Last night I was reading a craft blog. This isn't a terribly unusual occurrence, as I follow several, but the following was a bit out of the ordinary: a comment about 'crafting' one's way out of emergencies. While needle and thread, or even paper and glue, won't fix a flat tire in rush hour, needle and thread can transform a stubborn futon mattress into a docile couch cushion.
And that is how I spent my afternoon. See, the contents of my apartment are a hodge-podge assortment of things abandoned by former tenants, things randomly found, and things the three of us have brought in. One such item, a combination of something found and something brought in, is our couch. It isn't really a couch. It's half of a queen bed with a queen size futon mattress sort of folded atop. It isn't a very comfortable or graceful seating situation, but we'd all been kind of politely tolerating it.
We live on the fourth floor of a walkup building, so buying and transporting a new/used couch is what you might call a non-option until we move this summer. Pending the discovery of the home upholstery section of the fabric store, I had been idly considering buying some couch seat cushions and upholstering them myself. But then today an idea struck, unlike any I'd ever had before, and because I had the time (it was my day off from both school and work, plus it is blizzarding outside), I set about making it happen.
The problem with the futon mattress is that it was unevenly bulky when folded in half. But because of its heft, we couldn't simply fold part of it, for the thing would promptly unfold. However, if I sewed the outer edges of the fold together, .... folks, I ran down our uber-long hallway to the kitchen, snatched the first needle and spool of thread I could find, and raced back to the couch to see if such a simple plan would actually work.
It did. The mattress fold is being kept in place by a zigzagging hot pink thread (doubled for strength), and our 'couch' is considerably more comfortable and startlingly less bulky than I can ever remember it being.
And that is how I learned the true meaning of the phrase, 'make do and sew.'