Thursday, December 02, 2010

Making Chair Cushions Part 1

Here is the first of a three part tutorial on making chair cushions. I was asked to make these by a lady in our church here. I had never done it before, so it was certainly a learning experience! It is so exciting to see the finished product.

I will warn you though, its a very tedious and time-consuming process. I could certainly not just whip these up in a few hours. It took a lot of time. But well worth it!

This first part is going to be how to make the matching cording to go around the edges. Basically any chair pad or decorative pillow has this cording around the seam. It is super easy to make your cording out of the fabric you are using. Or you can use a contrasting color. Either way, it is a great finish for your cushions.

Before I go on, I must give the credit for some of these instructions to a book that I followed. My Grammie gave me a series by SINGER, called the Singer Sewing Reference Library. The book I used was Sewing For the Home. This book contains general directions to make pillows, curtains, bedclothes, etc. So, so many different options! I was so thankful that I had this book to help me with some of the finer details. So some of these directions are things I learned from this book, and some are things I learned as I went along.

To make this super easy cording, follow these steps:

  1. Cut several bias strips from your fabric. No, I didn’t really know what bias strips were either, so I followed these directions from my handy-dandy book:

  • Locate bias line by folding fabric diagonally so selvage (the finished lengthwise edge of the fabric) aligns with crosswise cut (where the lady at the fabric place cut your piece off the bolt. Got that?). The bias line is the diagonal line you now have.
  • For 1/4” cord, your strips should be 1 5/8” wide. Cut wider strips for thicker cord.

Here are my bias strips. Excuse my beautiful work area.

  1. 2. Lay your cord ( I bought this el-cheapo stuff at the dollar store...does the trick!) in the middle of your strips. Pin, although the pins won’t really hold it still. But it will help.

  1. 3. Sew, using your zipper foot. It will look like this:

4. When you get almost to the end of your first bias strip, you will have to sew the next one on before you can continue. Just pin the two strips together, right sides together, at right angles. No matter how many times I do this, it still takes the blonde part of my brain a while to figure that out!

5. Sew, trim points, and press open seam.

6. Finish sewing your cording until you have enough for your pillow/cushion/whatever.

Whew, wasn’t that difficult?? Now your cording is ready to be sewn on to your cushion. Making the cushion will be the next part of this tutorial! Stay tuned!

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