March 09, 2015

A Beginner Sews: Envelope Cushion Cover

If I am not careful this spring, I might turn into a bee. A sewing bee that is!

With my new found fondness of all things handcrafted (see my latest knit), I thought I better give sewing a go as well. Oh my! What a revelation that was. I love sewing! I love ironing! (What???)

Once I had figured out how to use the machine (which took about a day!), I was whizzing away with it like said bee. I just couldn’t stop. Every little bit of fabric in my house had to be turned into something new: Cushion cover, sleeping mask, pin cushion, bunting... I could barely keep myself from ripping down the curtains and turn them into a dress (just kidding!).

For my first project I settled on the envelope cushion cover (no buttons involved!). I got the fabric at IKEA, together with a handy instruction leaflet on how to sew a cushion cover. I’ve never failed at making things that are provided with an IKEA instruction. I just love a simple step by step guide: Cut template, cut fabric, pin, sew, iron and bam (!) your couch cushion had a rosy, new cover. Easy as pie!
I think my sewing machine and I will become great friends this year. What is it you say? You want to become friends with your inner sewing bee. Well, how about a new cushion cover!


Envelope Cushion Cover 50cmx50cm

Piece of fabric 1mx1m (like this)
Sewing machine (with bobbins and thread) (like this)
Pins (like these)
Fabric scissors (like these)
Paper (I used a wrapping paper)

  1. Make two templates by cutting your paper A) to a square of 53cmx53 and B) to a rectangle of 53cmx35cm.
  2. Place your template A on your fabric, make sure it’s nice and flat, secure with pins and then cut as close to the template as possible.
  3. Fold your remaining fabric in half and place your template B at the top fold and secure in place with pins.
  4. Cut around the template, again as close as possible. Then put your scissors into the fold and cut it open. You should now have two back pieces measuring 53cmx35cm and one front piece measuring 53cmx53cm.
  5. Iron all your fabric pieces.
  6. Before putting your cushion together, you will need to hem one long edge on both back pieces. Fold one of the long sides on both of your back pieces up by 1 cm and iron it flat.
  7. Fold it up again by 1.5cm, iron it and pin it down.
  8. Sew the seams with a straight stitch.
  9. All is hemmed now!
  10. Time to arrange the cushion cover. Take your front piece and lay it right side up.
  11. Lay one of the back pieces on top, right side down, hemmed seam on the inside.
  12. Lay the other back piece on top, right side down and again the hemmed seam is the inner edge.
  13. Pin the layers in place.
  14. Sew with a straight stitch. Start half-way along one edge. Don’t forget to do a couple of reverse stitches. Sew all sides in one go, simply turning at the corners.
  15. Cut off the excess fabric in the corners, so you can push the corners out to a point.
  16. Sew once more around all sides this time using a zigzag stitch. That will help prevent the edges from fraying.
  17. Turn your cushion cover inside out and marvel at your handiwork.
  18. Iron it one more time and then simply slip it on a cushion of your choice.  

Happy sewing!

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