Patchwork cushion cover

P1220746 Today I had the chance of having a good play around with my new sewing machine that I got a few months back.

I figured a cushion cover would be a good little project to get me to grips with the machine, since it requires putting a zip in. I decided to do it patchwork because… well, who doesn’t love patchwork?

So here you have it, my patchwork cushion cover. If you fancy an easy sewing project for beginners or kids, you can simply skip the patchwork front side of the cushion and do two plain sides. Fancy making your own? Find instructions below.

You will need:

  • Assorted fabric
  • A cushion pad
  • A dress zip
  • Thread
  • Dress making scissors
  • A sewing machine
  1. Measure your cushion pad. Mine was a 16″ square, hence I decided to do four rows of 4″ squares for my patchwork front. Make this easy for yourself, if your cushion measures 15″, use three rows of 5″ squares etc.P1220702
  2. Now you need to make a square template that you are going to draw around to ensure all your patchwork pieces are all the same size. I used black card. An important thing to take into consideration when sewing is your seam allowance. This is the fabric that ends up in the seam of your garment (or cushion cover in this case). Because I wanted my final cushion to be made up of sixteen 4″ squares, I needed to add seam allowance to all of my 4″ squares. I used a seam allowance of 5/8″. This means I added 5/8″ to all four sides of my square template.P1220704
  3. Choose how many squares you want out of each fabric, then draw and cut around your template. I decided to use four squares from each of my four fabrics.
  4. Once you have cut out all your squares, you can start arranging them! This is the fun bit; decide what arrangement looks best and how you want your cushion cover to look. At this point I find it helpful to take a quick photo on my phone so I don’t forget what I have decided on.
  5. Now, pin two of your squares from the top row right sides together down one of the side seams. Continue to pin the other squares from the row together in this same manner, right sides of the fabric together. You will end up with something like this when you open it out (this is shown right sides of the fabric against the table) :P1220710
  6. Machine stitch along the pinned edges. Once you have done so, press open the seams using an iron. This will give you something like this:P1220721
  7. Using the same technique, stitch all of your rows together to form the front of your cushion cover. You can see on the photos below that I have pressed my seams open, I’d recommend doing this. It just helps the cover lie properly when the cushion pad is inside.
  8. Now you have your front all sewn together, you can cut out a back for your cushion. This should be the size of your cushion plus the seam allowance along all four sides (so in my case a 16″ square plus 5/8″ on all four sides). It should also be the same size as the front of your cushion cover, so drawing around this can sometimes be an easy method of ensuring your front and back are the same size.
  9. Time to put the zip in! Don’t worry, its not that bad. You need to be using a zip thats slightly smaller than one side of your cushion, so I used a 14″ zip. I put my zip in by placing the front and back of my cushion right sides together and sewing an inch at the top of the seam I wished for my zip to lie in and an inch at the bottom, leaving 14″ in the middle of the seam free for my zip. Pin your zip to your front and back as shown below, and then machine stitch along the edge of the zip using a zipper foot. When you get to the zipper bit of your zip (does that make sense? “The bit you pull to undo the zip”), lift the foot and move the zipper past your needle, before replacing the foot and continuing sewing.P1220735
  10. At the top and bottom of your zip, do a straight stitch across the seam to secure it. We’re almost done now! With the zip open, sew along the other three edges of your cushion cover, right sides together. Snip any loose threads before turning the cover the right way around. Ta da! You have your finished cushion cover.