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Old 04-27-2013, 05:22 PM   #1
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Default New fabric for cushion covers / added memory foam

We picked up some fabric from Fabric Land to make new covers for the dinette/bed cushions.



The rep recommended using a denim grade needle. The fabric is soft to the touch but quite thick and it looks like it will wear well enough.
The fabric cost $6.50 per running yard after 50% off which we thought was a bargain. The fabric is 57 inches wide. We ended up getting 10 yards (almost 50% more fabric than estimated) for the job to allow for mistakes and other projects like a throw cushion and duffel type bags to fit rolled up sleeping bags. The covered rolled up sleeping bags should end up looking like a bolsters during the day.

Any tips will be welcomed. We'll upgrade the feel of the foam by incorporating a layer of memory foam on the sleeping side of the cushions.

I had a quote for new foam, fabric, zippers and labor for around $1,000 which might be fair but was way more than we wanted to spend so it becomes another DIY project
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File Type: jpg new fabric for cushions.JPG (304.6 KB, 2547 views)
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Old 05-05-2013, 12:35 PM   #2
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Default Re: New fabric for cushion covers

Going to get started on this soon.

The dinette cushions in my van make into a 71x51 inch bed. Sleeping is across the rear of the van. When I first saw the van I figured I would have to change that but changing that layout would necessitate moving the black tank location under the van if I moved the bathroom forward a bit so .............. it's not happening. We've had the van for two years now and are used to the smaller bed.

The cushions are 10x51, 24x51, another 10x51 and a 27x51. You can arrange the cushions two ways to make the bed. We use the layout with no seams under your torso as shown in the second photo.





The current covers are probably 15 years old and stained - time for some new cushion covers in the van.

I have an unneeded 3" thick 54x72 memory foam that, at this point, think that I will just add to the existing 4" foam. 7" thick cushions seem excessive but, by using what I already have, it would keep the cost of this project to about $100.



We tried this setup out of the van on the floor and it is comfortable. We seem to prefer softer beds as time goes by. The 7" cushion will make the gap between the bottom of the dinette table and the top of the cushion smaller but the soft foams compress a lot so it will work ok.

In the past we've added a layer of very high density foam under the torso area to prevent bottoming out. We've used the piece together mats or roll-out foam for that. I've grown tired of the bed assembly process so the new cushions will incorporate the high density layer if needed.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg bed cushions.JPG (130.9 KB, 2485 views)
File Type: jpg bed cushions 2.JPG (135.7 KB, 2484 views)
File Type: jpg memory foam on top of cushions.JPG (220.6 KB, 2486 views)
File Type: jpg tried other high density foams.JPG (221.1 KB, 2485 views)
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Old 05-23-2013, 02:11 AM   #3
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Default Re: New fabric for cushion covers

Progress! DW is doing a great job on the new cushion covers. All the fabric has been cut and one cushion is finished. She put in a zipper so that we can remove and wash these new covers.

The finished cushion is 7" thick and feels good when I try it. We added 3" thick memory foam to the existing 4" thick foam.





I can't wait to try these out.
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File Type: jpg cushion covers added memory foam 1.JPG (239.3 KB, 2412 views)
File Type: jpg cushion covers added memory foam 2.JPG (252.1 KB, 2410 views)
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Old 05-23-2013, 05:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: New fabric for cushion covers

Minor set back. The Brother brand sewing machine wouldn't work today. The thing the bobbin goes into wouldn't move left and right when trying to sew. I looked inside and saw a loose screw that had come off something. It took a while to figure out how to get the case apart. When I finally did I saw a nylon arm with gear teeth had come off as well.

screw #5 and nylon arm #4 was off


I couldn't find a repair manual online, only a parts list. Things didn't line up (needle wouldn't pick up the bobbin thread) after first re-assembly but with a bit of trial and error positioning the bobbin holder first, then offsetting it to allow inserting the nylon gear toothed arm soon had everything in sync. DW says all is working smoothly.

When you think of the hundreds of parts that could have broken it was really lucky that the one thing that failed was fixable at home.
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File Type: jpg sewing machine.JPG (10.6 KB, 2376 views)
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Old 05-24-2013, 11:27 PM   #5
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Default Re: New fabric for cushion covers / added memory foam

This job is done! DW is happy it is finished - it was a lot of work. We made two sleeping bag covers that look like bolsters out of the material. Leaving the sleeping bags in the covers on the dinette seats frees up the space where we used to store them. We have 2 1/2 running yards of material left over from the original 10 yards purchased for $65 and will find a use for it.

I ended up using the high density kneeling pad type foam as the first layer, the 4" medium density foam as layer two and the 3" memory foam as layer three when I assembled the cushions.

Note: The bottom layer - layer 1 - is the high density foam. Layer 2 (middle layer) is the 4" medium density foam. The upper layer - layer 3 - is the soft 3" memory foam. We sleep on layer 3. The photo shows the high density foam on top of the memory foam because it was easier to show the high density foam that way.




The finished cushions with sleeping bag bolsters:



These cushions should be very comfortable for sleeping. This would not be the best choice for seating as most would find it too soft. The rear dinette in my van is not somewhere I spend a lot of time sitting. The front seats swivel and are much better for sitting for extended periods.

This upgrade cost a little over $100 because we already had unneeded memory foam on hand to use. I think it is probably the best upgrades done on the van to date
Attached Images
File Type: jpg finished cushions 2.JPG (273.0 KB, 2349 views)
File Type: jpg finished cushions 1.JPG (266.4 KB, 2347 views)
File Type: jpg finished cushions 3.JPG (257.3 KB, 2347 views)
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Old 05-25-2013, 11:49 AM   #6
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Default Re: New fabric for cushion covers / added memory foam

Congrats - They look great!

I'd like to do something similar with ours but neither my wife nor I have any sewing machine skills. We tried making curtains once - disaster. Ended up hand stitching them and the seams looked like the stitching on Frankenstein's face.

On our B, the dinette and the couch combine to make the bed. The cushions that form the backrests for both the dinette seats and the couch are wedge shaped in cross-section so when you arrange the cushions for the bed, they have to be used for the outside cushions so that you don't get a lump in the bed. I'd like to replace them with flat versions. Looking at how well yours came out, I'm tempted to try it. If I get in over my head, I can always take them to Brunswick Cushion (a nearby marine & automotive upholstery shop) to bail me out.

You mentioned they may be too soft for setting comfortably. I wonder how they would be upside down (hi density side up)?
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Old 05-25-2013, 10:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: New fabric for cushion covers / added memory foam

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmCruiser
Congrats - They look great! ...............
Thanks - I passed your comment onto my wife and she had the biggest smile. She did all the sewing and the cutting etc.

Your idea to use the firm side for sitting is great. I tried it just now but the high density stuff I used fits together like puzzle pieces so they separated. I don't want to tape them them together yet. I think your idea would work really well it the firmer foam was in one piece and thicker than mine. Sitting on the soft foam was not as bad as I thought it would be.

If I was doing this again:

#1 - we'd make the cover slightly smaller. We had 7 inches of foam in a 7" cover. I think a 6 inch cover with 7 inch foam would look better in the RV by being tighter. Ours shows wrinkles etc. after you get up. A tighter cover would bounce back quicker. It would be harder to put together though. I think foam shops vacuum bag the foam to get it into tight cushion covers.

#2 - get a few quotes - it is worth having a pro do it if you plan to keep the van. The only quote I got was estimated at around $1,000 for fabric, foam, zippers and labor. That guy does high end stuff one job at a time. The in stock fabric quoted was $29 per yard and the foam was to be special ordered. I bet you might get a quote for $300 to $500 at a shop that does a higher volume of business.

The hardest thing is getting the density right for your needs I think. Everyone is going to like something a little different. The combination of densities and depth of foam that we used seems to be good for us from our limited testing so far. We like a soft bed and we are both light in weight. We're not large people. Heavier people would need a higher density foam in the mix.

I found the foam in the '04 Roadtrek we had to be too firm. It was great for seating but we ended up using a softer foam topper on it. The R-Vision B+ we had low quality foam. We bottomed out on that stuff easily so ended up using a memory foam topper (that was the foam used in this project). The Bigfoot Class C had a proper mattress. I was the best bed we've had in an RV. You can tell how excited I am to have a really comfortable bed in this van.
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Old 06-02-2013, 03:57 PM   #8
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Default Re: New fabric for cushion covers / added memory foam

Cushions look great, marko! As someone who sews, I know the work that went into those. Give your DW even more major props than you already have!

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Old 06-02-2013, 10:55 PM   #9
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Default Re: New fabric for cushion covers / added memory foam

Thank you! I passed your kind comment on to her and told her again what a great job she did.
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Old 06-03-2013, 03:37 PM   #10
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Default Re: New fabric for cushion covers / added memory foam

Looks nice and comfy indeed! Sewing the cover is a lot of work itself, I know. Great job.
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Old 05-24-2015, 07:34 PM   #11
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Default Re: New fabric for cushion covers / added memory foam

Nice job,we just purchased a 2005 Pleasure way excel ts,on the E-350,has 6.8/l,we also are going to re-upholster seats,cushion,however will be getting work done,any ideas on price,also should we expect a warranty,going to a few shops for quotes,any other questions to ask would be helpful,we live in Ottawa,anyone have a shop they would recommend?
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