How to make a cushion cover

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    Colourful cushions give a tired room an instant lift and can pull together a colour scheme – and nothing could be simpler to make than a basic cushion cover. It’s also a great way to get used to using a sewing machine, which will help you with all sorts of other sewing projects.

    Basic cushion

    1. Measure your cushion pad (or check size on label) and add 3cm to each measurement to allow for 1.5cm seam allowances. Using a ruler, set square and dressmakers’ chalk pencil, mark out this area on your fabric, once for the cushion front and again, for the back. If you want to centre a pattern or motif, or cut lots of cushion pieces, make a pattern from tracing paper, position on your fabric and draw round. Cut out pieces and iron.

    2. Pin the cushion front and back together with right sides facing and tack 1.5cm in from edges round three sides and four corners, leaving a gap on one side, as in diagram A. Machine-stitch close to tacking, reversing for a few stitches to secure thread ends. Remove tacking.

    3. On heavier-weight fabrics, such as velvets, clip across the corners to remove bulk. Alternatively, to give sharp, slightly padded corners on lightweight fabrics, fold the double seam allowance down on both sides, pressing along stitching line, then at top and bottom.

    4. Turn cushion cover right side out, press and insert cushion pad. Using a needle and matching thread, slip stitch opening to close.

    Testing player in template

    Envelope cushion

    To make a cover that can be easily removed for washing, add an envelope opening by cutting the back in two pieces.

    1. Cut your cushion front as before. Cut a paper pattern the same size for the back, draw a line across just below centre (position of overlap) and measure each piece, adding 6cm to overlap line. Cut out the two back pieces and arrange as cushion. On overlapping edges, press 1cm to wrong side and stitch, and then press 5cm to wrong side and tack.

    2. With right sides facing, pin the upper piece of cushion back to the front. Pin lower piece on top and tack all round. Machine-stitch and remove tacking. Trim or press corners, turn right side out and press. Insert cushion pad through opening.

    For a buttoned cushion

    Make the front of your cushion as an envelope opening, sew on press studs, or Velcro, to secure opening, and stitch buttons on top for decorative effect.

    Flanged cushion

    Cut cushion front 5cm larger all round than the pad and make a simple envelope back to fit. Turn finished cover out, press, then machine-stitch all round, 5cm in from edge. Insert pad to complete.

    The fabrics used to make these cushions are Heligan, Awning Stripe and Polka Dot all from Laura Ashley.

    Visit our shop goodtobuy, for sewing machines and craft products.

    The sewing machine in this video is Brother’s BM2600, priced £169.99, from goodtobuy

    Where to next?
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