August 17, 2015

A Beginner Sews: T-shirt to Cushion Cover

Shopping is normally not really high on our activities list for holidays, but this August we have used any excuse to hide in the air-conditioned shops and boutiques that line the steaming streets of Berlin. During our holidays here I managed to add three T-shirts to the Englishman’s wardrobe, together with an awesome shirt and some shorts. That’s what the heat is doing to him, he lets me buy clothes for him!

I had to promise though (big pinky-promise!) that this time I am not turning them into cushion covers. Since last time I treated my studio sofa cushion to an array of colorful palm trees thanks to one of his summer tees. I used the same instructions as for my previous envelope cushion cover, but because it’s so simple for beginner sewers I decided to share it again.

Envelope Cushion Cover 50cmx50cm

UPDATE: I put my scribbles together again to make a little step-by-step guide. Get the pdf here.

Ingredients: T-shirt (anything from size M-XL)
Sewing machine (with bobbins and thread)
Fabric scissors
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. Cut your T-shirt along the seam lines.
3. Then place your template A on the front of the T-shirt, make sure it’s nice and flat, secure with pins and then cut as close to the template as possible.
4. Fold the back of the T-shirt in half and place your template B at the top fold and secure in place with pins.
5. 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.
6. Before putting your cushion together, you will need to hem one long edge on one back piece. For the second back piece you should be able to use the hemline of the T-shirt. If not do the following to both pieces: Fold one of the long sides 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. Slip it on a cushion of your choice.


Happy sewing once again!


  1. thank's for the instructions, I will give this a shot.Some pics of the whole process would've been helpful. I also like your phone :-)

    1. Thanks iinkognitoo, I'll keep the suggestion for the photos in mind. Hopefully the scribbles on my instructions give you guidance enough. Happy sewing!

  2. I ment "I like your photos". not your phone. But I guess that's pretty nice too ;)

    1. Yeah, it's nice. I like it ;) Thanks for the compliment, though! And I must apologise. After my last reply I noticed that I actually hadn't added the instructions. So the post got a little update. It's a pdf file that you can download with the scribbled instructions that I used. Hope that helps! Nx

  3. Hey, thank you! I'll let you know how it worked out.