I decided to tackle a cushion for my daughter’s room. She’s doing a lot of reading on the floor in her room. I haven’t been much of a home dec sewer recently, but a sewing student once gave me a whole collection of lightweight upholstery fabric samples. Each sample is about 18 inches by 15 inches. I was inspired by a project in Sewing in No Time. Before I begin, let me warn this is not a complete tutorial. I’ve seen a lot of pretty picture books with poor instructions, so it’s better for you to know from the beginning that this is not step-by-step! Similarly, my lovely picture book inspiration didn’t offer instructions in much detail either. I consulted Sewing Edges and Corners for the boxed corners, and I think they turned out crisply.
1. Cut out top and bottom. Plan for one-half inch seam allowances. 2. Add the circumferences to determine the length of the band that will go around the sides. Below, I’ve shown that freezer paper, which melts with a medium-high iron setting, is a great way to make the template strips. Also determine how thick the cushion should be. This will lead you to the height of the foam you need to by. One-inch increments are standard, but be forwarned that four- and five-inch foam can be expensive. 3. Sew the band all the way around one pillow piece, right sides facing. Start to sew about three inches before you come to a corner. Ooh, is it starting to look three-dimensional? 4. Clip the corner seam allowances almost to the stitching (scary, yes, but makes the corners very crisp). 5. Right sides facing, sew the band to the other pillow piece. Leave almost an entire side open, minus three inches on each corner. (See the big opening in picture below.) 6. Hack the foam into small pieces. The Jo-Ann’s employee tells me that after the foam yardage is cut, an employee is not supposed to make additional cuts. Gotta love Jo-Ann’s policies! (You can search for “Jo-Ann” in this blog to read my and readers’ comments about Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts.) But she said if I paid the cashier and came back, she would make another cut so that it matched the pillow-top dimension. When I got it home, I realized there was no way that puppy was going in, so I found some of my husband’s razor blades (for household projects) and hacked the piece into four squares. 7. Shove all the squares into the cushion, and hand-sew shut. My daughter loves it! I might make more, if I can find some clean inexpensive used foam to reclaim.