First of all, I have to say that I’m so glad we opted to go with the window seat in our kitchen. Since we don’t have an eat-in area (we chose to go without a table because we felt it crowded our kitchen), it’s nice to have the option for people to sit and hang out, and equally exciting… there’s lots of extra storage space in the drawers. Here’s how our window seat looks all naked without a cushion.
- Fabric (for cushion and piping)
- Coordinating thread
- Cable cording (for piping/trim)
- Vanishing fabric marker
- 2” foam (buy this with a coupon or when it’s half off! It’s not cheap!)
- Zipper (long enough to span almost the entire length of the back of the cushion)
After going to Joann’s months ago to buy the supplies for this project (yep, I’m that much of a procrastinator) I decided to do the trim in a different color. So off to the store we went. I found a gray satin fabric that complimented the patterned fabric perfectly.
Measure and Trim Fabric
I started off by fitting the foam to the seat. Our window seat is a trapezoid shape (not going to lie, I had to look that one up. I’m a little rusty on my geometry), so I had to cut off a triangle on each side. I triple checked that it fit the seat properly because I wasn’t about to go through this whole project for an incorrectly sized cushion.
Then I prepped my fabric. I laid it out on the table and traced the foam, leaving about an inch on all sides for seam allowance. I traced this piece for the bottom side of the cushion by laying the good sides of the fabric together… even though my cushion is symmetrical, this is just good practice. Then I trimmed the fabric for the side panels by measuring the thickness of the foam. I made sure to add the 1” seam allowance all the way around. The diagram below shows all the pieces to the cushion.
Look how pretty this print is!
I used my vanishing ink fabric marker to mark where to cut. Gotta love those things.
After laying out the strip of fabric on the table, all I could think was “Wow this fabric would make a pretty table runner!” Maybe that will be in the works soon. (Hello again to my fun new chandelier drum shade!)
Sew the Piping Trim
As always, I like to complicate my projects. I really wanted a cushion with piping on the seams, which of course I have never done before so why not try it on a cushion, which I also have never made before. Then to complicate things even further, I’m adding a zipper for easy cleaning… yep, never sewn on a zipper either. Today is all about learning new things, apparently. Let’s hope it all works out!
So now that I’ve committed myself to doing the piping, I needed to make it. I started out by trimming a long strip of fabric. I laid the cording in the center of the fabric and folded over the fabric, keeping the cord snug in the fold. I used a few pins to hold it in place. Then I used a zipper foot on my sewing machine to sew right up against the cord. This was surprisingly simple.
Not sure how Kimble ended up in the photos today, but he didn’t lend a paw so he’s not getting credit for any of this project. Sorry pup.
Sew the Zipper on to the Back Edge Panel
After all of the piping was finished, I moved on to the back edge panel where I wanted to hide the zipper. I cut a slit down the center of the fabric, pinned the zipper to the fabric, folding under the edges and I sewed the zipper into the fabric panel. I really had no clue what I was doing, but it worked so I must have done something correct.
UPDATE: I learned a WAY BETTER method for sewing a zipper. You can read about it here.
Sew the Zipper Edge Panel to the Front Edge Panel
After the zipper was in place, I sewed the front edge panel to the back/zipper edge panel so that I had one long edge strip that could wrap all the way around the cushion to connect the top and bottom panels.
Sewing the Piping On
I pinned the piping to the sides of the top panel with the good side of the patterned fabric facing up and the ragged edges of the fabric together. The photo below shows how the two came together. I sewed it together with the zipper foot on my machine. Once the top panel was done, I did the bottom panel the same exact way. Be sure to cut little slits around your corners so the piping can bend freely around the tight corner (as shown in the photo).
Pin and Sew Panels Together
After both the top and bottom panels had the piping attached, I pinned the edge panel to the top panel. Then I moved onto the scary part: sewing the two together. This was actually easier than I expected. I used the edge of the piping to guide me in sewing the pieces together.
Now this is the real scary part: sewing the bottom panel to the edge panel (that was previously sewn to the top panel). This step encloses the cushion, meaning I was done afterwards. BUT not so fast, this was really tricky. At this point it’s important to make sure the edge panel is the correct thickness. You don’t want it to be too tall or the foam will wiggle around inside the cushion cover and the fabric will have too much slack. You don’t want the edges to be too short, or the cushion won’t fit at all. I have a confession to make. I spent a good 2 hours pinning, repinning, pretending to start sewing only to restart the pinning process all over, and then I realized that I needed to pull off some of the piping, reposition it and resew it. Sighhhh… this part took a while.
What I found out worked well in the end was measuring 2″ down the from the seam attaching the top panel to the edge/side piece. Then I drew a line with a pen (not my invisible fabric marker because it disappeared too quickly for this time consuming step, but the pen markings were on the back side of the fabric so all was well). This gave me a line to follow with my sewing machine. I didn’t pin this go around because… well actually I’m not sure why. I just didn’t. It seemed easier in the moment to be able to wiggle the fabric as I sewed to make sure it was butted up nicely to the piping (which you will follow again as a guide with the zipper foot). If I have COMPLETELY lost you now, just take a look at the photo below. It should clear things up for you. See how my pen line follows parallel to the seam between the top panel and edge (and the lines are 2″ apart)?
Once I finished sewing on the bottom panel, I was a little freaked out. My biggest fear was that this thing (that I just spent who know how long making) wouldn’t fit. There was no going back and I told myself that if it didn’t fit, our kitchen window seat would just have to live a life sans cushion. And I was ok with that. But guess what? It fit perfectly! All of my nitpicking paid off. Look at that beautiful zipper (and I’m saying beautiful as in the-very-best-I-could-do-for-my-first-time kind of beautiful).
Time to Relax!
It was nearly midnight, and I still needed to shower that night and get up by 6 am the next morning and hit snooze 3 times. I was totally spent. Don’t mind the giant box of fruit snacks next to the fridge, we like ourselves some fruit snacks.
Don’t let Travis fool you. He played zero part in all of this. Well… he helped build the seat, and he went with me to Joann fabrics to buy the trim fabric at the last second. More realistically, he plays the sit-on-the-dang-thing-and-enjoy-it role. Why can’t I ever play this role? Hopefully the dogs won’t realize this seat is comfortable because I will cringe if I come home from work and see them laying all over it.
This is the face of one happy, accomplished girl. I conquered my first zipper, piping, and even bigger… my first seat cushion. Go me.
Loving this pattern! It has a slight silvery sheen to it.
Look at that nearly straight piping. I’m amazed with how it turned out.
If I can be totally honest, this project wasn’t too difficult. But it was a little challenging. I spent more time thinking than doing (the thinking part is key, so don’t skip it.) I told myself I wanted to add a zipper so I could easily make a new cushion cover with a different fabric making it easy to swap it out on occasion. HA! That won’t happen any time soon. I’ll have to wait until my goldfish brain forgets how much work this thing was…. so maybe an encore post of the new cover in another year? We’ll see…