How To Sew A Chair Cushion Cover – Learn how to sew a zipped pillowcase to keep it neat, fit and prolong the life of your bed!
When our comfortable blanket is in the laundry, it looks uncomfortable in the living room. Our favorite couch is now open, and it’s hard to ignore the poor condition of the pillows.
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Just look at how the skin is. And the worst part is that it looked like this for over a year, but I didn’t do anything about it.
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The cushions on my couch are beyond repair – it’s best to cover them. And sometimes it would be better to remove the cover and clean it.
So today I’m going to show you how to make a zippered sofa cushion.
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To start, cut a new fabric. To do this, remove the pillow from the old cover. Then trace the outline of the pillow on the fabric with a marker (marker). As you do so, add 1/2 inch for seam allowance.
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You can also use old covers to trace the outline – I did this and it’s a lot easier.
Once you’ve cut one section, use that section to go around all the other sections (make sure the right sides of the fabric are together). Example: I have two pillows on my sofa, so I cut 4 pieces of fabric.
Next, you need to cut the sides of your pillow. Using an old pillow as a template, measure from one end of the zipper to the other (not the side of the zipper). Then add an additional 5 inches to that measurement.
And add an additional 1″ for seam allowance. Cut this section according to the number of pillows you have.
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Example: My pillow measures 74 inches from zipper to zipper, but I added an extra 5 inches to make it 79 inches. My pillow is 5 1/2″ thick but I added 1″ so I need 6 1/2″. When I’m ready, I’ll cut my 79″ x 6 1/2″ piece and cut it twice as I have two rugs.
For the zipper fabric, you will need to measure the zipper of your old case. Then add 1 inch to that measurement. Using the width you just calculated for your last section, divide it in half and add the extra 1/2″. Now take the width and length and make 2 pieces for one pillow.
Example: My zipper is 42 inches long and then I added 1 inch to make it 43 inches. The width of the final cut is 6 1/2 inches; I made it 3 1/4 inches and split it in half but then added 1/2 inches. My final measurement is 3 3/4 inches. The piece I’m going to be cutting is 43″ x 3 3/4″ and since I have two rugs, I’m going to cut them four times.
And place the quilting zipper, zipper, and right side of your fabric together. Then sew the edges of the zipper as tightly as possible.
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Now take a piece of fabric, turn it to the right side of the fabric and stitch the top next to the zipper.
Take the side with the extra zipper and sew around the zipper a few times, 1/4 inch from the edge of the fabric, to hold the zipper together. Then cut off the excess zipper.
You should now have 4 sheets of fabric for the pillow (1 and 2: the top and bottom of the pillow, 3: the zipper section, and 4: the center of the pillow).
You can find a tutorial for adding piping to pillows here. I would suggest adding a border to your pillow as it gives a statement and an elegant look.
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Using the center of the pillow and the zipper with the right sides together, pinch the edges of the fabric. Then sew a 1/2″ seam allowance. Do this on both edges of your fabric cut, giving you a large piece of circular fabric.
Take one of the edges you just sewn, fold the center over the 1-1/4″ zipper piece and pin it in place.
Using a fabric pen, mark the center of the fabric on both sides 1 inch from the center of the zipper.
Then measure 1-1/4 inches from the center of the zipper to the center fabric. Connect the three dots to form a triangle.
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Do this step for the other side of the fabric where the zipper connects to the center of the fabric.
To do this, take your pillow top fabric and fold it in half lengthwise, making sure you mark the side where the pipes join (the back of the pillow).
To find the center of the fabric for the zipper, join the ends of the zipper (zipper body) and mark where they bend.
Then glue the right sides together, the center of the top cushion fabric to the center of the zipper fabric.
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Tip: Make sure you attach the back of the pillow with a zipper. I didn’t do this for one pillow and had to loosen it all up and redo it, no fun!
Start pinning all the pillow fabric. Tie the zipper at the corner so that it turns.
Start at one of the back corners to sew the back side first. Your fabric may stretch as you sew and you may need to adjust the pins. So you start sewing on the back first so the excess fabric is on the back.
If your fabric stretches, add extra fabric to the back corner of the cover. If you sew like this…
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After you sew one side, sew the pillow down; Make sure you add back to back.
Now go to another post on how to sew a cover to see how you can update your entire sofa.
It’s been a steep learning curve, but hopefully what I’ve learned will be useful to other beginners looking to tackle something similar.
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This may not always be the most traditional way of sewing, but after reading beginner sewing books and watching a number of tutorials, this one worked best for me. I know modern times is all about uploading videos to YouTube, but unfortunately my chances of sewing straight lines while smiling happily into the camera and speaking in a calm, rational voice are slim. But if you’re more of a visual person, there are plenty of videos to teach you how to sew. I looked at a lot, but found that the information would leave me somewhere between the computer screen and the sewing machine.
Carefully cut 6 panels similar to the diagram (but with your own dimensions). Remember to leave a 2cm seam allowance at each end. The zipper on the back panel will be cut in half, so add 2cm to this measurement, 1cm for each half. (If you want to give yourself a little more leeway, you can always use 2cm for each half.)
Use a cloth pencil to mark the back, front or back, etc. of each panel. You will soon see that they are very similar.
Starting with the front panel, lay – right sides together – on the top panel, aligning the bottom and corner seams.
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Pin the two halves along the bottom seam. Make small marks 2 cm from each end and, using a 2 cm seam allowance, sew between these two marks. Make a few stitches on each end for reinforcement.
Continue with the two side panels. Place them on the top panel (right sides together), pin and then machine stitch 2cm from each end.
The standard way to make seat cushions is to use long strips that curve around the front and sides. Every tutorial and video says that this is the best way to make pillow corners. I tried and I failed. I have been fighting these corners for weeks with very mixed results. So I came up with my own method, which is much easier, looks tidier and saved my sanity for a while.
Look where your front, left and top panels meet – your three corners should meet nicely.
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Pin along the edges of the front and left panels. Again, make small marks 2cm from each end (where the corners will be) and, making sure the top panel isn’t in the way (you’ll only need to pin two pieces of fabric, make sure the third one doesn’t catch up), sew.