Monday, 13 February 2012

Rock on...

Living in a one bedroom flat with only the one sofa, I have been searching everywhere for a solid wooden rocking chair for an extra spot for visitor to place their bottoms...finally it arrived!  I'm so pleased with our  new (old) chair that I felt it needed some homemade touches to bring it back to life.  So, I got sewing!

Ever since I made my very first cushion cover I vowed never to buy another from a shop again!  True to my word, this project has started by making a rectangular cushion.  Cushion covers are so easy to make, they require simple maths (which is a bonus for me) and sewing straight lines.  The tricky part comes around inserting a zipper or buttonholes.  So as my very first craft sharing project, here's how I made my cushion cover with side zip opening.

Materials you will need:
  • cushion filler (I used 30 x 50cm)
  • Zip (I used a 50 cm zip)
  • Thread
  • Material of your own choosing (I used 100% cotton)

 Step 1 - Measure and your fabric

Take the size of your cushion filler and subtract 2 cm.  This is to ensure you have a plump finished cushion!

My measurements:  27 x 47cm

Step 2 - Cut your fabric

Cut your first rectangle of the above measurement.  Then lay this piece right side down onto you fabric to cut a second piece to the same measurement.

Now you have your cover pieces ready for sewing!

Step 3 - Overlock all the edges of your fabric (optional)

I recently have been lucky enough to receive a new sewing machine as a gift from my fabulous boyfriend (his words not mine), and my machine has a overlock setting to finish the edges of fabric.  You will need to change to the overlocker foot on your machine to do this.  I personally feel this is useful as it serves the function to prevent your fabric from fraying, but also gives it a professional finish.  However, I have made cushions previously without this step and never really found it a problem.

I was very excited to finally use this function!

  Step 4 -  Insert the zipper

With the right sides of your fabric together, pin along one long edge and make a 1.5 cm seam 4cm long at each end of the fabric, reverse stiching at the start and finish.
I find the simplest way to do this is to mark 4 cm in from each edge, sew your first 4cm with reverse stitches, then stop sewing to increase the stitch length to your machine's maximum setting.  Sew a basting stitch down to the next 4cm marker, then stop again to reduce your stitch length back again, sew a reverse stitch then finish the final 4cm.

Press the seam open, and place the fabric wrong side up.  Position the zip right side down with the teeth centred on the line of the stitching.  Pin and sew using zipper foot with 1.5cm seam.  You will need to lift the foot with the needle down to move the zip pull out of the way.

Remove basting stitches.

 Step 5 - Closing your cushion cover

With the right sides of the fabric together sew around the remaining 3 sides with a 1.5cm seam allowance.  Do remember to keep your zip open at this point, to ensure you can turn it out!

Step 6 - Stuff your cushion cover

Turn your cover right side out through the zipped opening and push the corners out for definition.  Now insert your cushion filler and tah dah!

I'm also planning on adding a seat cushion.  Rocking chair project to be continued...

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