Crafts. Not everyone loves to craft; but I tell you this, to create something lovely can really give you a boost on a rubbish day. If I feel like sprucing up a room I just knock together a new quilt to sit on the back of the sofa, name pieces for the boys’ bedrooms, laundry bags or the quickest and easiest of all, a set of cushion covers. Most people have cushions in their sitting rooms (not lounges, airports have lounges). Lots of people ask me to do how-to’s on certain crafts, and I’m more than happy to oblige, as long as it isn’t something I sell on a regular basis here. So, a cushion cover. I’ve taken lots of photos, far more than were necessary because, let’s face it, it’s only easy to those who have done it before and when I’m learning something new, the more simplistic the better! So these instructions are to make a finished cushion cover to fit a 17″ by 17″ cushion, you can of course make them as small or as large as you need but you’ll need to adjust the measurements.
You will need:
A ruler (preferably a hard one, not a tape measure)
A rotary blade (or scissors if you don’t have one)
A cutting mat (if you have opted for the blade, no mat if you’re using scissors)
Some straight pins (perhaps around 36)
Some starch (for pressing to iron)
An iron and ironing board
Your fabric (I always back mine in something different than the front, it’s cheaper to do it this way too, especially if you use lining fabric or a plain colour on the back.)
A sewing machine. I used two tone thread in my photos so you can see the stitch lines, but I’d recommend using a top thread which matches your fabric.
*optional* some poppers and hand press. You can of course leave the back open, like an envelope and just fold one side inside the other.
1) You will need a cushion, and if you don’t have it and are just making a cover, then you will need to measure the cushion, they tend to come in set sizes, so if it’s a store bought one there will be no half measures. This one measures 17″ by 17″.
2) Take your top fabric and measure 19″ across by 19″ down, I appreciate this is bigger than your final project, but you will need to leave a seam allowance (the 0.5″ bit you lose when you sew it up) and I always add a bit so you can trim it back to allow room for error. Don’t fret too much about this, cushions are squidgy so you can always attempt to cram it in!
3) Put your front square to one side and get your backing fabric, I chose ivory sheeting. This is to be cut in a different way, remember we want the final piece to be 17″ by 17″, so keeping the width at 19″ make the length 21″, this because we are going to cut it in half and fold it over to create the envelope. So measure 19″ across and 21″ down, so you end up with a slightly off square/short rectangle shape.
4) Then measure half way down where you are going to slice it in half (widthways) if you’ve made it 21″ down you will need to mark and cut across at 11″… if it’s 20″ then 10″ etc. If you’re using the envelope method without button or popper closing, then you’ll need to make one longer than the other so it can flap over/under. So if it’s 21″ you can do 13″ and 8″ so each half is different. The rest of the instructions are identical for both methods.
5) You will now need to head over to the ironing board. Take one half of your back cutting, and fold over 1/4 of an inch and press with the iron (starch holds it in place, and makes everything easier!) once it’s done, fold it over another 1/4 inch and press it again. Do the same with the other half of the back fabric.
(ignore the brown bits, it’s burnt starch! We do a lot of ironing of starch here!).
I’ve forgotten which step I’m at so we’ll call this number 6!
6) Take your ironed down hems to the sewing machine, and sew from one end to the other on a normal stitch, I have used two tone thread so you can make out my stitch line.
7) We’re now going to pin the cushion together. Lie the front fabric face up, and lie the back fabric face down on top of it. Put the seams in the centre (it’s fine to have overlap on the edges, you’ll trim this once you’re done).
8) Once it’s all pinned you’re going to sew the two pieces together, start from one end and just sew all the way down, leave your needle down and put the foot up when you get to a corner, it makes it easier than coming off and back on again!
9) Once you’ve sewn around all four edges, remove it from the machine, remove any pins remaining in it, and just snip the corners of the cushion off, this will help you to poke the corners out properly to give a sharper finish. Be careful not to snip the stitching though! trim the edges up to the line of stitching, then iron while it’s inside out.
Flip it inside out and poke the corners through with your fingers!
This is where you’d add your poppers if you’re using them!
A CUSHION! Well done! Feel free to post photos of your cushions to me on Twitter @optforoptimism or @lucy_SG or @thepiepatch We may even host a competition for the best one winning supplies to make another! You must follow @thepiepatch and use the hashtag #cushionpie