Yesterday I showed you how to make an elk cushion cover. In that post I said that I’d made two cushion covers over the weekend, so as promised, here is the tutorial for the second cushion cover.
I wanted to stick with the neutral colour scheme so I used a cream silk dupion and covered one side of the cushion cover with heaps of little silk dupion petals. This was quite simple, it just took some time and patience.
For this cushion cover you will need:
- 2 squares of fabric that measure the dimensions of your cushion insert, plus seam allowance all the way around. (Add about 1 – 1.5 cm to each side for seam allowance.)
- 2 squares of batting/wadding (this is the stuff quilters use). I decided to add a layer of batting to the back of each fabric square because the silk dupion is quite light weight and I don’t like flimsy cushion covers. If you like you could use interfacing instead.
- Extra fabric for the petals
- An invisible zipper in a colour to match your fabric that measures 5 – 10 cm shorter than the length of the finished cushion
- Fray stoppa (available from craft/fabric/haberdashery stores), a paint brush and aluminium foil
- Matching thread
Overlock around the edges of your fabric squares so they don’t fray. This is especially important if you are using silk dupion as it frays really easily. Cut out heaps of little circles for the petals. On my cushion I used circles with a 5 cm diameter and I needed 60 in total as I wanted 6 rows of 10 petals. I am way too lazy to sit there and cut out 60 individual circles so I folded up the fabric so I could cut out several at once.
Now for the most time consuming part. Lay out a sheet of aluminium foil and put some fray stoppa in a small container. Using the paint brush, paint fray stoppa around the edge of each circle and leave it to sit on the aluminium foil to dry. If the circles get a bit stuck to the foil, you can just carefully peel them off. This will make the edges of the circles a bit stiff, but it will prevent them from fraying.
Once they have all dried, fold each circle in half and pin onto one of the fabric squares in your desired layout. I did 6 rows of 10 petals and alternated the direction of the petals for each row.
Sew along the middle of each row to secure the petals. Then sew each square to a square of batting by sewing all the way around the square about 5 mm from the edge.
Now you can insert the zipper. I like using invisible zippers in cushions because they’re easy to insert and they look really neat. I always do 2 rows of stitching on each side of the zipper because I find it easier this way. If you have an invisible zipper foot for your sewing machine it will make inserting the zipper an absolute breeze. If not, don’t worry, you can use your ordinary zipper foot. Start by opening the zipper and placing the zipper tape right side down on the right side of the cushion cover with the edge of the zipper tape being close to the edge of the cushion. (This is with 1.5 cm seam allowance. If using 1 cm seam allowance, the edge of the zipper tape should match up with the edge of the cushion.) Note that when I say “the right side of the zipper” or “the right side of the cushion” I’m referring to the front/correct side, not the right hand side. Sew along the middle of the zipper tape from the plastic bit near the top of the zipper to about 2 -3 cm from the bottom of the zipper. Sew again, this time getting as close to the zipper teeth as you possibly can. If you uncurl the teeth with your fingers as you sew, you should be able to get within a millimetre or two of the teeth.
Zip up the zipper to make sure it’s working and you haven’t sewn through any of the teeth. Unzip it and repeat the same process for sewing the other side of the zipper to the back of the cushion. However, with this side, it’s a good idea to do up the zipper after the first row of stitching to check that the two sides of the cushion line up and that the zipper isn’t twisted. If you’re happy with it, unzip it and sew the second row of stitching close to the teeth. Zip it up and see how it looks. You should hardly be able to see the zipper.
With the zipper closed, sew the two cushion cover pieces together at either end of the zipper. Use your normal zipper foot to get as close as you can to where the zipper starts/finishes. You only need to stitch through the two layers of cushion cover, not the zipper tape. When I was first learning to sew, I found this a bit tricky. If you’re finding it too fiddley and it’s driving you absolutely crazy, just sew as close as you can to the zipper and then do a few hand stitches to get in really close if need be.
Open the zipper and with the right sides of the cushion cover together, sew all the way around the remaining three sides. Turn the cushion cover through to the right side, insert the cushion and give yourself a pat on the back for making such a spiffy cushion cover!
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