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How to sew a zipped cushion cover for your home

How to sew a zipped cushion cover for your home
Looking for a quick and easy way to update your décor? Here's how to sew your own zipped cushion cover
Add a splash of colour and some extra comfort to a room with a simple zipped cushion cover. With just a few supplies and 1-2 hours of your time, you can sew a removable cushion cover to match your current colour scheme or to inject a pop of new colour.  When it comes to comfort and style you can never have too many cushions!
"With under two hours of your time, you can sew a removable cushion cover to match your current colour scheme or inject a new colour"
This quick project is suitable for beginner sewists and is a great way to practise inserting zips.  You will learn a very easy technique for sewing zips that you will be able to use again and again on future projects. Once you’ve discovered how easy it to sew your own cushion cover, you’ll never buy one again!
You can use the instructions to sew a square or rectangle cushion of any size to suit your needs.

Credit: Michelle Rowley
You will need:
  • sewing machine
  • Pins
  • Tailor’s chalk or fabric marker
  • Fabric scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Ruler
  • A rectangular or square cushion pad
  • Any woven fabric of your choice (enough to wrap around the cushion pad)
  • Co-ordinating thread
  • A co-ordinating zip 2” shorter than the length of the bottom of your cushion
  • Zipper foot
  • ¼” wide wash away quilters tape
  • An iron
  • A stitch unpicker
  • Iron-on interfacing (optional)
"Once you’ve discovered how easy it to sew your own cushion cover, you’ll never buy one again!"

Making the cushion cover

  1. Measure your cushion pad.  Use a ruler and fabric marker or tailor’s chalk to draw a rectangle or square the same size as your cushion pad. You can either fold and pin your fabric to cut two pieces the same for the front and back or draw and cut two pieces on different fabric pieces for the front and back. 
  2. Optional—Apply 1” strips of iron-on interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric along the bottom edge of the front and back pieces. This will help to stabilise your fabric and make sewing the zip easier, especially if using a light-weight fabric, but you can leave this step if you don’t have the interfacing.
  1. To prevent your fabric from fraying, finish all the edges on the front and back pieces with either a zig-zag stitch or an overlock stitch.  
  2. Place your zip along the bottom edge of one piece and mark on the wrong side where the zip mechanism starts and ends.  
  1. With the wrong sides of the fabric together, stitch to your first mark with a 1cm seam allowance. When you reach the first mark do a few reverse stitches and then change your machine length to the longest stitch length your machine will do. Stitch using the longer stitch length until your next mark. At the mark, change your stitch length back to the original length. Stitch to the end, securing at the mark with a few reverse stitches. 
  1. Open out the seam and press flat.  
  1. Apply the quilter’s tape to the right side of the zip, along both sides of the zip tape. 
  1. Remove the paper backing from the quilter’s tape and place the zip face down over the seam line. 
  1. Turn the cushion cover to the right side.  Using a zipper front, stitch along both sides of the zip. It will be difficult to stitch near the zip pull, so start further down and we will return to this area in the next step. 
  1. Use the stitch unpicker to carefully unpick the longer stitches and reveal your zip. Open the zip and finish your stitching at the zip pull end. 
  1. With the zip still open (this is important, otherwise you won’t be able to turn the cover to the right side!), stitch the remaining seams rights sides together with a 1cm seam allowance.
  1. Being careful not to cut through your stitching, trim the corner to remove bulk. Turn your cushion cover to the right side through the open zip and place on your cushion pad to finish. You can bring the seams in further if you decide to make the cushion cover fit more snugly. 
Banner photo: Michelle Rowley
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