Sewing project: A new sitting area

Remember the built-ins in my living room? This area looked a bit cluttered last year. Everything that had no place to go ended up there and something had to be done.


I started by organizing and throwing away some things. I bought some white boxes from Ikea and used some boxes that I already had on hand to keep things organized and in place. I cut some of the unused cords, moved the TV to the storage room (I will either put a TV on the wall later on or buy a projector) and cleaned all the dirt (there was a lot). Then I had to figure out what I wanted to do with the built-ins. To be honest, the option that I find more appealing is to extend them to the ceiling, leaving some space for the TV in the middle and maybe paint them white. However, this is a more expensive option than what I wanted to spend on the space right now (I will certainly keep it in mind for later though). The second best option was to create a new sitting area. This idea became more and more appealing until one night there were more than the people in the house and some of them had nowhere to sit. So sitting area it was.


Inspired by this project and this project, I decided that the best way to tackle this was to buy two crib mattresses. Let me explain things a bit. The built-ins have a depth of 60cm and a length of 220cm. A typical crib mattress is 60cm wide and 120cm long. So two crib mattresses were enough to cover the top of the built-ins perfectly and the only thing I had to trim each mattress by 10cm. I bought two basic crib mattresses for 10 euros at a local store, but if you’re tackling a similar project IKEA has cheap crib mattresses too. After measuring twice, I cut them to the ideal size. I also bought 5 meters of this flowery IKEA fabric, just to be sure that I would have enough fabric to cover them. It turns out I bought enough fabric to make two smaller pillow covers too, so I could have gotten only 4 meters to save some money.

Did I mention that I had never used a sewing machine before in my life? Yeah, it is true, but I still wanted to try to do this project, so I begged a friend to show me how to use her machine. We spend an afternoon when she showed me the basics and then she came by another time to help me pin them and cut the fabric, but after that I was alone. I borrowed an IKEA (don’t be surprised, I live sooo close to Sweden!) sewing machine from another friend, read the instructions and got down to sewing. I spent another afternoon sewing stupid, not that straight, lines and getting the hang of it, but after that it took me 8 hours of sewing for the two mattress covers (that also have zippers, because I thought I could and it wasn’t that hard after all) and two pillow covers.

sewing-project-sitting-09I chose the simplest way to make all covers. Here are some detail shots.


I’m not going to lie. There were moments of frustration and mistakes, luckily not time-consuming ones, but I did it and I like the results. Now that it is over, I want to buy some black and white fabric to have a second cover for the mattresses and make a few black and white pillows too. It’s good to be able to change things up so easily, because the flowers look good with the red couch and the off-white dining room chairs, but I am afraid it can be tiring to the eyes later on. We’ll see. At least now I know how to do it!

What do you think? Also, what was your latest project and how did you feel when you finished it?

ps. It’s Monday and it is still raining… I can’t believe it! Have a great week!

  • I would have never thought you’d never used a sewing machine, you’re very good! I love the idea of ​​transforming the built-ins in a seating area, it’s so convenient. And as a fan of IKEA, I love the fabric you chose! It really looks good on your red couch. Good job!

    PS: It’s also raining here today BUT it makes the snow disappear!!

    • Thanks for your kind words! I had read some horror stories about using a sewing machine for the first time and was very scared, but all went much smoother than expected.

  • It looks awesome! Our last project was just last night and we took closet doors off in our office to turn it into a little library nook.

    • I hope it turns out great. I cannot wait to see the pictures if you’re going to share. I love library nooks!