PILLOW TALK – DIY CUSHIONS

Linen cushions

I have a thing for cushions and am constantly buying/swapping/re-working them. It’s a costly addiction. So I decided to make my own and found it’s actually easier than I thought.  

And of course, if you change your mind and style of your lounge as much as I do, it can be much more cost-effective! Come on, dust off those Year 7, T&D skills…

(for those not of my vintage or schooling, T&D stands for Textiles & Design!)

I’m loving the look and texture of linen at the moment. So I hit my local fabric store and bought some beautiful linen and a few zippers. I already had the feather cushion inner but if you don’t they can be purchased cheaply from Ikea, Spotlight or online. I also wash my fabric before using in case of shrinkage!

Cushion tools

What you’ll need

STEP 1 With right sides together, cut your two pieces of fabric the same shape as the cushion. Generally, if I’m using a feather inner, I cut the fabric smaller than the inner. For example, if the inner is 50cm, I would cut the fabric around 48cm, plus a seam allowance of around 1.5cm. Once “deflated”, feather cushions can become floppy and loose in their cover. Making it smaller makes it nice and snug and poooofy.

STEP 2 With right sides still together, lay your zipper along one edge. You are now going to mark out its eventual position, so ensure it is centred… or not if that’s your thing!  Place pins in the fabric as markers – line them up with the end of the actual zip as shown below. You will be sewing right along this fabric edge but using two different stitch types so the pins are your indicators. 

zip position

Line up your zip and place pin markers

STEP 3 In between the pins, stitch use a basting stitch. Do not reverse or back-stitch as you will be unpicking this later to allow the zip to open. Between the pin and the outside edge of the fabric on both sides, use a regular stitch, including back-stitch as this will be the final seam of the cushion. Stitch all using  your chosen seam allowance.

Placing zip

Use baste-stitch in the zip area. Regular stitch both outer edges.

stitch example

End result of basting and regular stitch areas

STEP 4 Iron open the seam. Open up your cover and lay it flat. Lay your zip face down along the seam ensuring it lines up with the basting section. The centre of the zip (centre of teeth) should be directly on top of the seam line. Then pin it in place!

fitting the zip

Lay zip face side down along the basting seam

sewing zip

Stitch area – Stitch across near the metal end of the zip.

STEP 5 Sew the zip in place. You want to sew one big continuous oblong – down one side, across the bottom of the zip, back up the other side and across the top to join where you started. Where you stitch the bottom and top of the zip should line up with where the basting and regular stitches meet. 

sewing zip in place

Use a zipper foot if you have one…

end result

End result – long oblong stitch area with zip underneath

STEP 6 On the right side of your fabric, you should now have a sealed zip section as above. Here’s where the magic happens! Carefully unpick your basting stitch. This, in theory, should be exactly within the long oblong stitch section. And ta-da! There is your zipper underneath!

IF YOU GOT THIS FAR, IT’S SMOOTHER SAILING FROM HERE!! 

STEP 7 You are about to sew the rest of your cushion together. Remember to open your zipper just a little before you do this otherwise you’ll sew the whole thing shut! With right sides back together, pin the two halves together so that all edges line up. Then sew the 3 remaining sides together using the same seam allowance.

Turn her inside out and there you go. 

sew cushion cover together

Sew the two cushion cover pieces together and you’re done

linen cushions

My new linen cushions

Now, I’m no sewing expert.  And I’m sure there may be better ways of making cushion covers but this worked for me. If it’s your first attempt, maybe give it a go using cheap fabric or an old sheet rather than the real stuff, just to be sure this method works for you!

4 thoughts on “PILLOW TALK – DIY CUSHIONS

  1. Katie Sheehan says:

    Glad to see you putting your T&D skills to good use. Mrs Tebberchef would be proud (Ms Rickett, not so much)! Very thorough instructions. Thanks.

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