Many moons ago I used to make and sell cushion covers with a zip edge that made them easy to change and wash. It’s been a while since I got my sewing machine out so I thought I’d make a fun floor cushion with some really easy materials that make this easier for even novice sewers. This is made with ready cut fabric and a dress zip.
What you’ll need:
- Two Flat Fats (50x52cm) ready cut in patterns you like I got these from a Spotlight event earlier in the year*
- Dress Zip (46cm/18″) in a colour of your choice I chose white because I have a huge zip stash in my sewing box and it’s mostly hidden when complete
- Sewing Machine
- Fabric Scissors (or sharp scissors)
- Dissolving Fabric Marker or pencil or chalk
- Sewing Pins
- Thread in a colour of your choice I chose white because I had it on hand, but orange would have been better for this project
- Cushion Insert I used a size 20 (51x51cm) from Spotlight*
- Optional: Iron
Start by preparing your fabric. I washed and ironed my two pieces so they were ready to sew.
- Take your two pieces of fabric and line them up together with the pattern sides facing inwards. Pick which end the zip will sit. I chose the 52cm side where the semi circles would sit upwards when complete. Lay the zip over the top and mark with your dissolving fabric marker where the zip will sit. Note that I have marked them so that the silver ends will be inside the sewn part and will not be visible when complete.
- Using sewing pins, attach the two pieces together so that they won’t move whilst you sew that end.
- Leaving a seam allowance gap at the edge (with a short back stitch to secure), and with a seam allowance of your choice (I used 5/8) start sewing with a normal stitch at around 2 or 2.5 all the way to the first mark. Then do a reverse stitch a few stitches before coming back to the mark. With the needle in the fabric, switch your stitch with to a basting stitch (4 on my Janome) and stitch to the next mark, being sure to remove the sewing pins just before you would sew over them so you don’t sew over them.
- Now change back to the normal stitch length and sew a few stitches forward and do a back stitch to the mark before continuing to where you would turn if you were continuing to sew the cushion (but don’t turn) and back stitch to secure.
- Then it’s time to flatten out the seam so that the stitch is in the middle. You can use an iron for this to make it neat. Then line your zip up with the zip handle in the open position (up). Flip it over so that it’s facing the fabric
- Line the middle of the zip up with the seam and use sewing pins to secure. push the zip open slightly at the top with the handle still in the open position.
- Using the zipper foot, start sewing down the right hand side of the zip with a securing stitch to start and when you come close to the open zip piece stop, with the needle in the fabric and lift the foot and move the zip handle up so that it’s completely closed and drop the zip foot again and continue sewing to where the fabric mark is at the other end.
- Now turn the fabric 90 degrees and sew across the zip slowly. You can do this with your hand rather than the foot peddle if you’re concerned you’ll go too fast. Note that the silver end piece will be covered when finished. Then turn it 90 degrees again and sew back up the other side. Stopping short to repeat step seven backwards (open the zip to sew the last bit). Then turn 90 degrees and sew so the top metal pieces are concealed inside the cushion too. Back stitch to finish.
- Now have the fabric face up and get your unpicker. Now it is time to reveal your zip from where you sewed it. You will only be unpicking the basting stitch that you sewed earlier.
- Once all unpicked in the zipper area, you can open your zip all the way. You will see that you have a flap on each side that sits over it.
- Now fold the pieces of fabric together again with the pattern sides facing together and pin them around the three unattached sides. Then start at the zip end (with the regular foot again) where you had your secure stitch (with the seam allowance). Keeping the seam allowance sew almost all the way to the end of the first side, when you’re about your seam allowance width from the end, with the needle in the fabric, lift the foot and turn it to continue along the next side. Sew to near the next corner and repeat. Then sew all the way back to the zip end and link it with the secure end there. Back stitch to secure.
- Woohoo! Your cushion is nearly done! Now cut a triangle near each corner (making sure not to cut the thread, so you don’t get bunchy edges.
- Turn it in the right way though the open zip and push those corners out so they’re nice and pointy
- Pop a cushion in, I used a size 20 (51x51cm) cushion, and zip it up. Tuck the handle part of the zip into the gap we made for it earlier so it doesn’t flap about
- Now you have a two sided cushion with a zip at the bottom. This is one side
- This is the other. Ta-da!
Thoughts on the project:
I just used fabric and things that I already had around the house and it was a fun rainy day project. The zip can be a little bit fiddly to do at first, and I didn’t quite line the fold up at the centre, but it turned out really well. I love that just by flipping it over you get a new pattern and one doesn’t dominate the other. If I was doing it again, I would only change the thread to orange as it wouldn’t show my less than perfect stitching of the zip.
All in all, I’m really happy with how this turned out and I loved that by using flat fats I didn’t have to worry about cutting any fabric myself. It’s also easy for me to unzip and pop the cover in the washing machine when I need to and the zip isn’t anywhere it would bother you to lean or sit on. It makes a great floor or large bed cushion for me, but would also be a great size for kids.
Do you have floor cushions? Would you try this one?
*This post includes some fabric that I received at an event hosted by Spotlight. This post isn’t sponsored by them. The cushion insert and zip were both purchased by me many moons ago. My aim by sharing shop names is that you know where you can find the cool stuff too! x