar towel on the table as padding, and ironed and sprayed away. You can see in this photo how the scale of the patterns on the table and fabric are a perfect match.
And check it: my iron flattens out into three pieces for easy storage, and it has a cunning little carrying case, too.
And so began the aligning, measuring, cutting, pinning, and sewing of the mushroom fabric from two large pieces into one giant one.
And it worked! Given this was the first yime I've ever tried to do something quite like this, I was rather pleased with the result. Man I love that machine!
So, there you have it—a new look and feel in the same space. One that I hope we will enjoy for many years to come. (Or until I find another fabric that I want to try out ...)
The total expense for this project was only $51. The entire cost was fabric because I already had the black thread (because who doesn't have a few spools of black in their sewing kit), and I already had the mushroom-colored thread which I had to buy to sew a button onto Badger's favorite winter coat a few months ago. I already had everything else I needed: sewing machine, scissors, pins, bobbins, ruler, tape measure, pencil ...
Although not planned when I purchased it, my sewing machine fits perfectly into the space beside the gaucho. It amazes me every time I slide it back in there ...