In this post you will learn to make a simple envelope cushion using piping to give a stunning finish. We will be using ready-covered piping cord, but if you are making your own piping you would need to make this first. These instructions are to make a cushion cover for an 18″/45cm square cushion pad, with half a metre of fabric. This project can be completed by an inexperienced sewer and can be done with a sewing machine or by hand sewing if you prefer.
For this project you will need:
- Half a metre of fabric at least 44” /112cm wide
- 2 metres of covered piping cord
- An 18” square cushion pad
- Matching or toning thread
- A pen and ruler
- A sewing machine with zipper foot and/or a hand sewing needle
- An iron
- Lay the fabric flat and trim across the width to meaure 18.5” / 47cm. Discard the narrow strip. Using the iron, press the remaining large rectangle flat and smooth.
- Place the fabric right side up and measure from the selvedge 10” / 26cm. Mark the distance at several points and draw a line. Cut the cloth along the line.
- Measure and mark from the new cut edge a further 18.5” / 47cm, draw a line and cut the fabric along this line (to make a square piece).
- With the remaining fabric measure 14” / 36cm in from the left hand selvedge, mark and cut as before. Discard any remaining fabric or set aside.
You now have 3 pieces of fabric to use for your cushion. The two smaller pieces will be used to make the back of the cushion and will overlap to create the envelope effect.
- Prepare one end of the piping cord by pulling out the core and trimming this off by about 1” / 3cm, leaving the coloured fabric casing empty of cord.
- Take the square of fabric and lay it right side up. Starting with the trimmed end, begin to pin the piping cord into place, matching raw edge to raw edge and starting about 4”/10cm from one of the corners.
- When you reach the corner carefully pin in place, easing the fabric around the angle. You may make a single tiny cut into the flange of the piping exactly at the corner, carefully avoiding cutting the stitching or piping cord itself. This will allow a little ease, help the cord lay flat without wrinkling up and make sewing easier.
- Continue to lay the piping in place, matching the raw edges all the way around the square. As you reach the point at which you started, lay the piping down and, allowing a 1” / 3cm overlap, trim the piping to that length. Repeat the process of extracting the core so that the inner piping cord exactly meets up with the start and you have two equal ends of empty casing.
- Take each of the ends and fold the fabric back so they lay neatly overlapping and pin into place.
- Tack the piping cord into place with hand stitches, paying particular attention to ensuring the corners are well secured and the overlap is neat. Remove pins.
- Take the first rectangle of fabric you cut (measures 10.5” / 26cm by 18.5” / 47cm) and fold over the selvedge by 1” / 3cm. Press this fold and stitch neatly at 0.5” / 1.5cm to hold this fold in place.
- Lay the long side of this rectangle onto the square, right sides together and matching the orientation of the pattern. The folded and sewn edge will be in the middle. Pin and tack into place, paying attention to the corners. Remove pins.
- Take the remaining rectangle of fabric (14” / 36cm by 18.5” / 47cm) and checking the fabric is the right way up, lay it over the square right sides facing. The larger rectangle overlaps the smaller one by about 4” / 10cm. Pin and tack in place as before. Remove pins.
- Now you are ready to start sewing. If sewing by hand use a back stitch and, starting in the middle of one of the sides, continue all the way around the square, overstitching with several stitches when ending a thread or starting a new one, so that the joins will be secure.
If using a sewing machine, start in the middle of one of the sides. Put the edge of the cushion in place under the zipper foot so that the needle is closest to the piping. Sew carefully, pressing the piping cord up against the side of the zipper foot so that a neat finished is obtained. Sew all the way around the square and overlap the stitching for 1” / 3cm. Tie off ends.
- Remove all tacking threads. Turn the cushion cover the right way out and stuff the cushion pad into the cover, smoothing down the layers of fabric at the back of the cushion and pushing the corners out so they are square
Your envelope cushion is now complete!