How to Make Couch Cushion Covers

Cushions add comfort and a stylish touch to most rooms. Newly covered cushions are also a relatively inexpensive way of livening up a monotone color scheme, as they require little fabric compared with curtains (drapes) or blinds (shades). Simple shapes such as squares and circles show off strong colors and patterns to the best advantage, and both shapes can be decorated with frills, piping or both combined.

Both types of cushion shown here have a zip (zipper) inserted in the hack seam -a neater method than making the opening in a side seam. A zip is the most convenient method of fastening a cushion cover, making it easy to remove for laundry. You can close the opening with a row of slip stitches, which you will need to remove and then replace whenever you launder the cover.

Frills and piping in matching or contrasting fabric add interest and a nice finishing touch to round and square cushion covers.

Choose sumptuous fabrics for cushion covers to complement curtains and wall coverings for a harmonious decorating scheme.

MAKING A SQUARE CUSHION COVER

1. Measure the cushion pad, and add 12 mm/1/2 in all around or ease plus 12 mm/1/2 in for seam allowances. Pin and stitch the centre-back seam 12 mm/1/2 in from the raw edges, making sure to leave an opening large enough to accommodate the zip (zipper).Press open the seam.

2. Pin and tack (haste) the zip in position at the opening, allowing the fabric to meet centrally over the zip teeth. Using a zip foot on the machine, carefully machine stitch the zip in place.

3. Press the seam allowances around the zip. Open the zip, making sure that the fabric does not catch in the teeth and that the ends are stitched securely. With the zip still open, place the front and back pieces together so that the right sides are facing.

4. Pin and machine stitch twice around the edge, 12mm/1/2 in from the raw edges. Carefully clip away the surplus fabric close to the stitching at the corners, in order to reduce the bulk. Press the seams and turn the cover to the right side through the zipped opening. Press the seams, insert the cushion pad and close the zip.

MAKING A ROUND CUSHION COVER

1. Measure the diameter of the cushion pad, and add 12in all around for ease plus 12 mm/1/2 in for seam allowances. Make a paper pattern to this size using dressmaker’s pattern paper. Pin this on to the fabric and cut out one piece for the front of the cover.

2. Rule a line across the paper pattern to mark the position of the back seam. The line should measure approximately 12.5 cm/5in longer than the zip (zipper).Cut the paper patternĀ  along this line.

3. Pin both pattern pieces on to the fabric and cut them out, remembering to allow an extra 12 mm/1/2 in for the seam allowance on the straight edge of each piece.

4. Pin and stitch the back seam, leaving an opening long enough to accommodate the zip. Finish off the cover in the same way as the square cover (see opposite page).

PIPING

1. Fold a piece of fabric in halt diagonally and press the fold. Open out the fabric and mark out strips parallel to the fold about 4-5 cm/11/2-2 in apart. Cut out the strips. Join the strips with a flat seam to make the required length. Place the piping cord along the centre of the strip, fold it over and pin. Tack (haste) and stitch close to the cord.

2. Lay the covered cord on the right side of the fabric, with raw edges aligning, and tack in place. Cover with a second piece of fabric, right-side downwards and with the raw edges marching. Stitch the layers together along the seat using a zip (zipper) foot on the machine. Remove the tacking stitches. Make up the cover in the usual way.

MAKING A FRILL

For this you will need a piece of fabric that is twice the depth of the finished trill plus 3 cm/1 in, and between 1 1/2 and 2 times the outside measurement of the cover (you may have to join several strips together).

1. Join the ends of the strips together with a flat seam. Fold the strip in halt length ways with the wrong sides facing. Make one or two rows of running stitches along the raw edges of the strip, taking the stitches through both layers and leaving a long end of thread at one end of each row.

2.Gather the frill by pulling up the long threads until the frill is the correct size to fit around the cushion front. Wind the long threads around a pin to secure them and then even out the gather with your fingers.

To add a trill to either a square or round cushion, align the raw edge of the frill with the raw edge of the front cover, right sides together. Tack (haste) and sew the frill in place, then make up the cover in the usual way.