*Fabric kindly gifted by the Yorkshire Fabric Shop
A few weeks ago the lovely team at the Yorkshire Fabric Shop sent me a box full of offcuts to try and make a few projects out of. One of the first fabrics that caught my eye was this printed chenille upholstery fabric because of it’s brilliant US licence plate print so I decided to make some super simple DIY Cushion covers.
My nephew Fletcher has just had his bedroom done and got his first big boy bed which just so happens to be a red racing car so I decided to turn this fabric into some extra cushions for his new bed. It feels like a fairly lightweight but durable material so it should do ok with being thrown around/sat on/used as a soft landing area when he’s playing SpiderMan 😆
A cushion cover is a nice simple pattern since it is essentially just a square made to the size of whatever cushion insert you are using, you could make it really simple by using the envelope method and forgoing the zipper but I find that it can make the pillow sag a bit and lose its shape.
First thing I had to do before anything else was to search for some cushion inserts, I did consider just using fibre filling but it gets so messy and I’d rather have them as cushion covers that can be taken off and washed. I didn’t want anything too large so I opted for 40x40cm inserts (these are the ones I bought) and also bought some cream zips (36cm) from eBay.
Once the cushion inserts and zips arrived I set to work making a pattern. As a general rule when making cushion covers you want to go a 2.5cm (or an inch) smaller than the size of the insert so that the cushion is nice and plump. I’m using shorter zips as I knew the overall size of the cushion would be fairly close to the size of the zips and I would be using zipper tabs.
The zipper tab then folds back against the stitched line to make a ‘covering’ for the zipper end (you’ll see from some of the photos below that I tried the first pillow without these and it worked fine but made the bottom 2 corners of the cushion look untidy so I added the zipper tabs)
This next step is the most fiddly of the whole project. I had to attach the zip to the bottom of the cushion but I also wanted to make it look neat and as much of a concealed zip as possible so I ran the zip onto the fabric with the thinnest seam allowance I could and then…
The rest of the process was pretty standard, I folded the cushion back with right sides together and sewed the remaining 3 open sides, opened the zip slightly and flipped the right way out.
To finish it off I added a small border seam around the unzipped edges.
Since the fabric is so sturdy all I had to do was roll the seam between my fingers to flatten it out (no need to drag the ironing board out is always a bonus) and then I just whizzed it through the machine. This border seam will help the cushions to maintain their shape and makes them more durable overall as there is less pressure placed on the internal seam, plus, they really help to make the cushion look ‘finished’ and more professional.
I’m starting work on some DIY Outdoor Cushions next to go along out planter seats.
I’ve got so many beautiful fabrics and patterns to choose from in my box still, who knows I might even make cushion making into my next side hustle!