Tutorial Tuesday may very well end up just being for this Tuesday, but it IS Tuesday and I AM posting a tutorial - so it works for now!
We recently purchased a lovely shelf unit to add some storage to our kitchen, as well as somewhere for someone to sit and chat and drink wine, or gin, or beer, or whatever else is within reach, whilst chatting happily to the cook. Our kitchen is...cosy...so it had to be small, but thanks to my younger sister's recent refurbishment of her house I could steal her excellent idea and purchase a shoe bench from The Good Shelf Company.
It’s a lovely shelf, but a little hard on the buttocks if you try to sit on the top, so I decided it needed a cushion. I purchased some foam online – there are loads of companies that will cut you a piece to size at very reasonable prices, and when it arrived thankfully it was the right size (well done me on the measuring). Here it is with the nude foam wrapped in the polyester cover they can add to it to stop it flaking everywhere:
I stopped off at the craft palace at the weekend and picked up some really lovely upholstery fabric that reminded me of the seaside and set to work.
I knew I wanted a Velcro closure at the back, as it’s going to need washing, being in the kitchen. I went about it like this:
I measured the width, height and depth of the foam cushion and marked out on the fabric the various dimensions, using one long piece for the top, front, back and bottom pieces rather than seperate pieaces for all the sides. The diagram below shows the pieces you will need – there are five in all, one large on from the block on the left, and then two each of the blocks on the right.
The first thing to do once you’ve cut out your pieces is to sew the side panels on to the main body. To do this, place the short edges right sides together with the central panel of the main body (labelled ‘cushion height’ on the diagram). Sew these with a half inch seam allowance and press in place.
Once you’ve sewn the side panels on, you’ll be left with something that looks a bit like this:
What you need to do next is match up the coloured lines and sew them right sides together, so green to green, orange to orange etc. again with a 0.5 inch seam allowance. You’ll need to fold and tweak the fabric to ease it into position but once it’s there it’s a straightforward sew. Watch out to make sure you match up your stitch line at the corners.
You should end up with a cube shape that’s missing one long end (the back panel) – press everything in place and now you just need to make the back.
Take your two back Velcro closure pieces and fold over one inch along one long edge and press in place – do this for both pieces.
Now attach your Velcro strips to these pieces, sewing over the hem you just created but leaving a small gap so the velcro isn't completely flush with the folded edge – I’d advise sewing one half of the Velcro down, then use that to line up the piece that will go on the other half of the closure, making sure you sew them down so the Velcro will close! It should look like this when you’re done:
Now you need to place the Velcro strips on top of each other and stick them together to create one piece of fabric, with the Velcro closure running down the centre like this:
You can now treat this as one unit, and sew it onto the main body of the cushion cover in the gap you've got left – you’ll need to sew it right sides together all the way around, with a half inch seam allowance. You may need to adjust your seam allowance depending on how your cover is fitting, so put it over the foam and check how much ease you need.
You’ll need to do the same thing that you did with the side panels and manoeuvre the fabric around the corners as you sew each side in turn, but once you’re done you’ll have a finished cover (it will be inside out but don’t worry)!
Unstick the Velcro so you can turn the cover the right way around and then put your foam inside by inserting one end and then the other, fasten up your Velcro, and you’re done!
Sit down (on your new cushion) and have a cup of tea and a biscuit.