New cushion covers can be a great way of sprucing up any room, and choosing your own fabric and making them yourself can be so rewarding. So here are my simple steps for making your own. You will need a cushion pad, fabric, scissors, a measuring tape, matching thread and pins. Ideally you need a sewing machine, but if you really, really enjoy hand sewing, who am I to stop you!
1.Choose your fabric. Any fabric is fine but depending on your household it might be a good idea to go for something in home decor or upholstery weight for maximum durability. For following this technique, avoid stretch fabrics (so jersey is out) and remember that slippery fabrics like satin can be very difficult to stitch.
2. Measure your cushion pad across the fullest point. If it is very full, squash it down a little. Mine is 16 inches square.
3. Now to work out your fabric measurements. For the front of your cover, add one inch for seam allowances. Do this for both length and width. I end up with a front piece measuring 17″x17″.
4. For the back, things get a little tricky. Decide how large of an overlap you want for your envelope opening. As a rule of thumb, I usually use anywhere between 1/4 to 1/3 of the width of the cushion pad. Very large cushions tend to need bigger overlaps, and I’ve found that cushions in active households, like my own, fare better if they have generous overlaps. So, I’m using a 5 inch overlap. Add twice the overlap to your width, plus two inches for seam allowances. For me, this works outs as 16 + 10 + 2 = 28″. The length is 17″ as before. So, my back piece is 28″x17″. Cut this in half. I have two pieces measuring 14″ x 17″ each.
Back piece – cut in two
5. Take the back pieces and place them wrong side up (for complete beginners, the wrong side is the side with no pattern.) Fold a 1/2 inch seam along the inner cut edges towards the wrong side and press the fold with an iron. Turn it again, another 1/2 inch and press well. Your two pieces should look like this.
Back pieces with folded seams
6. Thread your machine with matching thread. Sew along the inner fold as shown below.
When you’re done it should look like the picture below. Do this to both back pieces.
Wrong side – – – – Right side
7. Place the front piece right side up. Place one half of the back piece, right side down, on top of the front piece, with the seam you’ve just sewn towards the centre. Make sure the edges and corners match up and any patterns are running in the same direction. Place the second half of the back piece, matching up the corners and edges on the other side of the front piece. The two seams should overlap. Pin in place.
Pinned and ready to sew!
8. Sew it all up. I used an overcasting stitch first to control fraying and then stitched a single row of stitches 1/4″ from the edge.
9. Once all the stitching is done, cut all the long threads and turn the cover in the right way, taking care to poke out the corners as much as possible. Insert your cushion pad and you’re done!