Velvet Envelope Cushion Cover Tutorial
During this tutorial, I'm going to show you how to create a zip-free cushion cover!
Have you got some dull cushions that are in desperate need of a spruce up? Envelope cushion covers are removable and have a slit at the back made from overlapping fabric - no fussy zips or fastenings make it an easy afternoon project!
First, you will need to pick out your fabrics; for this I have picked out two velvets, one feature printed velvet and a plain velvet to back it with, plus a pom-pom trim for around the edges, (Don’t worry, the trim is super easy to sew in, but we will get to that later.)
I have chosen Flights of Fancy (Deluxe Printed Velvet) for the front of my cushion, and then to match I chose Lilac Sunrise (Deluxe Plain Velvet) for the back of my cushion. I made the decision to go with a Pom Pom Trim - Baby Pink for the edges.
For this tutorial we will be working with a 1cm overall seam allowance.
After you've chosen your fabrics, you will need to measure the width and height of your cushion pad to get the measurements needed for your cover. My cushion pad is 47cm (18 inches) x 47cm (18 inches) as it is a square.
If you are following using our Cushion Cover Sewing Kit, then your measurements will be identical to mine throughout this tutorial.
Make sure to wrap the tape measure over to the middle of the sides of the cushion, and not squashing the cushion pad, to ensure you’re getting an accurate measurement.
Add on 2cm to the width measurement and 2cm to the height measurement to create your seam allowance.
My cushion pad itself is 47cm squared, so my front cushion cover piece will be 49cm squared.
Cut this square piece out once you’ve measured it.
Now we're going to cut out the two rectangles that will form the envelope style back at the rear side of your cushion.
Cut one rectangle that is half the length of the front cushion cover piece (but keep the same width). Then add on 2cm to the length for a french seam hem.
For example, the length of my front cushion piece is 49cm. Half of that would be 24.5cm. Plus 2cm for the hem = 26.5cm. The piece that I would cutting out would be 26.5cm height x 49cm width.
That will be the bottom rectangle.
For the top rectangle, you will need to cut a rectangle that is two thirds of the front cushion pieces length (but same width).
To get to this measurement, divide your full length by 3. Take this number away from the length and you will end up with the length measurement needed for this rectangle.
For example, my full length (49cm) divided by 3 is 16.3cm
Take 16.3cm away from 49cm which equals 32.7cm - don't forget to add the seam allowance back on for the hem!
Cut this rectangle out.
Now we have all our cushion pieces cut out, let's sew!
Make sure you've picked out a thread that matches the colour of the back of your cushion cover, as you will see the thread at the envelope opening.
To make the edges of the envelope opening neat, fold over one of the edges by 0.5cm, do this twice to create a double hem where the raw edge is hidden inside the hem edge.
(For the top rectangle, the hem will be at the bottom edge, and for the bottom rectangle the hem will be at the top edge.)
If you're using velvet like me, make sure that the nap of your velvet will be heading in the same direction on both of these rectangles once sewn.
Top-stitch this on both rectangles, on one edge only.
You will now have two rectangles, with one edge on each hemmed. It should look something like this:
The next step can be done in multiple ways, if your skills are more advanced, then you may feel comfortable sandwiching the pom-pom trim in the seam and sewing through all three layers at once.
However, for the purpose of this beginner-friendly tutorial, I’m going to show you how to sew in this pom-pom trim one step at a time that may be less fiddly.
To start with, you'll need to figure out how much trim you'll need. To do this, you will need to measure around the edges of your front cushion cover piece. My amount of pom-pom trim needed is 197cm.
Once you've got your needed length, you’re going to start pinning the pom-pom trim around the front square piece of your cushion cover.
Turn the front square of your cover face-side up on your table and start to pin the trim around the edges with the pompoms facing inwards.
Begin at one edge with the end of the pom-pom trim.
When it comes to the corners, you will want to create little pleats in the trim to form a right angle in the corner, like this:
Don't worry if your pleats are a little rounded and this will likely be hidden within the seam.
Pin the trim around the entirety of the edges until it looks like this:
Now we'll start to sew!
You may find this step easier with a one-sided zip foot or a walking foot in order to be able to get around the pom-poms. I didn't have any of these to hand, so I'm using a standard machine foot for this tutorial.
To sew your 1cm seam allowance, you may need to push the machine foot against the pom-poms or pull them out of the way as you go along, especially if you're using a standard machine foot like me.
Once facing the right direction, place your machine foot back down and carry on sewing!
Once you've sewn your pom-pom trim to the front cushion piece, it's now time to start sewing the back retangles!
First, we're gonna sew the top rectangle.
Lay your two pieces together, right sides together, with your hem at the bottom. Like this:
Then pin these together around the edges. The pom-poms may make the seams look a bit bumpy and may not lie completely flat, however don't worry, this will not affect the end result.
Now we're going to sew these together! Start at the bottom of the rectangle, where the hem is, and work your way around to the other side.
Again, when it comes to the corners, you're going to want to lift up your machine foot, with your needle still in the fabric, and pivot your fabric around. Once facing the right direction, place your machine foot back down and carry on sewing!
Once you've sewn this top rectangle, you're going to start pinning the bottom one!
Lay your bottom rectangle on the bottom half of your cushion cover, right sides together. This time you'll want your hem facing upwards, and begin to pin!
Sew this rectangle the same way you did with the first one; begin at the hem on one side and work your way around.
Once you've sewn the edges of this final rectangle, you will be able to see the envelope opening that has formed.
Before you eagerly turn your cushion cover inside out to see your fantastic work, you will need to snip into the corners.
With your scissors, cut one line diagonally into the corners as close to your stitching as possible (being careful not to cut into the actual stitching.)
This will allow your corners to be pointy and as right angled as possible when it comes to turning your cover the right way around, because it gives the seams a little bit more ease.
Once this is done on every corner, you can now turn your cushion cover the right way around!
When you do, your corners may look a little rounded like this:
To fix this, take your scissors (or the end of a pen, you can use anything slightly pointy) into the inside of the cushion cover and push the seams out into the corners. This will create the pointy corners that we desire. Don't push your scissors too hard into the points as you may end up making holes!
You now have your cushion cover finished!
Now all you need to do is pop in your cushion pad through the envelope opening at the back, and you're all done!
Now you have all the knowledge and skills to make your own!
If you fancy making a statement velvet cushion like I have, head to our Cushion Cover Sewing Kit which will give you all the materials needed to create and 18inch cushion cover like mine. Pick and choose your favourite combination of feature printed velvet, plain backing velvet and pom-pom trim!
Don't forget to tag us in your cushion makes on social media! Our Instagram is @fabworksmillshop and we'd love to see how you get on!