Updated on September 6, 2022 by Sarina
This is an easy cushion cover project with piping along the outer edges – no fastenings, just 3 pieces of fabric and some piping cord. Easy peasy, right?
Step 1. Cut front and back fabric pieces for the cushion cover
You need 3 fabric pieces for the cushion cover. One square fabric piece for the front and 2 rectangle shaped pieces for the back. (The size of this would vary according to your cushion insert. Mine is a 16 inch cushion insert)
The front piece – if you have a 16 inch cushion ( normal size) cut the fabric square 16 1/2 inches in dimension.(For a more snug fit make it 16 inches ie exact measurement as the insert)
The back pieces – You need 2 pieces for the back for overlapping. Cut one piece 16 1/2 inches by 10 inches and the other piece 16 1/2 inches by 13 inches.
If you have a different dimension for your cushion insert, follow this formula for back pieces. Divide the square side by 2 ; Add 2 1/2 to this for one piece of back and add 5 inches for the other. Or better decide for yourself.
How to sew the cushion cover with piping
Step 2. Cut and Prepare piping
For the piping, you can cut a fabric strip of 1 1/2 inch width on the straight grain or cross grain or bias grain (I have found it doesnot matter). You also need cord to keep inside the fabric strip.
Actually, the width of the fabric strip you need to make piping depends on the thickness of the card you are making. You can wing it by wrapping
Length – For a cushion cover of 16 inch square dimensions, cut the piping 69 inches (side of the square * 4 plus 3 inches); fabric over the cord and then add 1 inch extra to this.
If you do not have a long fabric strip, join together small fabric strips to get the longer length. Join it diagonally – so that the seam allowance does not lie across the fabric adding bulk. Cut out the extra seam allowance. Press the seam allowance open. Learn how to make bias tape here.
Attach a zipper foot on your sewing machine. Keep the cord inside the piping strip. Ensure that needle position is correct – fitting inside the groove of the presser foot.
Using a straight stitch, sew as close to the piping cord as possible.
Step 3. Baste stitch piping to the front piece.
Keep the piping strip to the edge of the fabric. The piping portion is kept to the inside.
Start stitching. Start from one corner, leaving some 3 inches extra tail of the piping. Refer picture below.
When you reach the corner, stop stitching 1/2 inch before the edge.
Curve the piping to the other side. Keep the needle inside the fabric, but raise the presser foot.
Pivot the fabric and continue stitching the piping to the edge
When you reach the end, stop 1 inches from the corner.
You will have to take out 3-4 stitches of the piping stitches now to open it up.
Turn the starting edge to meet the end( cut off extra piping cord – exactly to meet the other end) The fabric should be cut off leaving 1/4 inch extra (for turning to the inside).
Piping cord should meet end to end.
Turn the edge 1/4 inch to the inside.
Now sew the piping as usual. It will look like this in the picture below.
After stitching clip the corner seam allowance so that when you turn the pillow right side out, it will look nice and smooth.
Step 4. Hem the back pieces.
Turn under the edges of both the pieces (the overlapping edges) 1/4 inches twice and stitch in place. You can press the folds first and then stitch.
Step 5. Stitch all layers together
Keep the front fabric square right side up in front of you. Keep the 16 1/2 inch by 13 inch fabric piece right side down on this. Keep the other fabric piece on top.
Align everything in place. You can pin everything together neatly so that it could not shift when sewing.
On the back of the front piece, you have the stitching line of the piping. You can sew over this – this serves as a guideline for your sewing. Stitch through the whole circumference.
After finishing the stitching, you can finish the seam allowance edges by either binding or by zigzag stitches (this is optional but looks better on the inside and avoid fraying of the edges)
Turn the pillow rightside out through the overlapped opening. This is how your new cushion cover will look on the back.
This is my cover front. Yours may differ, depending on what emebllishment you decide to do on the fabric. Mine is quite lame, just a piece of fabric stitched on the surface.