The Mammoth Lumbar Project

I recently purchased a new sofa.

Big shocker there.

I know I said I was keeping my mid century set until it died, but craigslist got the best of me, again. And someone paid more for them than I did 5 years ago. So it was kind of a no brainer, right??

The new sofa is really big and can accommodate our whole family, but still looks good. It is dark blue velvet. To be exact, it is the same dark blue velvet that Rocky used on her DIY banquette for the ORC. Bizarre, right?

velvet match

I have always loved long lumbars, especially on long sofas. So this was the perfect candidate to try making one. However, I need them to be about 6 feet long. Good luck finding a 6 foot lumbar insert. No big deal, just make one- I told myself. HA!

I found this fabulous vintage Hmong hemp fabric on Etsy. It was 12 inches wide and 13 feet long. Perfect. Purchase.


There was also a fun bright Hmong fabric that was on sale, the same dimensions as the vintage piece and if I ordered 3 things, it was 2 day DHL express shipped from Thailand. Again, perfect. Purchase.

new hemp

It came yesterday in the mail and I got to work.

First I needed to make my inserts. I knew I wanted them 6 feet long and 12 inches wide. I used one of my kids old flat sheets from target. You know the cheap microfiber ones? Feathers have a really hard time getting through that fabric. I know this because whenever I take off the pillowcases to wash, they are full of feathers from the kids down pillows.

So I cut my pieces to size and stitched them up.


Now to stuffing. My new sofa came with about 8 of the most hideous pillows of all time. Yes, 8. Thankfully, they were zip covers that had very nice down inserts. I figured I could cut open the pillows and use the down for my lumbars. Easy, right?


I have to say this now, this is a 2 person job. My husband was my lucky assistant. He was less than thrilled. But let’s be honest, he knew who I was when he married me.

This was super messy and we will probably be cleaning feathers bits until the end of time. But it worked!

Ta Da!

finished inserts

Two 6 foot lumbars.

I ended up using 5 down 18×18 inserts for each lumbar. They may be a tad on the overstuffed side, looking back I could probably have used 4, 4 1/2. Lesson learned.

Now all I had to do was sew up the Hmong pieces and I would be done. It was a really easy fabric to work with. I was a bit nervous about it. I have never seen or touched Hmong hemp. It is a very sturdy and heavy weight fabric that stayed in place and sewed easily. I would definitely work with it again.

So I stitched those up and inserted my extra long, behemoth lumbars. They are like carrying around limp pythons. Not an easy job with this much length. Maybe thats why no one makes lumbars this long?? lol!

But I conquered.


lumbar 2

lumbar 3

lumbar 4

lumbarv 5

Here is the backside with the new Hmong hemp. I love the pop of color!

back lumbar 1

back lumbar 2

They are fabulous!

What do you think?

Until the next project- Ashley

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