13 October 2011

Envelope cushion covers

Just like most people my age in London, I rent my house. It's lovely, but I can't paint the walls, or put up too many pictures, or really do much about some of the furniture, so sometimes I get a bit bored and feel the need to shake things up a bit. Inevitably, and no doubt to the relief of my landlord, it's generally the cushion covers that get the makeover.

If you've got a sewing machine, it's so easy to make new cushion covers and it can really make a difference to the look of a room. Almost as good as wielding a paintbrush!

How to make an envelope cushion cover 
Material (if you want the covers to be washable, wash the material before you cut it)
Cushion pad
Tape measure
Iron and ironing board
Needle or sewing machine

1. First thing, measure your cushion pad (mine was 46cm square), then measure out your material. The length needs to be 2.5 times the length of the cushion pad, plus 5cm for hemming, and the width is the width of the cushion pad plus 5cm for hemming again. So mine was 120cm x 51cm. Then cut out the material.

2. With the right side of the material facing down, turn over 2.5cm at each width end of the material and iron it down to create a hem. Fold that hem over again, by another 2.5cm, and iron it down, so you have a double thickness hem and the rough edge is hidden inside the fold. Sew along the hem with a straight running stitch.

3. With the wrong side of the material facing down this time, place the cushion pad in the middle of the material. Fold the fabric over the cushion from each end, to create the 'envelope' with the overlap. Carefully slide out the cushion, and iron the material, so you have a square. If your material slides about a bit when you remove the cushion pad, just measure the length to make sure it's the same as the cushion pad on each side. 

4. Pin down the unhemmed sides, tack, and sew with a straight running stitch, leaving a 2.5cm seam allowance.

5. Turn the fabric the right side out and stuff with your cushion pad.

If you want a stripe on your cushion, at stage 1, cut a strip of fabric the same width as the fabric for your cushion. Measure the length of your stripe and add 5cm for hemming. With the material facing down, turn a 2.5cm hem on each width end and iron it flat. Position the stripe, right side up on right side of the cushion material, making sure the length ends are lined up with the edges of the cushion fabric. Sew a straight running stitch (or zigzag if you want to get fancy) along the folded sides of the stripe, close to the edge.

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