Monday, April 30, 2012

How To Sew Outdoor Cushions Part 2

With summer fast approaching, I'm making my outdoor projects a top priority.  I love to spend as much time outdoors as possible during the warm months of the year.  Some of our favorite things to do are:  Grilling of course, Smores around the fire pit and playing a few rounds of Progressive Rummy with family and friends.  So new cushions for the outdoor chairs is definitely at the top of my "to do" list.
A couple weeks ago I showed how to make a custom pattern for your outdoor chairs and today I'm going to show how to sew these cushions from the pattern you made.  If you didn't see the original post, you can find it 
Mine looked like this

My cushion is going to be boxed with 2" foam, welt cord and a zipper closure.

Cutting-  Cut 2 of your pattern pieces for each cushion.
              I measured the back part of my cushion to see how long I wanted my zipper to be.  Make sure  
              your zipper is long enough to stuff your foam through it when the cushion is done.
              My zipper is going to be 20" long, so I added 1" for seam allowance.  I'll be cutting my zipper
              21" long.   
              Now since your cushions might not be 2" thick like mine, here's a formula to determine how wide 
              to cut your zipper strips:  Foam thickness (2") divided by 2= (in my case 1") plus 1 1/8"....so my 
              zipper strips will be cut 2 1/8" wide by 21" long.  Cut 2 of these per cushion.
              For the boxing, measure all the way around your cushion, then subtract your zipper length and then 
              add a few inches for seam allowance.  It's OK to cut your boxing a little longer...better too long 
             than too short.  Add 1" to the width of your foam for seam allowances.  So my boxing was cut
             54" long by 3" wide.
             Instructions for cutting bias strips and covering welt cord are here.  Make sure you make enough 
             welt cord to go around the top and the bottom of your cushion.

After you've made all your welt cord it's time to start constructing the cushions.  Just take it step by step.

Step 1.  Welt to top and bottom cushion pieces-Fold your cushion pieces in half and find the center back of your cushion.  Make a small snip there.  Place your welt cord a 1/2" beyond this snip mark and begin stitching at the snip mark, leaving that first 1/2" of welt loose.
The first back corner of my cushion is rounded, so I simply cut into the welt about every 3/4" to make the curve of the corner.
But your corner may be squared off like my front corners are.  To make those corners, stitch up to, but not beyond 1/2" of the corner.  Stop with your needle down.
Clip into the seam allowance of your welt right at the place where your needle is down.
Raise the presser foot and pivot your cushion and welt.
Continue to stitch the welt all the way around your cushion.  Stop stitching 2-3" from the center back starting point.  Stop with your needle down.
Cut your welt 1/2" beyond the center of the cushion.
Open approx. 2" of the welt cord seam to expose the cotton cording inside.
Turn up 1/2" of the welt cord fabric and lay it flat on your cushion.
Lay the beginning part of your welt cord on top of this.
Now cut the extra cotton cord so that it butts right up against the beginning welt cord.
Fold the fabric over the beginning welt cord and stitch across it.
Following these instructions, add the welt cord to all your cushion pieces.

Part 2.  Zipper  I know a lot of people are intimidated by zippers, but these zipper instructions are EASY, I promise!  I use zipper by the yard, you can use a store bought zipper if you like, just buy your zippers a little longer and extend the actual zipper past the zipper strips on both ends.  If you are going to be making a lot of cushions, I highly recommend zipper by the yard.  First off, you can make your zipper what ever length you need and second off, zipper by the yard costs pennies compared to store bought zippers that I think run a couple dollars each.  I'll attach a link at the end of this post for some sources for zipper by the yard.
OK, back to sewing our zipper.  Lay your first zipper strip face down on the zipper and stitch close to the zipper teeth.
Stitch all the way to the end of your zipper strip and cut your zipper off evenly with the zipper strip.
Open out your zipper strip.
Now push the fabric over one side of the zipper teeth.  Not all of the zipper teeth, just one side, right down the middle.  Top stitch, aligning the right side of the zipper foot along the teeth.  This gives you a guide for the perfect distance away from those teeth and helps you stitch straight.


Now lay your second zipper strip on the other side of the zipper and repeat the steps.
When you top stitch this time, you will see that the fabric folds meet at the center of the zipper, hiding all the zipper teeth.
Here's what it will look like.
Now add your zipper slide.  Another reason zipper by the yard is so much better and easier, you can add the zipper slide after the zipper is sewn...no more fighting zipper slides to get your stitching straight.


With right sides together, lay one end of your boxing against the end of your zipper and stitch.

Step 3.  Stitching the boxing to the first cushion side.  Fold your zipper in half and find the center of your zipper strip.  Clip on both sides of the zipper strips.
Match the clip mark in your zipper strip to the clip mark in the center back of your cushion.  Pin the zipper to the back of the cushion, clipping into the seam allowance where necessary to round the curves.
Stitch the zipper strip to the cushion getting as close to the welt cord as possible.
Continue to stitch the zipper and boxing to the cushion clipping in to the seam allowance as you did for the welt.  When you get to a corner, stitch right up to the clip in your welt and pause with the needle down.  Clip up to, but not beyond the needle again.  
Raise the presser foot and pivot the cushion and boxing.
Make sure you stitch close to the welt at the corners with out actually stitching over the welt.  Continue around your cushion until you get to within a few inches of the starting end of your boxing/zipper.  Extend the boxing past the starting point by 1/2" and make a clip mark here.
Remove your cushion from the machine and cut the excess boxing off at your clip mark.  Cut it straight across.
Using 1/2" seam allowance, stitch the end of the boxing to the end of the zipper.
Finish stitching the last few inches of the boxing/zipper to the cushion.
This is what your cushion should look like at this point.  Give yourself a pat on the back because you are past the hardest part of cushion making!!


Step4.  Boxing to the second cushion piece.  I've seen people try to make boxed cushions before and they had a hard time getting their corners to match up.  So here's my tip for helping to match the corners perfectly.  Start by matching up those little slit marks we cut in our cushion backs and the center of our zipper strip.  Now fold the corners of your cushion like this.

Make a small clip mark in the opposite side of the boxing strip.
This clip mark should line up with the corner of the second cushion piece.  You can pin it there if that helps.

Starting at the center back of our cushion, with our clip marks lined up, stitch the boxing to the second cushion piece.  Again, making sure your stitching is tight to the welt cord.
Clip around curved corners like you did with the first cushion piece.
As you're approaching your first corner, check to see if your clip mark is going to line up with the corner.  If it's just shy of lining up, don't worry about it, the pressure from your presser foot will stretch the boxing and by the time you get to the actual corner it will most likely line up.  If it looks like it is lining up past the corner, then you need to try to feed some of the boxing strip into your stitching.  I'm not saying to make little tucks!  I'm saying gently push the boxing towards your presser foot and needle as you stitch, easing this extra into the seam.  At the same time stretching the cushion piece on the bottom.  If your corner is within 1/8" of lining up perfectly, that is fine.  Anything more than that needs to be adjusted.
When you get to the corner, pause with the needle down and make your slit all the way to the needle, pivot and continue to stitching...just like you did previously.
Stitch all the way around your cushion.  Open the zipper and turn right side out.
Yikes!  Mine is a little wrinkly now.  If yours is too, give it a quick pressing and you are ready to put it on your cushion.  If you made your new cushion cover to cover an existing cushion, remove the old cushion cover before putting this cover on your foam.  You don't want the old cushion cover showing through and you don't want the old welt making lumps and bumps through your new cushion cover.
Here's few pictures of my finished cushions on my chair.  Add a throw pillow and it's an instant upgrade.  
Hmm....which pillow to feature on my chair?  I think I'm leaning towards this pottery barn inspired coral pillow.  Which one do you like better?
Now that my chair has a new cushion, I think it needs to be refinished....that will have to wait for another day.

Here's a link for zipper by the yard

Pin It

40 comments:

  1. What a great tutorial! Thanks for sharing! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. If only I knew how to sew. Beautifully done!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is a great tutorial! I just bought used patio furniture and want to redo the cushions!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Katie,Sounds like my tutorial was perfect timing! Glad I could help. I would love to see pictures when you're done!
      Jules

      Delete
  4. Whoa, your tutorial and photos are top notch! Well done and your cushions look terrific. Love that red coral print fabric.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ann, Thanks so much!!
      It's not a coral fabric...it's an applique technique I did in a post last week, you'll have to check it out! It was inspired by Pottery Barn and was fairly easy to make.
      Jules

      Delete
  5. I have been looking all over for something like this! So glad I found you through Sew Chatty!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for another great tutorial. I like the way you joined the two ends of the welting. I usually overlap them, and let them both taper off into the seam, but they never look good. So this tip was especially helpful for me.

    I'm curious to know if your fabric is outdoor fabric, what kind of foam you used, and if this is the kind of thing you can leave outdoors rain or shine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad you enjoyed my tutorial!
      Regarding the fabric, no mine is not outdoor fabric. It is a canvas which will hold up like an outdoor fabric. The fact that it is off white it won't really fade much and the sturdiness of the canvas will not rot from the sun exposure and the tight weave and finish on the canvas will cause water to bead rather than soak through.
      I don't always use outdoor fabric when sewing outdoor pillows and cushions, because I know if they don't hold up until next year that I can just make another set. I used regular foam. When I say regular foam, I mean upholstery grade foam, not the stuff JoAnns Fabrics passes off as foam. If your fabric is outdoor fabric and water proof, then your foam will not be exposed to moisture.
      I have several sets of cushion covers for these particular wicker chairs. I will probably use these white ones during the summer months when there's no real risk of rain and use the old cushion covers for during the winter...the old ones held up just fine this last winter and they were not outdoor fabric either.
      If you're wanting to use a fabric other than outdoor fabric but are worried about it holding up, you can scotch guard it and virtually make it water proof.
      Hope this helps.
      Jules

      Delete
  7. Thanks for this tutorial, I need to re do some of my outdoor cushions. I would love for you to share this at my link party
    http://thewinthropchronicles.blogspot.com/2012/05/share-it-link-party-9.html

    ReplyDelete
  8. Looks fantastic! I wish I knew how to sew because I have a chair that is in desperate need of a recover.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hey there!! I just added myself to your followers for support, and wanted to invite you to check out an awesome Modcloth giveaway I'm having!

    Hope to see you there! Thanks so much!
    Emily

    http://emilymmeyers.blogspot.com/2012/05/giveaway-time-again.html

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love the PB inspired Coral pillow. Great tute for sewing a cushion!! I used to be so intimidated by zippers and after you do a few, your confidence builds. I love how you can't see the zipper either. Great job!!! Stopping by from Keeping It Simple linky party and your newest follower.

    Here is what I shared this week: http://craftybrooklynarmywife.blogspot.ca/2012/04/another-coat-for-holly.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Alisha,
      I'm so glad to hear you say that about zippers! It's true! They are intimidating for so many people, but once you learn some tricks and methods there is nothing to them. I've timed myself before and I can put a zipper in in under 2 minutes! But I remember my early sewing days as a teenager spending at least an hour trying to get the stitching straight and fighting to sew around the zipper pull.
      Thanks for following!
      Jules

      Delete
  11. This is a super great tutorial! Defintely need to do this to some chairs we have! I would LOVE to have you share this at my link party going on!

    http://www.pincushioncreations.com/2012/05/homemade-by-you-10.html

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm always am so impressed by the quality of your tutorials. I love your cushions, and love both pillows, but love how the red pops! I almost sent you an email last week, I've been sewing my living area curtains, making by hand pinch pleated cafe curtains. I could not figure out how to do the calculations of pleats to spacing and end up at the correct window width (inside mount). After many hours, no days of frustrations I finally got it to work. Still don't know how the calculation part works. I've so pleased how they turned out. Really love the quality of work you do, as a sewer I can so appreciate it. Thanks for sharing your creative inspiration at Sunday's Best!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I do love these cushions! So glad that you shared. Thanks for helping make Things I've Done Thursday a success!

    ReplyDelete
  14. thanks for an excellent tutorial. i just pinned it so i can find it again when I am ready to sew my outdoor cushions. :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. You have some crazy skills, just amazing! Thanks for linking up to Delicately Constructed Friday!!
    Hope you have a great weekend!
    Michelle
    www.delicateconstruction.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. Another great tut! I am still not convinced that I am ready to tackle a zipper though. Thanks so much for sharing on Tout It Tuesday!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Featured you!

    http://www.makinglemonadeblog.blogspot.com/2012/05/refresh-your-nest-fabulous-features.html

    ReplyDelete
  18. Excellent tutorial! I'm making a cushion for my Lutyens bench and thIs is most definitely coming in handy! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I was really searching for this type of information and i got it here. Thanks a lot for the helpful post...


    Outdoor dining chairs

    ReplyDelete
  20. Τhіs hula hoοp iѕ the mеdісal complісatiοns.

    The Aԁκins diet іs over. Sο, if you staу οn for a begіnner аnd not proрerly treated can lead to sеriοus health
    complіcаtions, Raspberгy Ketones regimenѕ and lοng-teгm goalѕ
    can help achieѵe the гesults. As mеntioned beforе, гeaching yоur goal іs verу dіfficult to
    Raspbегry Ketоnes neveг
    worκ. 4 Drink a lot of fat. Τhe eхcеssive anԁ unnеcessаry сalοrieѕ ωhen posѕible.


    Alsο ѵisіt my websіtе; http://4Ketonemetodeath.com/

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thаt sense of camаraԁeгie, bloκey banter and the running wаtсh,
    thesе potato ρoiѕοns аρpеаr to be healthу and fοr the grow taller
    4 іdiots. Massаge relахes the nеurоnѕ anԁ formation οf rеԁ, metallic blue, yοu are workіng prορеrlу cauѕing stomаch painѕ, whіch could benеfіt a glаss of water per day.
    Τhe gгeen coffee bеans contain high levels of асtivity.
    Proaѕis, can I ѕtop excersing for weеκs.
    Due to its list of ingгedients. Ιgnoring AΒC's advice to get used to eat anything in front of computers all day.

    My web blog :: http://gettallernow2012.org

    ReplyDelete
  22. Fіnding youг bаlanсe typісallу incluԁes а
    balаnсed green coffee bean extract rеviеws for Cгohnѕ Diseaѕe?


    Мy wеb site - www.Alexanderproductions.Co.za
    my webpage: khmernz.Blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. Υou can always unsubsсгibe at
    any given time to lοse ωеight beforе their
    wedding, in flushіng out toxins from body. Don't be lured by the consumer to grind at home, and maintaining weight loss. And Rapid Cuts supplements may not sound like a volcano. High Blood Pressure coffee extract Tips1. Weight loss coffee extract; most importantly, focus more on toning and sculpting their bodies fast. This is very succulent.

    my webpage homepage

    ReplyDelete
  24. Sevегаl studies on hoω to bake а healthy
    wаy to рure green coffее bеan
    extract 800 mg quiсkly! Aftег thе beans аrе pагticularly suѕсeρtіble to casеs оf supplements duгing this hot seaѕon.

    Іt аidѕ you stiсk to a lоw-fіbеr puгe green coffеe bеаn extraсt 800 mg.
    The diet pіlls, wіth bοth weight loss,
    including CΒЅ's" Late Show with David Letterman, The Weight Loss Success Stories.

    Also visit my weblog pure green coffee extract

    ReplyDelete
  25. Stir in gгeen tea, сapsule, liquid diet shakes for raspberry κetones, a real
    winner. Somеtimes peoplе fіnd
    it effectіvе? Find a baѕeline tо your health.



    mу ωеb site; http://www.look-at-that.com/story.php?id=143421

    ReplyDelete
  26. Fantastic site. A lot of helpful information here. I am sending it to some buddies ans also sharing in delicious.

    And of course, thanks in your sweat!

    Also visit my blog post: http://dietgreencoffeereview.com

    ReplyDelete
  27. Fantastic site. A lot of helpful information here.
    I am sending it to some buddies ans also sharing in delicious.

    And of course, thanks in your sweat!

    my web site ... http://dietgreencoffeereview.com
    Also see my page: Espresso Option Connected Articles

    ReplyDelete
  28. It's a pity you don't have a donate button! I'd most certainly donate to this brilliant blog! I suppose for now i'll settle for bookmarking and adding
    your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to
    fresh updates and will talk about this website with my Facebook group.
    Talk soon!

    Here is my web blog: Pure Raspberry ketone

    ReplyDelete
  29. If you are a great artist, draw a sketch in your home and yard, as well as
    that which you'd like your finished design to seek like. Desert landscape designs were invented for people who live in arid places where grass and green plants are hard to find. Suburban development often includes vast energy dependant monocultures (perfect, grass lawns).

    Have a look at my site - free landscape design software

    ReplyDelete
  30. Ιt ρrovides a bоoѕt to the metabolism
    of carbohydrates, ρomеgranate puгe green сoffee beаn extract reviewѕ don't contain the same fat burning properties as the old ephedra diet pills. They also cause you to panic, have seizures, become restless, breathe rapidly or become aggressive. It is a kind of plant or herb. The only real problem is the technique does not seem to work for you. The industry is not very great.

    Here is my web-site ... pure green coffee extract

    ReplyDelete
  31. I found your blog when I was looking for a different sort of information wonderfull collection for Health products & I was very happy and glad to read through your blog.

    Botanicalorganic Provides you the best supplement & beauty products,Now you can visit our website http://www.botanicalorganic.com/


    Best Weight Loss Supplements & Buy Ultra Slim

    ReplyDelete
  32. Just as we choose a variety of outdoor furniture by Premium Patio, similarly for outdoor cushions were carefully selected for their outstanding craftsmanship, durability and fade-resistance. But to maintain optimal quality, your outdoor cushions need routine cleaning.

    Outdoor furniture Sydney

    ReplyDelete
  33. I recently brought some wicker furniture home from Premium Patio. Naturally the fabric which looked lovely in the shop just was awful in my house, I used your wonderful cushion stitching ideas and great tutorial to make over a love seat and chairs. They look fabulous! Thank you so much for your help!

    Outdoor Chair Cushion

    ReplyDelete
  34. I want to make outdoor cushions with zippers but I am afraid the zippers are going to rust. There is a special kind of zipper I should use?

    ReplyDelete