Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tip For Sewing a Cushion Cover with Piping

I've mentioned it before but cushion covers are not my favorite part about upholstery work.  Why?  Mine used to come out a little tweaked.  The top and bottom never seemed to line up perfectly in the corners so I was constantly pulling them apart and redoing them.  I have an old sewing machine with no bells and whistles.  The problem I was having is even with tons of pins the fabric still pulls and stretches and by the time I got to the end the pieces were no longer lined up.  It wasn't until I heard this tip that I started getting the results I wanted.

Tip: use staples instead of pins.

Start by sewing the piping to the top and bottom pieces of your cushion cover.  

Then sew the middle (boxing band) to the top piece using staples to hold the fabrics together.  Space the staples about two inches apart.  Staple in the middle of your seam allowance not all the way up to the piping or else you'll break a needle. 

Then line up the bottom piece and staple that to the boxing.  So much faster then pinning and everything stays put.  

When you are done sewing use a staple puller to easily remove the staples.  Mine is on the back of my stapler.

I swear it has changed my life ;) Well the small portion of my life where I sew cushions anyways. 

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  1. Staples! Who knew? I have had my share of "tweaked" cushion covers as well, so much so that it has been years since I've attempted to make one ;-) Maybe this tip will give me the courage to tackle another one someday!

  2. Hi Mimi! This is one of the main reasons why I own a Pfaff sewing machine. Pfaffs all have IDT (Integrated Dual Feed), which means that both the top and bottom fabrics feed through the machine at the same rate (regular presser feet create a "drag" on the top fabric). You can buy a walking foot attachment, even for old Singers or bare bones machines, but they don't always work with piping, since you have to move the needle over or use a zipper foot to accommodate the piping bump. With Pfaff machines, it's like you always have a walking foot, even when you're using a piping or zipper foot. It makes life so much easier.

    I would also recommend the staple trick for sewing on the piping, too, especially if the fabric is heavy or has a nap. I sometimes have a hard time getting the tension on the piping right. If too much tension, it creates a bubble effect. Not enough tension, and the edges of the cushion can be wavy instead of nicely squared.

  3. I cannot wait to try this. Thank you!

  4. OH, man. I've sewn for years, but never thought of this. I wouldn't be upholstering anyting in a fabric staples would damage, soo...! Yeah!
    This is as obvious as using bungie cords to hold the spindles of a chair in place while gluing. Who'da thunk it?

  5. sooooo smart Mimi! pinning! ( from my hospital bed)

  6. genius. I'm fixing to recover my box cushion soon, so this will be fun to try.

  7. I have my cushion material forever and being a chicken to start the process. I can't wait to try this!!!


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