Friday, May 18, 2012

[ nautical cushions with french seams ]

SOUNDS FANCY, huh? Well, they're easy and here's how I made them.

It's been a little while since I finished my white slipcovers and I've been meaning to make some cute cushions for them. I found some nautical striped fabric at IKEA and 2 existing 18" cushions ready for a new life. I chose mother of pearl buttons to add a little sheen.

I bought about a metre and a quarter of fabric and realized that I could simply cut the length into one long strip for each cushion. I ended up having enough to make the 2 covers I needed, plus enough for a table runner leftover.

To finish the ends, I measured, pressed and sewed them, making sure that one was wide enough to accommodate the buttonholes, and that once folded and overlapped, the fabric would be long enough to go all the way around my pillow form.

I measured for the buttonholes and decided on their placement. {I decided not to centre the side buttons on the navy stripe like the centre button since it would space them too far apart.}

I set my machine to the buttonhole function {I started at 1, not at 2-4 as shown in the pic}

I attached my plastic buttonhole foot {this machine came with one, my other machines haven't had one but it's not necessary}. I started at the bottom pin and sewed my buttonhole all the way around. I tied off my threads.

Then I carefully opened up each buttonhole using my seam ripper and trimmed off any threads afterwards.

I folded my strip of fabric exactly how I wanted it to appear completed, with the finished ends overlapping in the centre. I made sure that it was at least 18" high to fit my pillow form {mine ended up about 18 1/2").

I made sure that the centre of the buttonhole was sitting on the stitch line of the end underneath. The stitch line was where I would be sewing on my button.

Now for the french seams!
It sounds fancy but it's not. Pin the sides together, exactly how you've just laid it out, with right side of fabric facing out.

Sew with a narrow seam allowance {1/4" or less}. If you find it too difficult to sew such a narrow seam, sew it a bit wider and trim it down afterwards.

Turn inside out and press.
With fabric still inside out, stitch again, this time with a wider seam allowance {about 1/2"}.
You now have a french seam.

Turn right side out and press. See how nice and clean everything is inside? No raw edges or mess.

Sew on buttons and insert pillow form. Done!

I love how quick these were ~ just over 2 hours for both pillow covers, even with those fancy french seams! I don't always make french seams. Sometimes I'll do some zigzag or overcast stitching to finish things off or just trim my seam allowances with pinking shears.

I love how fresh they feel on the white slipcovers and how the background colour ties in with the natural linen of our sofa. 



Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage said...

They are so pretty Lisa! I love the large buttons on the front!

Formerly known as Frau said...

Love them! I wish you were my neighbor...I need seven pillows and you make it look so easy! Next week project for me I just looked at my sewing machine I got for xmas...yay it does button holes!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Pinecone said...

Can I just say again how talented you are. You make it look like it would be so easy - but I don't know if I could handle it!
The pillows look so fresh and crisp on your new slipcovered chairs ;)
Have a great weekend Lisa!!

Lynda @ Happenstance Home said...

Love your work and your pillows look fantastic!!! Have a great weekend.

Pinecone Camp said...

Fantastic cushions Lisa! Thanks for really showing how you do button holes too. I've been making pillow cases, but they're more envelope style and super basic. I think I just may try this out over the long weekend. Have a good weekend.

DREAMS ON 34th STREET ~ French Bread & Family said...

The pillow covers are perfect for your coastal style! Your sewing skills are tremendous. I have always avoided give us confidence! Thank you, Lisa!

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Love them, Lisa! Adorable & fresh :)

Meeling said...

Great step by step and they look fantastic!

Vintage Home said...

love the french seam idea...I was thinking of getting a serger! This is a great idea instead.

Donna said...

Hi Lisa!
I just discovered your blog and wow! I'm hooked!
Love, love, love these great pillows!
Have a great week

Tiffany @ {Living Savvy} said...

They look AMAZING! I am so pinning this! I have tackled almost everything besides buttons! Thanks for the inspiration!

Louise said...

Love the cushions.I have never tried button-holes but will now after seeing this post.
( I found a handy hint recently; if you cut each corner of the fabric with a curve instead of a right-angle you can avoid the pointy corners on a cushion.)

freckled laundry said...

Lovely, Lisa! You did such a great job of teaching a French seam. I agree, it sounds fancy but they are rather easy. Thank you so much for sharing with air your laundry friday. I'll be featuring this tonight. xo

Jill Elaine said...

French seams are just the best aren't they?! I love them. They sounds so elegant and detailed but they are one of the simplest sewing techniques! Your pillow looks absolutely lovely!

{ Kristen } said...

Thank you for this Tutorial! I am excited to do French Seams now!!

Jo said...

Great tutorial! The pillows are lovely.


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