Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Cushion Cover Tutorial (Part 1)

I have been asked to write a tutorial on how to make a cushion cover with a zipper in it. How I do it is a combination of reading about how others make theirs and a whole lot of experimentation.


I like cushion covers to be tight over the pillow form and spent a lot of time figuring out how to come up with a simple formula. It hit me one day and it works.
When you cut out your fabric, you cut it out the same size as the pillow form.
14" pillow has 14" squares of fabric, 16" pillow has 16" squares of fabric and on it goes.
Then, I wanted to put in the zipper in the back of the pillow so I had to figure out that. You cut out the back square one inch longer than the front.
14" pillow is 14" x 15", 16" pillow is 16 x 17" and on it goes.
Zippers then follow the size of the pillow. 14" zipper for a 14" pillow, 16" zipper for a 16" pillow and so on. If you can't get the right size zipper, buy a longer one and cut off the bottom when you sew it in. Easy.


I use 100% cotton for my pillows. Mostly quilting cottons but I have used cotton upholstery fabric. I am ready to move out into other fabric in the store. But, I am not ready to use the heavy fabrics. That will come with experimentation.

Fabric Amount

  • 40" of fabric will make 2 cushion covers between the sizes of 14 to 18" square. After that, you have to do some math. 48" will make two 22" cushion covers.
  • Two zippers to match the width of your pillow for 2 cushion covers.
  • Matching thread.
I use a rotary cutter and a 20" square ruler when cutting my squares. If you don't have that make a paper pattern.
1 - square the size of your cushion form (18" for this tutorial)
1 - piece that is the width of your cushion cover and 1" longer. (18 x 19" for this tutorial)

Preparing Your Fabric

If you plan on washing your cushion cover, wash, dry and iron your fabric prior to cutting out.
Trim the end of your fabric square using a rotary cutter and ruler.
Flip your fabric over and cut a piece that is 18" from the trimmed end.
Set that piece to one side.
Cut a second piece that is 19" long.
You will have a piece left at the end to discard. I prefer to have 2 or 3" left than not enough.
Take your pieces and trim off the selvage edge.
 Open up the fabric so it is only 2 layers thick and cut them to be 18" wide. There should be a piece of fabric left from the folded edge.
Take the back piece (18 x 19") and cut it in half so you have four pieces 18" x 9.5". These will the part where the zipper goes.

You are now ready to sew up your cushion cover in Part 2.

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