Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Well Woman Support Seat

I was commissioned by my midwife Ellie Legare to sew a cushion to be used by midwives in well-woman care and home births. It was a fantastic challenge!

Because of the cushions needed to be highly water resistant, I made them from 450 denier coated packcloth. Here I am putting in the zipper. I used a teflon coated zipper foot (and a seam guide). For some of the steps, I could have used the regular foot, but when sewing on the coated side, it was important that the foot not stick to the fabric and cause skipped stitches and the like.

Once a hole is in the fabric, it is a permanent hole in the coating, so I couldn't take out stitches and resew seams.

The waterproof zipper. I could have possibly used a regular zipper, but I didn't want to chance it. And frankly, I couldn't resist how cool this stuff is! It is made similarly to an invisible zipper, in that the coils are on the inside. The waterproof coating on the outside of the zipper is really thick and can probably be used in a lot of very wet applications!

The zipper is sold by the yard and the zipper pulls are sold separately. You have to be really careful when you put the pulls on to get them on straight. Here I've sewn across the top edge so I don't accidentally yank off the zipper pull.

I got all the materials at The Rain Shed in Corvallis. I shopped in person and ordered some things over the phone. The store is amazing and their service is excellent, which makes up for not being able to order online! It's like a DIY version of REI! You want to sew your own tent? You want to sew your own waterproof cycling gear? You need fireproof fabric? Reflective tape?
Buttons, gadgets, and gear? Check! They've got what you need!
The finished zipper.

These are two finished cushion covers, waiting for their foam inserts.
I cut the foam with an electric carving knife that I scored at Goodwill. The foam was 5" thick, so it was hard to cut straight.

One of the big challenges was sewing the gusset to the curve without pinning. Since pins poke holes, all the pins had to be within the seam allowances!
But the best part of the project was some hilarious patten testing with my mom, sitting on the cushions and pretending to have a baby. I had both my boys at home with Ellie and my mom had my brother at home with a midwife, so we had some great bonding and some really good laughs!


cee + kell said...

You are a sewing goddess. They're amazing, Sal. Nice work!

Steph said...

What a great project!