Finding work for idle hands: making, baking and more.

Sewing cushion covers August 8, 2007

Filed under: Interiors,Sewing — lauravw @ 6:51 pm

CushionsOver the past couple of months I’ve made a few simple cushion covers to brighten up our sofa and guest bedroom. Each and every time I come to make one, I get confused: I have a couple of books about sewing, but their instructions when it comes to making cushion covers are either too simplified (more like pillowcases – without zips) or painfully ornate.

And nowhere – nowhere! – could I find a simple guide that details how big each bit of fabric needs to be when you’re making a simple cushion cover with a zip on the back of it. So I made a few notes on the way I’ve made my cushion covers, mostly so that next time I come to make one I will be able to do so without rummaging through the pages of all my books again.

I find I like a fairly generous seam allowance – I am not yet very confident with a sewing machine, and I like a bit of leeway. But you don’t want too generous a seam, because then you’ll end up with lumps and bumps once you turn your cushion the right way out.

I use 1cm on each of the outer edges, and then 2.5 cm along the edges where the zip will go (because these sides get “seam finished” – a term I had to look up a few times before it sunk in. Basically, you hem them so they look neat). This 2.5cm equates to 1cm that gets folded over and hemmed, the usual 1cm I’ve allowed for seams, and an extra 0.5cm wiggle room because I find it a bit easier to put in the zip if I’m working with a little bit extra fabric.


So if you have a square cushion cover measuring 40cm by 40cm, the pieces to cut out would be:

  • Front: 42cm by 42cm (1 + 40 + 1).
  • Back pices x 2:  23.5cm by 42cm (1 + 20 + 2.5)
    These two pieces don’t have to be identical, because the zip doesn’t have to go in the centre. I usually put mine over to one side – the thing to remember is that the total width of these two pieces needs to add up to 1 + 1 + 40 + 2.5 + 2.5, which is 47.

So what do you think? Am I going about this completely the wrong way? If you have any tips, please leave a comment!


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