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Cushion project for beginners

Beginner cushion project

This project is part of the So Sew Simple series for beginners by Helen Rhiannon from All Sewn Up. 

This cushion is a fantastic project for any sewing enthusiast, whether new to sewing, or an experienced sewer wanting to make a simple but beautiful cushion cover.  The quantity of fabrics recommended should allow you to make two cushions if you arrange your pattern pieces well! Enjoy!

What you need to make the cushion: –

Paper pattern pieces – Both are rectangles.  The measurements below will make a cover for a 35 x 35cm cushion. If your cushion is a different size you will need to alter the measurements accordingly.

Pattern Piece 1:

16cm wide and 37cm long. Mark one long edge (37cm edge) as Seam 1 with a 1cm seam allowance. This pattern piece is used for the front.

Pattern Piece 2:

24cm wide and 37cm long.  Mark one long edge as Seam 1 with a 1cm seam allowance.  Mark the other long edge as Seam 2 with a 1.5cm seam allowance.  This pattern piece is used for the front and also for the two backs.

Plain material – Approximately half a metre
Patterned material – Approximately quarter a metre (We used Floressence from Art Gallery Fabrics)
Ribbon – 40cm and at least 15mm wide – Mokshatrim have a great selection
Fabric scissors 
Matching thread  – Simply Haberdashery have an excellent selection of sewing thread

Sewing Machine


Stage 1 – Cutting out your cushion.

Lay fabric out flat with any pattern facing up.

Cut to the above pattern specifications

Easy cushion cover tutorial

Stage 2 – Sewing the front of your cushion.

 Join seam 1.

Set your sewing machine to straight stitch with a stitch length of 2.5 and remember to backstitch at the start and end of each seam.  Your seam allowance should measure 1 cm when sewn.

Now either overlock the raw edges together to neaten or use zig zag stitch.

This is now your front piece. Iron flat.

Starter sewing projects

Stage 3 – Sewing on the decorative ribbon.

Lay ribbon over the centre of the seam and pin in place.

Stitch down each side of the ribbon using straight stitch or zig zag down the centre.

This is your front piece finished. Put to one side.

Sew simple projects

Stage 4 – Preparing the back pieces.

Take your back pieces and zig-zag stitch seam edge number 2 (see pattern piece instructions)

Learn to sew projects

Fold back sewn edge to 1.5 cm and iron firmly.

Sew down length of ironed edge 1cm in using straight stitch.

Learn to sew a cushion cover

Stage 5 – Pinning the front to the back pieces.

Place front piece right side up.

Place one of your back pieces face down on top of front piece matching the unsewn edges.  The finished seam should lie across the centre.

Repeat step with second back piece.  The back pieces should overlap at the centre.

Pin all pieces together by pinning around the edge of the whole cushion.

If you have excess material trim edges to match.

Envelope back cushion cover

Stage 6 – Stitching the whole cushion together.

Using straight stitch, sew 1cm seam allowance around edge of cushion pivoting on corners. 

To pivot, stitch along the seam until you are 1cm away from the end, wind the needle into the fabric, lift the presser foot and pivot to position yourself to sew the next edge.  Put the presser foot down and continue to sew.)

Easy sewing tutorials

Stage 7 – Neatening the cushion inside before turning through.

Cut excess material off corners as shown.  This reduces bulk creating a neater corner when cushion is turned through.  Be careful not to cut too close to the stitching!

Zig-zag around the edge of the cushion to neaten.

Be careful not to zig-zag over the straight row of stitching, especially at the corners.

Beginner cushion project

Stage 8 – Turning your finished cushion the right way around – the fun part!!

Trim any loose threads.

Turn inside out and poke corners out. 

Insert your cushion inner and voila, one gorgeous new cushion!!

Well done on completing your first cushion.  I hope you go on to make many more.  Please get in touch with any questions, suggestions or ideas!  Do share pictures of your cushion on the All Sewn Up Facebook page.

Thanks! Helen @All Sewn Up