The people have spoken, and they have been heard! I worked hard all weekend to bring you this tutorial, taking breaks only to curse myself for not planning one originally. Here's the thing: I tend to be a bit impulsive when it comes to projects, so when I saw our discarded mattress topper on my sewing table and inspiration struck, I rushed to whip something up before my napper awoke. I wasn't even sure it would work! In fact, it didn't work, until my brilliant, plumber husband came home and rigged up a little frame for me. Furthermore, I am by no means an expert sewist, and this was my first attempt at furniture construction. Nevertheless, I was happy with the results, thrilled when it was featured on Ohdeedoh, and extremely flattered when people liked it enough to want to make their own. So here it is: a post-project tutorial, I apologize for the lack of "during" pictures. I have tried to be as clear as possible, but feel free to comment or email any questions.
2 yards of 60” wide medium – heavy weight fabric
18” piece of velcro
foam or batting (I used a queen-sized mattress topper)
9 feet of ½” PVC pipe (it’s usually sold in 10’ lengths)
4 - ½” PVC 90º fittings
2 - ½” PVC 45º fittings
Scissor style tubing cutter – or ask them to cut your lengths (see step 12) at the hardware store
* Everything has ½” seam allowances, and you always want to start and stop your seams a ½” away from the edge of the fabric. (This will allow you to make it three dimensional.)
* To avoid confusion with the right side of the chair and the right side of the fabric, I am calling the right side of the fabric the “patterned side”
* Please remember, while we have not had any issue at our house, the mini lounger has not been safety tested.
- Drawing the right and left sides: fold your fabric so that the patterned side is facing itself, and using a ruler as a guide, draw one side (right or left side doesn’t matter) onto the wrong (non-patterned) side of the folded fabric. I did not use a protractor or anything, I just guessed the angle (about 45º). I also freehanded the long curved line between the top and the foot (x).
- Drawing the top and bottom pieces: if there is room on your folded piece of fabric draw one 19”x7” rectangle; otherwise, draw two rectangles on a single piece of fabric along with the other pieces.
- Measuring “x” and drawing all other pieces: With the help of a ruler, draw all of the pieces on the wrong side of your fabric. To make the long top piece you will need to measure (with your fabric tape) the length of your freehand curve on the side pieces (x) and add 2” to cover seam allowance and error (mine ended up being 38”).
- Cutting: cut out all of your pieces, and you will be looking at something similar to the above diagram.
- Sewing top to sides: With patterned sides facing, pin the long (x+2”) side of your top piece to the curved (x) edge of the right side. With a ½” seam allowance, sew pieces together, stopping a ½” before the top and bottom of the curved (x) edge. Repeat on the other side.
- Sewing head and foot pieces: Trim any extra length off your top piece, leaving the ½” seam allowance. With patterned sides facing, pin the long edge of the head piece to the “head” of the top piece. Sew together, again leaving a ½” on either side. Repeat with the foot piece on the “foot” of the top piece.
- Sewing the head and foot to the side pieces: This is where things get three dimensional. With patterned sides facing, pin the short edges of the head piece to the short edges at the “head” of each side, sew. Repeat with the foot piece at the “foot” of the sides.
- Attaching the back and the bottom: With patterned sides facing together, pin the short (19") edge of the back piece to the last edge of the head piece, sew. Next, with patterned sides facing, pin and sew down each (right and left) side. The back piece is now sewn on all sides except where it meets the bottom piece, this is where your velcro will go. Repeat these steps with the foot and bottom pieces.
- Sewing velcro: The last opening should be at the edge between the back and bottom pieces. This is where you can use velcro (or a zipper if you’re fancy). Serge, zigzag stitch, or fold under and iron those last two edges. Attach one side of the velcro to the patterned side of the edge of the back piece, sew all the way around the velcro. Attach the other side of the velcro to the patterned side of the edge of the bottom piece, sew. Almost done!
- Finish seams: If you plan on washing this cover you might want to finish the raw edges: serge, zigzag, or use pinking shears (I chose this option) to help stop fraying. Clip all of your threads, turn right (patterned) side out, and iron. That’s it for the sewing portion.
- Fill it up: I used an old memory foam mattress topper, but any type of foam or batting should do the trick. The memory foam was too thick and awkward to just fold up and shove in there, so I cut it into strips and added the foam in layers.
- Cutting your pipe: you will need two 16½” lengths, two 20½” lengths, and two 15” lengths.
- Building your support: (Note: If you push the fittings onto the pipe firmly you shouldn’t need glue; you may use PVC glue if you wish, but it is messy and requires time to dry; also, without glue it is easier to make minor adjustments to the frame once it is within the chair itself.) Take both of your 16½” pieces and firmly push the 90º fittings onto each end. On one 16½” piece, push both 15” pieces into the other ends of the 90º fittings so it forms a U-shape. Repeat this step with the other 16½” piece, only push the 20½” pieces into the 90º fittings instead. Now, push the 20½”x16½” U-shape through the velcro opening into the “bottom” of the chair. Then push the 15”x16½” U-shape through the velcro opening into the “back” of the chair. Finally, use both of the 45º fittings to connect the open ends of the pipe that are visible through the velcro opening, push firmly together, adjust as you see fit, and voila!
- Seal her up, and don’t worry too much if it’s not perfect. My bottom actually looks like the picture below, but you would never know it once it’s flipped over and sat on.
- You did it!!! Now, I know this is for your little one, but I’m pretty sure you’re the one that deserves to put your feet up! Oh, and pretty please send me a picture, I'm super excited!