Airstream How to Sew Upholstery

One of the last big projects left on the interior is the upholstery for the front U-shaped dinette. We knew that we wanted some sort of faux leather for durability and cleanability but we went back and forth over what to use and what colors to pick. I ordered different samples and we hemmed and hawed a bit – do we want to upgrade to Ultraleather, or go with something like Naugahyde? Blues or browns?

In the end, we decided this was one of the things that you touch the absolute most in the Airstream, so we decided Ultraleather was the way to go, and choose the adobe color way as it would fit well with the wood tones and not compete with the colors and patterns in the curtains (and to a lesser extent the countertops.) While figured out what kind of cushions to make, I also decided we would use underlining fabric on the non-visible faces of the cushions which provided both grip and significantly reduced the cost.

I also debated how fancy the cushions should be. Should they have a French seam? Do they need welting? How should I build the inside of the cushion? Does it need polyester wrap? For these, I landed on: Basic box cushion design with hidden seam stitching, no welting, and polyester wrap around all of the cushion foam.

The first step was to get a giant sheet of foam delivered and a huge roll of polyester fiberfill. I then cut the various cushions out of this foam sheet – all cushions have 4 inch foam inside of them. I then wrapped each cushion in polyester and stapled the edges together using a standard stapler. This is a common way to attach the polyester and the cushion cover edges make it so you can never feel the staples in this arrangement. It’s much easier than gluing on the fiberfill.

Now we are on to preparing the fabric. Measuring out and cutting the fabric is a challenge given the size, I mostly did this laid out on the floor. Once the pieces are cut, they are assembled and sewed similar to the curtains where you sew them together on the wrong sides then turn them right side out, in this case through the zipper face.

The most difficult cushion was the curved back – it took me awhile to figure out how to create this, but ultimately you cut 4″ thick strips matching the curve, then glue them into a stack of the correct height.

I’m really pleased with the completed look – once the cushions all came tougher, it really achieved the finished look I had in mind.

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