Saturday, July 25, 2009

Chair Cushion tutorial

I started making cushion covers many years ago when my mother asked me to make one for a rattan chair in their Florida room. She had found a woman who would make all the square cushion covers, but she said she didn't know how to make the cover for the round cushion. I took the old cover apart, including the piping to see just how it had been constructed and then used the old pieces for a pattern. This is what is now called "reverse engineering." The new cover fit like a glove and my mom was very happy.

I really liked the foam cushion on the armchair and decided to get one for the rocker. The top and bottom of the cover were cut exactly an inch larger than the measure of the foam square. The side piece was cut 3/4 of an inch wider than the side measure. I had to seam the side piece because it was about 80 inches around, so I reinforced the seams by topstitching.

Using my trusty bias ticket, I made enough bias to go around both the top and bottom edges.

The bias is an inch and a half wide to account for the cording.

The cording goes inside the bias to create the piping. (Pin the cording to the bias when you start so that it doesn't slip out.)

Starting in the middle of a side, pin the bias with cording inside, to the raw edges of the top. Curve the bias to fit in each of the four corners.

When you reach the point where you started, cut the cording so that it meets the beginning end with no overlap. Trim the bias at a 45 degree angle and place it inside the leading edge.

Pin in place.

Use a cording foot or a zipper foot for all of the sewing involving the piping. I'm actually using what's called an overcast foot on my old Bernina. Sew around the entire top about 1/4 inch from the edge. This will insure that the raw edges of the piping don't slip when you are seaming the top and the edge piece.

Pin the edge piece in place striving to make sure that seams do not end up in the corners. When the two ends of the edge piece meet, add one quarter inch to each side and seam with right sides together. Finish pinning edge in place.

The edge piece, now in a ring, pinned in place looks like this. Get as close to the cording as you can when you sew this seam.

Here's the top and the edge turned right side out on the cushion for display. Apply piping to the bottom exactly as you did to the top and sew in place. Pin bottom to edge piece on three sides only.

I sew a line of stitching one quarter inch from the edge of the fourth side. It makes pressing it under much easier. Sew bottom to edge on the three sides and turn cover right side out. Press down the fourth side.

Put cover on foam cushion. (This is a little bit like putting a sock on an giant who can't help you by pushing.) Whip stitch the fourth edge closed and put that side of the cushion anywhere but in the front.

Here's the new cushion all ready for our dinner party tomorrow.


Fiesta said...

Dana thank you for the wonderful tutorial. I have tons of piping and really struggled with it.

Jean Baardsen said...

My, that looks nice! Lovely job!

Dana W. Fisher said...

Fiesta Girl--Thanks for your visit and I'm glad the tutorial was helpful.

Thanks, Jean.

Kind regards,

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Great tutorial Dana! I hope you have a fantastic time at your dinner party.

Dana W. Fisher said...

Thanks, Mary. I hope it cools off enough for us to be out there tonight. We've got a hot one today here in the Piedmont.
Kind regards,

jeanettesquiltin said...

OMG...always wanted to do that. thank you for the tutorial. this is on my list as a future project.

Dana W. Fisher said...

Hi Jeanette-- I'm glad this was helpful. Thanks for your visit.
Best regards,

Kay Koeper Sorensen said...

too late to help you but I've put socks on many giants!
I slide them into a plastic dry cleaners bag, slide the cushion in the cover and tear out the dry cleaner bag.

Dana W. Fisher said...

Kay, that is brilliant! I will remember that for the next time. Thank you.
Kind regards,

quiltcat said...

Great tutorial, Dana! i hope you were able to have your dinner party on the porch. Our outdoors concert had to move to the indoor venue...July's drought rather inconveniently broke as we were setting up the band's equipment :). That's a great hint from Kay, too...i'll try to remember it!

Dana W. Fisher said...

Yes, Cat, we were able to have a glass of wine on the porch, so I was pleased. We finally got some much-needed rain last night, too.
All the best,

Leah/ Texas/ United States said...

thanks so much for the tutorial. very helpful. i've wanted to sew piping on to some things but it seems so counterintuitive. i tried some of that stuff one time that you get at the hobby store that has like some kind of cord attached to piping and you sew the strip of cord (or flat stuff) into the seam. i know that made no sense what i just said. anyway it worked o-kay but really was a mild disaster. so i'll have to try it again. this time i'll try your way. thanks!!

Dana W. Fisher said...

Hi Leah,
I'm pleased that the tutorial was helpful. Thanks for visiting.
Kind regards,