:::: MENU ::::
Posts tagged with: Nursery

Tutorial: Our Josephine Sews… A Piped Envelope Back Cushion

Piped Cushion Corner

This Cath Kidston train print never fails to bring me joy, and with the added allure of red dotty piping this cushion cover is a winner. If you’ve never attempted to make a piped cushion then this is a good start as there is no zip to contend with.

The cushion pad shown is approximately 35 x 35 but this tutorial works for any size, you just need to adjust the measurements. For a nice plump cushion cut your front fabric to just 1cm wider in width and height, this is to allow for the piping. Work with a 1cm seam allowance to help keep your calculations simple. I’ve put my measurements in brackets in case you happen to have a cushion pad the exact same size; I work in centimetres.

You will need:

  • Cushion Pad
  • Fabric of your choice
  • Unfolded Bias Tape – 4 x the circumference of the cushion plus 5cm
  • 5mm Piping Cord- 4 x the circumference of the cushion
  • Zip foot (or piping foot if you have one)
  • General Sewing Paraphernalia

To make it:

1. Cut your front piece of fabric, this should measure 1cm more in width and height than your cushion pad (36 x 36).

2. Cut your back piece to the same width but add another third to the height, this will give you space to create your button placket (36 x 48).

3. Cut the back piece in two equal pieces, turn and press the short edges by 1cm twice and then stitch.

4. Prepare your bias tape by wrapping it around the piping cord and pinning as you go. Using your zip or piping foot, stitch as close to the cord as you can leaving 2.5cm open and without cord at either end.

Unfolded Bias Tape and Piping Cord
Sew Bias Tape

5. Take your top fabric and draw a curve on one of the corners using a glass, cup, roll of tape – whatever you have that is round. Cut the curve out and use that as a template for the other three corners. Do the same for the back pieces (just the top of one and the bottom of the other) to mirror the front piece.

Use a glass to round corners

6. Place the top fabric on a flat surface with right side up, pin your wrapped cord around it with the flat edge flush with the outer raw edge. In order to finish the piping neatly you should have an excess of bias tape and should start  and finish stitching (still with the zip foot) 5cm from each end keeping as close to the cord as possible.

Pin and Sew Bias Binding

7. To close finish the piping neatly, make the end points of the cord meet. Overlap your bias tape around them by at least 1cm. Pin and sew in place once again keeping close to the cord. I never worry about the raw edges.

Sew overlap bias

8. Now to assemble the cover. Place your piped piece onto a flat surface, right side up. Take your first back piece and place right side down on top, then do the same with the second piece. Pin all the way around and stitch, still with the zip foot and keeping as close to the piping as possible. Notch your curves and turn right sides out, press for a nice finish.

Notch corners

9. Pop in your cushion pad and admire your new piping skills.

Cushion Trio

Tutorial: Our Josephine Sews… A Square Zipped Cushion

Bus Cushion

The zip is a marvellous invention, and sewn neatly it gives a really nice finish. There are many methods for inserting a zip and every sewist has their own take on it. Why not give this method a whirl and see if it suits you.

You will need:

  • Cushion Pad
  • Fabric of your choice – I’ve used the spectacular Cath Kidston bus print!
  • Zip foot
  • General Sewing Paraphernalia

1. Cut the front and a back piece of fabric to 4cm wider and longer than your cushion pad. Your zip can either be the exact same length as the sides of your square cushion, or shorter; often I find that I use whatever I’ve got in my stash. You can always cut your zip shorter if need be.

2. Put your fabric right sides together, pin along the bottom edge, lay your zip on top and mark the start and end of where the zip opens. Move the zip out of the way and sew using a 2cm allowance; start with a regular length stitch, changing to a tacking stitch at your first marking and again switching to a regular length stitch at your second marking.

3. This may seem a bit counter intuitive but we are going to sew each side of the zip separately. This should enable you to sew with more precision.  Fold your fabric so just the raw seam is on the right and the rest of the fabric is to the left. Open your zip and pin the right side face down along the seam with the teeth in the centre. Change to your zip foot and sew along the right side of the zip teeth, you should only be sewing through the zip and one side of the seam.

Right side of zip right



4. Close the zip and repeat on the other side. If you have difficulty sewing past the zip pull, use a seam ripper to open up your tacking stitch and move it past the zip foot. It may be a bit fiddly but you can remove the foot to do this, making sure you keep the needle in the fabric to stop it from moving about too much.


other side

5. Unpick your taking stitches to reveal the zip underneath, open it up.

Finished zip


6. Pin your fabric right sides together, sew around the three remaining sides with a 2cm seam allowance, finish the sides as you wish and trim your corners and turn right side out. Press, push out the corners and pop in your cushion pad.

bus and train