Is anyone else of the opinion "why use only one fabric when you can use two"?
I was cutting some fabric for a customer and I got to thinking (in a distinctly non-Carrie Bradshaw way, I swear) about some spare cushion pads I'd gotten in Ikea years ago; I thought about how the lovely mushroomy Lewis and Irene fabric I was currently cutting would transform those pads into some pretty cushions for our fungi-mad friend, Emma. I guessed the size of the pads (I knew they were smaller than ones I normally use) and took .5 of a metre of Fox and Friends Chocolate Toadstool and .25 of a metre of Fox and Friends Green Leaves home with me from the store (because why use only one fabric)? The following night, I whittled up a pair of cushion covers- it took me about 1 hour 30 minutes from start to finish. Not bad!
If you'd like to make your own, I've laid out the simple steps below. (Please note, how much fabric you need will depend on how large your cushion pads are- my measurements are for 35cm x 35cm cushion pads. I had the bare bones of enough with the .5 and .25 pieces of 112m wide fabric I used).
What you will need for two cushion covers measuring 35cm x 35cm:
0.5 metre of your main colour (MC)
0.25 metre of your contrasting colour (CC)
Paper for making your pattern (I used freezer paper which is available in the store)
Matching thread for both MC and CC fabrics
1. Mark out out your pattern pieces on the freezer paper. The front of the cushion will take 3 pieces, and one of these is going to be used for the back too. The easiest way to mark and cut these (in my opinion) is to mark out a 35cm x 35cm square, then divide that up into the three pattern pieces. The top piece measures 35cm x 7cm, the middle piece 35cm x 6cm and the third piece is 35cm x 22cm- make sure to label them (I'm calling them 1,2 and 3). The below is a quick diagram I did (not to scale I may add!); it may help. Seam allowances aren't included in the pattern.
2. Cut out the following from your fabrics:
Pattern piece #1- MCx1
Pattern piece #2- CCx1
Pattern Piece #3- MCx2 and CCx1.
You should have 5 pieces cut now, three for the front and two for the back. Don't forget to add about 1cm for seam allowances before cutting!
3. Sew piece #1(MC) to piece #2 (CC) along the long edge. Make sure to sew the correct sides of the fabrics together if they have a top and a bottom (like my mushroom fabric does. The leaves fabric can go either way). Then sew piece #3(MC) to the opposite long edge of piece #2, again, making sure that fabrics will face the correct direction when flipped. These 3 pieces together make the front of your cushion.
4. For the back of the cushion, choose which of the two fabric pieces left will be the top fabric piece and which will be the bottom one (lets call the top piece #4 and bottom piece #5). Hem the bottom piece #5 across the top of the fabric (if it's directional), ensuring you use a matching thread to the fabric colour. Hem the top fabric piece #4 across what will be the bottom of that piece- this is the edge that will be on view when your cushion is finished. Hopefully the below diagram will help visualise this:
5. Now it's time to lay the pieces out together in order to sew around the edges, forming your cushion shape. Before I did this, I trimmed and overlocked the seams between pieces 1,2 and 3 using an overlock stitch on my machine. But you could just press the seams open flat either. I like my edges neat! You can see them in the picture below.
6. Place the front of the cushion on your table face up. Place the top piece of fabric (#4) face down on top of this, matching all the top corners together. Pin together well. Place the bottom piece of fabric (#5) face down on top of the other two pieces, matching all the bottom corners together. Pin together well.
7. Sew around all 4 sides. Again, at this point I trimmed and overlocked the seams together, after clipping all 4 corners so they would make nice sharp points when turned.
8. Turn right side out, using something pointy to poke the corners square. I used this nifty little Clover Tailor's Awl, but a pencil would work well here too. Press the four sides. And voilà! You've made an envelope back cushion, so called because the two back pieces fold over each other like an unsealed envelope! Congratulations! Now, all you've to do is find a good home for it...