The votes rolled in, were tallied, and… I still went with my gut.
When I started looking online for fabrics to cover the ottomans, I fell in love with this pretty, watercolor-esque Marimekko fabric and as much as I also liked the cocoa bean print that won out in the polls, this took the cake. And arrived in the mail earlier this week.
I actually expected it to be lightweight, like a quilting fabric, but when it arrived I was pleased to see that it was actually heavier; not quite a canvas, but definitely something worthy of being made into an ottoman cushion.
I fashioned this second ottoman cover exactly the same way that I made my first (the one from IKEA fabric that you can read about over here), which was pretty much a glorified pillow case but custom tailored to fit really, really snugly on the ottoman frame and over the batting that I had wrapped around it.
Felt is the kind of inexpensive, sometimes over-starched fabric that I haven’t used since my days in Brownie Troop 748. But it’s back. Prepare to be wowed.
Inspiration struck when I was perusing Better Homes & Garden’s October 2011 issue and saw this amazing slipcover fashioned from a vintage Swiss Army blanket. The idea of a heavy, durable, and soft material won me over (perfect for wintertime).
Not sure where to go about getting a similar blanket that didn’t cost a lot, and not wanting to chop apart my own Pendleton wool blanket, I searched on etsy and in stores for a heavy-weight wool alternative. Many searches yielded 5mm wool felt as a viable alternative, although it was pricy. At JoAnn’s, I found regular craft felt that was surprisingly soft (as I mentioned, I usually find felts too starched), and while it was nowhere near 5mm (probably just 1.5-2mm if I had to guess), I considered that doubling it up would be a good solution, because it would make the exposed seams 4x thicker than a single piece of felt, giving the illusion that I used a heavier piece of fabric to do the slip cover. Also, the price was great. Originally $4.99 and chopped to $2.99, I couldn’t say no for spending $6 on two yards of fabric (a price you can have too if you look for one of those 40-50% off coupons). At 72″ wide on the bolt, I had a lot of fabric to work with.
I cut the folded fabric into squares so that it was immediately doubled up, and began to sew it together. I’m happy to report that four layers of felt will fit easily through the sewing machine. Because I was tailoring and pulling the fabric as I fitted each piece, some edges ended up with a lot of overhang. On the other ottomans, the overhang wasn’t an issue because it was flipped to the inside edge of the slipcover, but here, it was going to remain exposed.
These babies were another birthday gift that found an immediate purpose in life, as my new heavy-fabric cutting shears. My previously best scissors were perfectly suited for cutting the 20″x20″ squares of fabric, but when it came time to make the outer facing seams consistent, the Husky scissors outperformed by cutting all four exposed pieces of fabric. At. The. Same. Time.
The new trio of ottomans was looking pretty slick as a set, even though I’m not committed to them staying in the same room as a married group; I fully expect them to move around the house as I need them to.
But because we decided that all three lined in front of the couch was a little too much ottoman and pattern in one single place, we divided them up throughout the room for now. In this more aerial view, check out the first one tucked alongside the fireplace, the felt one to left of the reclaimed trunk coffee table, but still usable from the couch, and the third Marimekko-covered one, to the right of the couch ready to be pulled into action in front of the wicker chair as extra seating or another couch footrest.