I always think it’s incredible how soft furnishings can completely transform the look and feel of a room. They are a relatively easy way to update your style and can also add a bit of personality to your space.
I’m one of those people who love about a thousand cushions on my bed or sofa - my husband is not, but seems to humour me so far.
They are the perfect afternoon sewing project, and this tutorial shows you how to make the simplest cushion possible, with an envelope opening and a contrasting back and front. They need very little fabric, so you can add interest to your room, even if you’re on a budget.
What you need
Any cushion pad - a cushion with feather down will tend to hold it’s shape for longer.
2 contrasting fabrics - You probably need about a quarter, to a half a metre of the front fabric for one cushion, depending on your cushion pad size. For the backing fabric, you should be fine with a quarter of a metre, unless you have a massive cushion pad! Hint - I always check the remnant bins in sewing shops for a bargain!
Measure your cushion pad - mine was about 17.5 inches square.
Iron your fabrics and lay your cushion pad on top of the fabric you’d like to be at the front. My front fabric is the tropical printed darker blue, and my backing fabric is the lighter blue cord.
Tip - when you measure your cushion pad, make sure you take the rise of the cushion into consideration, laying your tape measure flat along the surface of the middle of the cushion - to get the fullest measurement.
Cut out your front fabric
You need to have enough of the front fabric to cover one side of the cushion pad, fold over the top of it, and cover half of the back of the cushion pad.
Approximately, your front fabric needs to be the width of your cushion pad, plus 1/2 inch for your seam allowance, and one and a half times the length of the cushion pad,
This meant that I needed to cut my front fabric 18.5 inches wide and approximately 26 inches tall.
Above is a rough diagram to show you what I mean…
Cut your contrast backing fabric
The backing fabric needs to be the same width as your first piece, but only about 3/4 of the length of your cushion pad.
Mine was therefore 18.5 inches wide and 15 inches tall. Have a look at the diagram for a more visual explanation.
Tip - if you have a particularly plump cushion pad, it can be a good idea to add an inch or two extra to the length of your fabric.
Hem both pieces of fabric.
To do this, simply take one of the widths and fold the raw edge under to the wrong side, and sewing straight across the edge.
You only need to hem one width on the front piece and one width of the back piece.
Tip - if you have a thinner fabric, fold the fabric over twice to get a stronger edge.
Lay your back and front fabric pieces on top of each other.
Start with the front piece, and lay that on a flat surface, right side up.
Fold over the top of the front piece, (right sides together) so that it could lap over the edge of your cushion pad. Go back to your measurements if you need to, and check that the folded side measures the length of your cushion pad, plus 1/2 inch.
Lay your back piece of fabric on top, with the right side down. The hemmed edges should now overlap each other.
Pin and sew round three of the four edges of the cushion cover with a 1/2 inch seam allowance. You don’t need to sew the fourth edge, as that will be already be secured by the fold of the fabric.
Trim your corners and raw edges. I personally don’t think there’s any need to serge or zig zag stitch your edges, as you’re not going to be washing and changing the covers on a daily basis. I’d just trim the edges with pinking sheers.
Turn your cover the right way round and iron, before putting it onto your cushion pad.
Place on your sofa and admire.
If you have a particularly plump cushion pad, then adding a button closure to the back can help to keep the insides from showing.
Add pom pom trim or piping around the edge of the cushion. You’d do this by sandwiching it in place between the back and the front of the fabrics before you sew. Make sure the trim or pom poms face inwards.
Embroider or add applique to the front of your cushion cover to add a bit of interest, or even cover up any stains or holes in the fabric!
I hope you’ve found this tutorial useful, and I also hope you’ve been inspired to update your space with a few easy to make cushions.