How to Sew and Reupholster Cushions

September 30, 2019

How to Sew and Reupholster Cushions

If you’re interested in learning cushion upholstery, one of the most important skills to acquire is making cushions. Should you choose to use a pattern to learn how to sew a cushion, the instructions will provide the cushion measurements. Be sure to cut all the fabric straight so the front and back will fit accordingly and fold to the measurements specified by the instructions.

When making a cushion, always use heavy-duty thread. This will make the cushion last longer.

If you’re using a home sewing machine, be sure to check the manual regarding what adjustments to make for heavy thread.

Use a long stitch length. Most cushion or upholstery jobs can be completed using a light beige or neutral thread, so it won’t show.

Sewing The Cushion

The particular pattern you use will stipulate the size of the cushion you are sewing. Fold the fabric as specified by the directions. This fold will serve as the top or front of the cushion, so you won’t need to sew along that edge. The folded part, or front of the cushion, should be placed on your sewing machine facing left and the back of the cushion will go underneath the needle.

Leave a gap about 13cm long for inserting filling. Sew down to the first corner.

Turn the two pieces of fabric over still keeping the fold to the left. Repeat the sewing process, leaving the same size gap for filling.

Insert The Filling

Now that you’ve sewn the cushion, it’s time to insert the filling into the gaps you’ve made. Loose-fill fibre works well and is easy to use.

Insert the filling into the gaps, making sure you leave enough room inside for sewing the fabric together.

Sew The Gaps

Sew up the gaps you’ve made. You can also do this on a sewing machine, but hand-sewing works as well. If you choose to do it by hand, use a straight stitch.

Sewing a Cushion with a Zipper

If you want to make a cushion with a zipper, start by cutting out the two pieces of fabric as shown in the pattern. Lay your zipper along the bottom, so you will know where it starts and ends. You can press pins in the fabric to hold it in place, but be sure not to pin the zipper to the fabric.

Now it’s time to sew the bottom edge. Allow for a 1.5cm seam. Sew a straight stitch from the edge to the first zipper marker, then do the same up to the second marker from the other end. If you’re sewing by hand, use a backstitch to make the seam stronger. This is where you’ll go back over what you’ve sewn to increase the durability of the seam.

Between the pins, sew a wide zig-zag stitch. You can do this one with your machine. You’ll take it out once you have installed the zipper, so it should be easy to remove. Do not backstitch here.

Add the Zipper

Iron the seam you sewed, so it is open and place your zipper face down on it. Pin it, so it stays put.

Sew the zipper ends in place, so it stays secure. Keep the zipper closed. Sew one side until you are a few cm from the zipper pull. Backstitch at the beginning.

Stop sewing, leaving the needle down in the fabric. Unzip the zipper a few cm and sew to the line across the end of the zipper. Backstitch for a strong seam.

Close the zipper. Backstitch, then sew along the other side to the zipper pull. Backstitch and remove the fabric from your sewing machine.

Using a seam ripper, remove the stitches between the two rows you just made starting at the end of the zipper where the three edges come together. Do this at each end of the zipper.

Unzip the zipper, and begin sewing where you left off. Sew until you reach the end. Use backstitching at the beginning and end. Finish sewing around the cushion and your project will be complete.

The steps for how to upholster a cushion are very similar to those for making cushion covers, so the instructions here will apply in a variety of situations.

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