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How to Sew a Zip Free Scatter Cushion Cover - A Beginners Guide

Scatter cushions are easy, quick and inexpensive to make (depending on what fabric you choose) and they can transform any living space from dull to interesting in an instant!

If you make your own scatter cushions, you can choose your own colours, patterns and textures to suit your home décor and furnishings. You can never have enough colour or accents in your home, and these easy-to-make zip free cushion covers add just the right amount of pop. Give your cushions a makeover and take them from dreary to wonderful.

We manufacture all of our cushions here at Sloane & Sons and our in house tailor will be guiding you through and demonstrating the sewing process!

We imagine many of you are currently afraid of your sewing machine, or in fact are avoiding having to sew anything all together. Instead of being super intimidated by the idea of sewing your own zip free scatter cushion, this guide has been created to alleviate that feeling all together...

After all, when it comes to upholstery we’ve been doing it for 25 years and we can say that sewing a cushion cover isn’t scary!

So today it is time to learn how to make a scatter cushion cover! Time to get over the fright and get a colourful cushion cover made, once and for all. Being able to choose your own fabric and freshen up your space with new pillows is going to be something you will do again and again!

WE’VE GOT IT ALL COVERED FOR YOU…

To make it super easy for you, we’ve teamed up with Sloane Upholstery to bring you this easy to follow tutorial in a text and image format. To make a zip free scatter cushion cover you can follow the step-by-step instructions with images below plus a small clip of us showing you how to sew all four edges.

TO MAKE A SCATTER CUSHION YOU’LL NEED:

  • Fabric: (You can buy amazing and one of a kind fabrics online. You can visit Sloane Upholstery on eBay for the best prices.) It’s best to use an upholstery fabric because it is a bit thicker and holds its shape better. You will need two pieces per cushion cut to the same dimensions as your cushion insert.
  • Cushion Insert: We have used 16 inch cushions. They look best on a sofa or chair. And if you want a high end look we suggest picking good quality cushion inserts.
  • Sewing Machine:  Invest in a decent sewing machine for home decor projects. You can find inexpensive, uncomplicated machines that can sew through thick fabrics or multiple layers with no problem.
  • Coordinating thread, pins, scissors, and iron.

(Optional) We highly recommend getting a cutting mat and fabric cutting scissors to make your cuts perfect. It will save you a ton of frustration and make your finished cover polished. A rotary cutter is also fine however!

**The brown faux leather fabric we used for this particular cushion is wonderful and more fabrics can be found here.

STEP 1: CLEAN AND IRON THE FABRIC

Before starting, wash and iron your fabric. This will ensure that when it comes to future washes of the cushion cover that no shrinkage or damage occurs. This step is more important than it seems!

Our fabric comes straight off a roll and didn't need ironing so this is completely optional depending on the condition of the fabric you are using. We do recommend washing your fabric to avoid future shrinking mishaps!

The fabric we have used does not need washing or ironing, so if you are also making a cover out of faux leather you can skip this part!

STEP 2: CUT THE FABRIC

Using a stencil, cut three pieces of fabric, one for the front of the pillow and two for the back. Our cushion inner is 16 inches so our front fabric square will be 16 inches by 16 inches. The two back will be 11 x 16 inches. This will allow the two pieces to overlap in the centre.

We like to cut our fabric to the exact dimensions of our pillow insert.  This way when we have a 1/2 seam allowance, it fits the pillow form nice and snug. You can also use an 18 inch inner for a plumper look. We’ve also found that the best way to get really clean edges is to use fabric scissors and cutting mat.  If you don’t have one, just mark your line with chalk and use scissors, but once you get addicted to making pillows, you will want to invest in a cutting mat or table for sure!

Once your fabric is cut, lay your fabric out, pretty sides facing in. STOP! Is your pattern going the direction you want it to on both pieces?

STEP 3: CREATE A HEM

Using one side of each of your back rectangular pieces a hem will be needed to give your cover a perfected look.

The reason for this is that the edges of the rectangular shaped back pieces of fabric will be exposed, so creating a more polished hem is crucial. Fold about 1/2 inch of the edge over to completely encase the raw edge. Then stitch the one side down on each piece with a straight stitch. It's as simple as that!

STEP 4: PIN YOUR FABRIC PIECES

Firstly, place your front fabric face up. Next, you’ll pin the entire cushion cover together in preparation for sewing. Place both of the rectangular back pieces face down allowing one to overlap the other. Make sure the corners are placed evenly as shown. Line the corners up and pin carefully.

TIP: Try not to stretch the fabric or trim when pinning.

STEP 5: PREPARE TO START SEWING

When both rectangle back pieces are completely pinned, place the second back piece of fabric face down. This should overlap the other half. The hemmed straight edges should overlap like the above picture.

Again, beginning with the corners pin the back piece of fabric down carefully, making sure to remove any pins that might be unseen under the overlapping fabric. They can cause problems when sewing if not removed.

STEP 6: START SEWING YOUR SCATTER CUSHION!

Sew all around the pillow, using a seam allowance of 1/2 inch.

If in doubt, sew a test using scraps of fabric until you're comfortable with how the material will run through your sewing machine.

Finally, make sure to remove pins before you sew any given section of fabric! Sewing over pins is not a good idea and can break your needle or even damage your sewing machine. We usually pull the pins out before we start sewing but you can take them out when you're 1″-2″ away from the presser foot and sew in small sections gradually.

STEP 7: OVER LOCK YOUR EDGES (OPTIONAL)

The whole point of having making zip free cushion covers is that it makes them really easy to take them off and wash or change when needed. So if you plan to wash your cover, you will want to finish the edges so that they last and don't fray. This of course depends on the fabric you are using!

To do this you are going to need to serge the edges. Simply use the zig-zag stitch and run the edges through your machine! This will give your edges a finished and polished look and keep them from fraying.

STEP 8: TURN YOUR COVER INSIDE OUT

You’re almost done! Your scatter cushion cover should now look like the below. Next, turn the cover inside out and iron again if needed. Then, all you have to do is stuff the new cover with your cushion insert!

Stuffing the pillow insert into the cover is the easy part, just like you would any other pillow. Squish it around and shake the corners until it looks right and fitted, and then you are done!

SAY HELLO TO YOUR NEW SCATTER CUSHION COVER!

You've done it! One zip free scatter cushion perfectly sewn quickly and easily. Now it's time to place your new scatter cushion on your favourite chair or bed.

Of course, scatter cushions need not only be square shaped – in fact, the sky is the limit when it comes to the interesting shapes you can create for your home. If you're in need of any colour or design inspiration head on over to Seasons in Colour!

Popular shapes include five-pointed stars or even heart shaped cushions. Simpler shapes can also be effective – you can create rectangular or tubular bolster shapes for an attractive effect. It is just as simple to create these scatter cushions and you can use exactly the same method. Just trace your desired shape of the scatter cushion on a piece of cardboard. Make sure it is the same size you would like the scatter cushion to be and follow the above steps again!