Thursday, March 15, 2012

{Sew} Get Started: Zippered Cushion/Pillow Cover

Today I am really excited to share a great tutorial with you! Zippers are an essential sewing skill but are something that lots of people are afraid of. Today my lovely friend Judith, who lives at the opposite end of the country to me in Belfast, will show you how!! Judith is a super talented quilter and runs sewing and quilting classes in Belfast, as well as a charity quilting bee, Bee Blessed. She is a fab source of advice and inspiration. I adore this doll quilt she made last year: 

Make sure to pop over to her blog and say hi, she always has fab projects on the go!

This tutorial is part of the {Sew} Get Started: Beginner Sewing Tutorials series. For a full list of tutorials in the series and links to past tutorials, click on the link to go to the master page.

FairyFace Designs

So, over to you Judith!

I was privileged to by asked by Sarah to contribute to her Sew Get Started Beginners series of tutorials.  So here is the tutorial for today:

Single Skein Cushion Cover with Zipper

This cushion cover is a single layer of fabric i.e. not quilted, so you may wish to use decorating weight fabric or denim.

The finished size is approx. 16" x 16".

You will need:

For the front: 16" x 16" piece of fabric
For the back: 16" x 4.5" piece of fabric (band that covers the zip opening)
                     2 x (16" x 8.5") pieces of fabric
                     16" plastic/nylon zipper
16" cushion filler
Buttons to decorate (optional)
Assume 1/4" seams throughout

1. First we will make the back of the cushion cover. Take the strip of fabric for the band that will cover the zipper.  Iron this in half lengthways, with wrongs sides touching.

2. Now take one of the back pieces (16" x 8.5") and lay it down right side facing up.  Place the folded banded on top, right sides facing, aligning the raw edges along the top.  Machine tack in place.

Note: Machine tacking is when you increase the stitch size on your machine to the largest size it will go, and sew less than 1/4" from the edge.  There is no need to remove machine tacking later, unlike hand tacking.

3. Take your zipper and either machine or hand sew the open ends together.  This will make it easier to sew down. 

4. Lastly, place the zipper on top, right side facing down, again aligning the top edges.  Pin all the layers along the outer zipper edge.

Note:  Your zipper edges will be longer than your fabric (the 16" zip measurement refers to the actual length of the zipper mechanism only, not the total length of the zip+fabric ends).  Position your zip so that the zipper pull end is aligned with the edges of your cushion, and let the opposite end of the zip hang over as excess.  This will be trimmed off later.  Check your zipper for metal stoppers - you can sew over plastic parts but not metal parts!

5. Attach the zipper foot to your machine and position the fabric ready for sewing. You should be sewing at least 1/4" seam along the edge of your zipper, as close to the teeth as you can, without sewing into them.

6. When you get to the zipper pull, carefully sew around it.

 7. So that's one half of your zip attached!  This is what it looks like from the front:

8. Flip the band back to expose the zip again.  Now we are going to attach the other half of the cushion back.

9. Lay the other piece of fabric down (16" x 8.5") right side facing up.  Place the zippered section on top, right sides together, aligning the zipper edge with the top edge of the fabric.

10. Pin the layers in place and sew down the remaining side of the zipper, as you did with the first side.

11. Once your zipper has been attached, make sure you can open it easily.

12. Close the zipper, give the fabric a gentle press with the iron.  Now we will finish off the zipper with an edging seam.

13. Flip the band back, and on the opposite side of the zipper sew less than 1/4" along the right side of the fabric, where it meets the zipper.  You will need your zipper foot for this.

14. Now flip the band down, and sew an edging seam along the edge where the fabric meets the band.  Remember your zipper is hidden underneath the band, so keep your zipper foot on for this.

15. Snip off any excess zipper.

16. And that's the back of your cushion cover complete!  Well done for getting this far! 

Now onto the front.

17. Sew on any buttons to the front piece of fabric.

18. Open the zipper, before placing the front and back pieces right sides together.  Pin around all 4 edges.

Note:  Make sure the band inside is lying flat & in the correct position i.e. covering the zipper.

19.  Put your normal sewing or 1/4" foot on your machine and, starting at a corner, sew around all 4 edges.

20. Now sew a zigzag stitch around all 4 edges to reduce fraying.

21.  Turn the cover right side out through the zipper opening, carefully push out the corners with scissors or a crochet hook, and insert the filler.

22.  Step back and admire your cushion!

Thanks Judith for a great tute! I hope that you are off digging out a zipper to try it with already! If you make this cushion, please add to the Flickr group, and don't forget to check back next week for Ceri's Simple Girl's Skirt tutorial.


Mrs Flying Blind... said...

Brilliant - Judith is a zippy goddess!

Anorina @SameliasMum said...

Zippers scare me. Great tutorial. I'm going to be brave a try it - soon.

Irina said...

Great tutorial! thanks for sharing

Canadian Abroad said...

Great tutorial and we all love Judith!

Leanne said...

This is a great way to make a hidden zip without an invisible zipper, thanks Judith!

Katy Cameron said...

Love the huge button details on these

Lisnaweary Quilts said...

Love the buttons! great tutorial Judith!

Needled Mom said...

Great tutorial and her mini is so sweet too.

Sarah said...

Great tutorial with very helpful pics of the foot positioning!

Laura said...

This is such a useful tutorial! I can insert invisible zips into garments, but zips in other contexts scare me. This made it so lovely and simple that I made 2 cushions in one weekend - I'll add the photos to the group later :)

Thank you!

matratzen said...

This is very touchy. Have no words for its sweetness. Thanks a making me remind some memories.