Outdoor Sewing Projects: BBQ Aprons, Table Cloths, Pillows, Outdoor Banners, and More

Those who sew can make all sorts of useful outdoor items, such as pillows, table cloths, outdoor banners, windsocks, and decorative flags.

Those who sew can make all sorts of useful outdoor items. This allows you to select fabrics and personalize your outdoor space.

Choosing Outdoor Fabrics

Buy high quality, durable outdoor fabrics for all sewing projects that will be used outdoors. These will last well, and retain their color. It helps if they’re also soil and stain resistant.

Ordinary materials are made for indoor use. These will fade and age quickly when exposed to the sun.

A number of brands are available. Among the better known ones is Sunbrella.

Color is an important factor when choosing outdoor fabrics, particularly ones for decks and patios.

Keep comfort in mind when you’re sewing outdoor cushions and pillows. Fabrics that retain heat aren’t very comfortable.

For coastal areas and seaside sites, you’ll definitely want fabrics that can withstand salt spray and wind. Sunbrella is an example.

Outdoor fabrics have special treatments that make them weatherproof. Depending on the chemicals used, the material might be shiny or stiff. In other cases, the fabrics look the same as ones intended for indoors.

Some fabric companies give UV ratings for their outdoor fabrics in terms of the hours they will withstand. Typical ratings are 500 hours, 750 hours, and 1000 hours. Ones with higher ratings aren’t necessarily more expensive. Hancock Fabrics has one manufactured by John Wolf Fabrics, rated at 500 hours. That is the same price as a PK Lifestyles one rated at 1000 hours.

Project Ideas

All sorts of sewing projects are suitable for the outdoors. These include decorative flags and outdoor banners as well as windsocks. Other outdoor projects can serve useful purposes. Among these are umbrellas, awnings, canopies, and coverings for decks and other outdoor structures.

Create table cloths and similar items for outdoor dining. Insert washers or other small weights in the corners to prevent these from blowing away.

At the same time, sew some matching basket liners for the serving baskets you’ll be using on the table.

Other ideas include barbeque aprons with matching mitts and pot holders for use with grills.

For the winter, sew some protective covers for grills and outdoor furniture. This is easier than moving everything to protected storage areas for the winter months.

Sewing Outdoor Fabrics

Use polyester thread. Some other types, particularly cotton, can deteriorate with prolonged exposure to the outdoors.

Depending on the fiber content, some outdoor fabrics will ravel easily. In that case, use a serger or finish the seam.

Many outdoor fabrics require no special handling. Sew them as you would any other material. The exceptions are ones that are very slick. These can be hard to feed through the presser foot.

Depending on the project, various kinds of sewing aids are useful for outdoor sewing projects, particularly pillows and cushion covers. Snaps, zippers, hooks and eyes, and Velco are common choices. Grommets are also popular.

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Be sure to check out our article on the Best Serger Reviews and Buying Guide!

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