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Tie Sided Cushion Project

Tie sided cushion project

This tie sided cushion project appeared in episode 2 of the first series of The Great British Sewing Bee and is an excerpt from The Great British Sewing Bee book written by Tessa Evelegh and published by Quadrille Crafts.  The book is available to buy here.

With no zips or buttonholes, this cushion is one of the easiest makes in the book.

Choosing a contrast lining and ties adds style to this otherwise plain cushion. With this simple design, it’s possible to create an entire set of cushions in an afternoon.


60cm (2/3yd) of a medium weight closely woven fabric at least 115cm (45in) wide, for main fabric

35cm (1/2yd) of raw silk at least 112cm (44in) wide, for lining fabric

Matching sewing thread

Cushion pad to fit finished cover

Super simple to make, if you can stitch in a straight line, you’ll be able to make this elegant cushion cover with ties. There’s no tricky zip to contend with and the ties are something of a trimming in themselves. The charm of the design lies in the flash of colour from the lining, which can be seen due to the pillowcase-like construction of the cover. Aside from contrasting colours, the two fabrics used have contrasting textures as well – the outer fabric is a soft-to-the-touch furnishing fabric and the lining a shiny slubbed silk.

Free sewing projects

Cushion size

The finished cushion measures 45 x 45cm (17 ¾ x 17 ¾ in).

Fabric finder

Scatter cushions can be made in almost any fabric, though furnishing fabrics are more durable and will withstand more wear and tear. The outside of this one is made from firm brushed upholstery cotton with a lining in slubbed silk.

Try these alternatives:

Furnishing cotton—Furnishing linen and linen blends—Linen blends—Furnishing silk—Jacquard—Dupion—Tapestries—Chintz

Skills set

Stitching straight seams—Finishing seams

Cutting guide

Press the fabric thoroughly before cutting. Measure and mark the fabric carefully using a steel rule and ensure all the corners are at perfect right angles before cutting.

From the main fabric:

Cut one outer cover piece, measuring 92 x 47cm (36 ½  x 18 ¾ in).

Cut four strips for the ties, each 6 x 26.5cm (2 ½  x 10 ½ in).

From the contrasting lining fabric:

Cut two lining pieces, each 25 x 47cm (10 ¼  x 18 ¾ in).

Cut four strips for the ties, each 6 x 26.5cm (2 ½  x 10 ½ in).

To make the tie cushion

 Prepare the Ties

With right sides together, place a lining-fabric tie strip on top of a main-fabric tie strip, then snip off a 45-degree triangle of fabric right at one end of the strips. Pin the strips together, then machine stitch up one long edge, along the diagonal and down the other long edge, using a 1cm (⅜in) seam allowance. Leave the straight end unstitched. Snip off the angled point, being careful not to cut the stitches. Press the seams open, turn right side out and press again. Prepare the remaining three ties in the same way. Be sure to shape the tie ends in the same way so the angled ends all slant in the same direction.

Sewing a cushion with tie sides

Prepare the Lining pieces

Along one long side of each lining piece, fold under 1cm (⅜in) twice and press to form a double hem. Machine stitch the hem in place close to the first fold.


Stitch on the Lining pieces

Lay the main fabric piece right side up on a flat surface. On the short ends of the piece, measure and mark with pins the positions for the ties, centred and 11cm (4 ¼ in) apart. Pin the ties in place, with the main fabric on the ties facing the main fabric piece and with the raw edges aligned. With the right sides together, place a lining piece on top of the ties at each end of the main piece. Using a 1cm (⅜in) seam allowance, stitch through all layers, so catching in the ties. Press the seams open. If you think the raw edges of your fabrics will unravel easily, finish the raw edges of the seams you have just stitched.

Stitch Side Seams

Fold the whole piece in half widthways, aligning the lining seams, and pin and stitch all along both side seams, again taking a 1cm (3/8in) seam. Press the seams open.

Add the Finishing Touches

Finish the raw edges of the side seams if desired. Then turn the cover right side out and push the lining inside the cover. Press thoroughly. Put the cushion pad into the cover, tucking it under one side of the lining – just like you would in a pillowcase. Lastly, tie the ties neatly together.

Free sewing projects

THE GREAT BRITISH SEWING BEE by TESSA EVELEGH, published by Quadrille (£20)

For other free cushion projects please visit our free projects category and click the ‘for the home’ tag.