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How to Sew Cushions with Piping-A Beginners Guide

Revamp an old chair and learn how to sew cushions with piping the easy way.

Hi, I’m going to teach you how to sew cushions with piping to revamp an old cane chair. I’ll show you step by step instructions on how to turn a sad old chair into a statement piece for your home including painting the frame. So let’s jump into it. After hauling home your treasured find It’s time to get stuck into transforming it.

Step 1


how to sew cushions with piping-stripped backFirst step is to remove the cushions and other pieces of hardware off the chair in preparation for painting it. Sand the chair base with a 120 grit sandpaper and wipe it over with a damp cloth. I recommend using a spray paint that is a paint and primer in one, this skips a step of having to undercoat. Then paint away and let it dry.


Step 2


how to sew cushions with piping-making pipingIt’s time to start upholstering the cushions. The first step is to make the piping for the edge of the cushion covers to do this cut one inch strips of your chosen upholstery fabric using a rotary cutter. Make sure you have enough cut for the lengths you will need to pipe around the cushion. Next pin 6mm braided cotton piping cord inside the 1-inch strips of fabric that you have just cut. Pin the wrong sides together close to the cord and repeat this all the way to the end, if you have a long length of cushion to pipe I would recommend sewing the 1-inch strips of fabric together before pinning the piping cord inside.

how to sew cushions with piping - sew pipingOnce the piping has been pinned It is time to sew it all up. Attach a zipper foot to your sewing machine and start sewing the pinned piping along the edge. Make sure that you are hard up against the piping cord for a firm finish. If the casing is not sewn tightly to the piping cord it will not give the cushion a nice finish at the end, and there you have it you have finished your own customized piping

Step 3


how to sew cushion covers with piping- cushion coversNow it’s time to start covering the cushions and attaching the piping. Cut out a piece of fabric to size for the base cushion Make sure the piece overlaps to create an envelope This is how you’ll put in and take out your cushion, if you have the skills add a zip but for the novice this is how you get away with no zip. Cut another two pieces of fabric for the side piece of the cushion, always make sure you add an extra inch or two around the piece for seam purposes. Pin a seam along both short edges of the large piece of cushion fabric; sew along the pin seams at both ends. Drape the fabric right side down over the cushion and make sure to evenly overlap the envelope opening. The best way to do this is to measure it and pin it in place.

Step 4


How to sew cushion covers with piping - attach pipingThe next step is to get the side fabric piece and start pinning the piping around the edge of the cushion. To do this sew in the piping along the edge of the cushion against the main piece of fabric then pin the side piece on top of it so that the piping is sandwiched between these two pieces of fabric.

I would recommend starting the piping at the back of the cushion so that you will not see any joins along the front, trim any excess fabric as you go, but make sure that it’s better to leave more on until the end. Continue to pin the piping along the corner of the cushion making your way around the entire edge. Repeat this step on the other side of the cushion. To connect the two ends of the piping unpick back about an inch and a half and pin the two pieces of fabric, right sides together, so that it is firm and in line with the rest of the piping. Remove the cushion insert and sew.

How to sew cushion covers with piping -

.Once you have sewn the piping joined together trim the piping cords so that it fits in line with the rest of the piping. Press the cord into the casing and pin the wrong sides together, sandwich the piping joined back into place and pin between the two pieces of Fabric


Step 5


How to sew cushion covers with piping - cushion cornersIt’s now time to sew the piping cord into place, sew around the entire edge of the cover. When sewing around the corners I find I get a better finish if I snip the corners around the edge as this allows for more movement, and it allows for easier sewing. Corners are difficult, if you find that you are not catching the piping into place when sewing around the corners try coming at it from a different angle.

Once you have sewn the piping in to both sides of the cushion turning the right side out and trim any excess cotton on the outside. Turn back the wrong way out and trim back the edges to about two centimeters from the seam. Once you have done this go back and either over lock the edge or do a zig-zag stitch all the way around to stop the edges from fraying.

Step 6


How to sew cushion covers with piping-fold in halfTurn the cover the right side out and place a cushion insert back inside the cover I find folding the cushion in half while inserting it into the cover is the easiest way to put it back in. Gently ease the cover back into the cushion so that it fits nice and snug and smooth and that you finish with great look. Repeat the same process with the back cushion, and if you feel like it a bottom cover for the cushion to sit on.Now it’s time for the fun part putting it all back together I’ve put all the hardware back onto the chair ready for the cushions to be attached.

Final Step


the final look with how to sew cushion covers with pipingThe next step is to staple the bottom in place with a staple gun. Attach the elastic straps to the back of the chair to hold the mat into place. Place the back cushion over the frame and manoeuvre it into place, staple the cushion skirt at the back of the chair. This hides the underneath of the chair. I simply copied the original cushion template to achieve this look. Place the bottom cushion into place and there you have it. Voila!!!!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Please leave any comments below.



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