How to Make Zippered Cushion Covers

How to Make Zippered Cushion Covers

The Seam That Opens: add a zip to your cushion cover.

This is the easiest way to think about zips – a seam that opens. Once you get your head round that it’s really simple to add one to any project.

Add a zip to your cushion:


    A panel of your chosen fabric, roughly 10cms/4″ longer than the length of your cushion + seam allowance (eg. my panel is 52cm x 62cm).
    A matching zip, just slightly shorter than the width of your cushion (eg. my cushion is 50cm square, & my zip is 46cm long)

If your fabric has a noticeable pattern or obvious right way up, make sure that you add length the right way up too!  

First things first, slice your fabric in two, around 10cm from one end. I prefer my zips to be offset from the centre, but if you prefer it in the middle, go right ahead and slice it your way.

Put the two pieces together, right sides together and pin. You are going to create a seam. Take your zip and place it centrally on the seam, and carefully mark each end.

Now use a locking stitch and normal stitch length to properly seam the very end of the fabric, right up to the first mark. Change your stitch length to its longest setting and continue sewing the seam with this longer basting stitch. Stop when you reach the second mark, and secure the ends with a normal stitch and locking stitch. (I hope you can see this in the picture!)

How to Make Zippered Cushion Covers

Iron the seam open. Now place the zip facing down onto your completed seam and baste in place. I use a contrasting thread and very long stitches to make it easier to remove them. You might think it’s time consuming to baste, but it is far more time consuming to try and keep a pinned zip in exactly the right place while you sew.

Attach your zipped foot and sew the sip in place, on the right side of the fabric. If you use the seam as a guide lined up with the edge of your foot you will have a very neat straight line.

Now the tricksy part. Towards the end stop and reach for your seam ripper. Carefully tease open those long stitches in the seam, from just after the locking stitch, enough to expose the zip pull and pull it backwards out of the way of the foot. When you have enough room, with your needle down, lift the presser foot and gently manipulate the zip pull past it, so that the zip opens a little. Sew to the end of the seam. Now repeat the process for the other side, beginning with the open end.

How to Make Zippered Cushion Covers

All that remains now is to remove the basting stitches, and fully open the basting seam stitching. You have a zip! 

The Final Push – putting it all together

The hard work is done, you know. The rest is plain sailing…

Sewing the Panels together:
First – undo your zip half way across. Oh this is so important I’m going to say it again in italics: undo your zip half way across. Pin your panels together, right sides together. The side with the zip might be (probably will be) a little too long, but that’s because I prefer to have a little more than a little less, just in case.

Now you are sewing blind with regard to the piping so you will be relying on the feel of it under your hand. Sew with the back panel on the top, so that you can make sure the piping goes under the foot. You are aiming to sew as close as possible to the piping. Go slow and steady since the foot will always be trying to shove your piping out of the way and get on with it. This won’t give you the result you want. Be persuasive.

How to Make Zippered Cushion Covers

Once you’re all the way round you are done! Simple wasn’t it? You’ll notice that the zip opens almost all of the way across the cover, which will make it easy to insert the cushion pad, but you didn’t have to do any horrid sewing over zips.

How to Make Zippered Cushion Covers

Trim your corners and turn the cover right way out. Insert cushion pad and admire! 

HERE: Make Your Own Piping – it’s Easy

How to Make Zippered Cushion Covers

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