Hello there and welcome to part two of my Sectional Slipcover Tutorial: Covering the Cushions! If you missed part one, you can catch up here.
There is nothing unique about covering sectional cushions verses sofa cushions, except maybe that the cushions may not all be created equal as often is the case with a standard sofa. For this reason I measured each sectional cushion individually, so each cover is custom to that cushion. That accounts for the very tailored fit my cushions have.
Let’s get started!
Measure & Cut Fabric
The first step in creating a custom cushion cover is to measure the cushion length, width and height:
Add a 1/2″ to each measurement. This will allow for a 1/4″ seam allowance on all sides and create a nice snug cushion cover.
I used the original cushion as a guide for where my zipper should start and end:
Yes I did just say, “zipper”. Don’t freak out…zippers are easier to add than you think!
You will need to cut five pieces for each cushion: a top, a bottom, a piece for each side of the zipper, and a piece for the rest of the band around the middle:
I measured each side and marked my fabric with a pencil to see where to cut, then used my rotary cutter and straight edge to make my cuts. (I found this awesome metal yard stick in the craft section at Walmart for $5. It worked great for those longer pieces.)
If you are making white covers, you will inevitably need to wash them. A lot. Adding a zipper will make your cushion covers so much easier to remove and put back on. And adding a zipper really is easier than you think!
I used cut-to-size upholstery zippers I found at JoAnn Fabrics. There are over three yards in each package, so I was able to get zippers for three cushions out of each one:
I double folded (so there are no raw edges) one edge over and pinned to the zipper. It helps to iron the first small fold first.
Then I sewed the fabric to the zipper using my zipper foot:
I didn’t see the need to try to hide the zipper since it will be at the back, and no one will ever see it.
Next I pinned the piece with the zipper to the rest of the band (right sides together) that will go around the center:
For the sectional “base” covers, I waited until the very end to go back and seal all of my raw edges. For the cushion covers, I sealed the raw edges on the seams as I went by zigzag stitching them on the widest, but shortest setting. You can see how the seam above has been “sealed”.
I ironed the seams flat…
And ran a stitch across so the seam would lay flat. (Not pictured here, but you’ll see at the end.)
The next step was to fit it to the cushion by wrapping the band around the center and pinning where it met the other side…
I sewed that seem as well, sealed the edges, iron the seam flat, and sewed a stitch across to keep it nice and flat as well. Now you should have a circular band.
I shared the how-to for making piping in part one, however, I found this awesome time-saving tip for adding piping to your cushions in a video.
Check it out:
Isn’t she a genius? Thank you, Peggy! 🙂
So all you need to do for the piping for your cushions is cut the strips and sew them together, which I share the how-to for in part one here.
Then add the cording and attach the piping at the same time! That’s how I added the piping to my cushion covers.
Starting somewhere on the zippered side, I added piping to one side of the middle band all the way around:
She also shares in the video above how to finish the piping off when the ends meet. I just folded the top piece under, wrapped it around the bottom piece, and sewed:
I added piping to both sides of the middle band:
Add Top and Bottom
Next I added the top piece, starting at the back where the zipper is, and sewing all the way around. When I got to the squared off corners, I took the corners a bit more rounded, cutting small slits in the band portion to help the fabric take the turn more easily:
Then I added the bottom. Don’t forget to unzip the zipper before adding the bottom or you will sew it shut.
Trouble Shooting TIP: It is very likely that you will either have too much band or too much fabric left on the top or the bottom. (This statement may not make sense until it actually happens.) There will either be a big gap, or not enough fabric to sew the top or bottom to the band all the way around. In this case (which WILL likely happen more than a few times), unstitch the back corners where the zippers are and either take the turns wider or tighter to give or take up fabric as needed.
In the picture below, you can see that I had to undo the stitching and take my corner a little wider for the bottom piece of fabric to fit perfectly.
I tried to keep all the corners on the front of each cushion the same, and made the adjustments at the back where they wouldn’t be seen.
That’s what worked for me anyway.
Test fit your cover.
If everything looks good, trim your seams and seal the raw edges with a zigzag stitch, or you will have an unraveling mess the first time you wash your covers. (Trust me.)
Here is what your edges should look like:
Because a sectional can have many varying sized cushions, I measured and made each one individually. In the event that I have to remove several cushion covers to wash at once, I used colored embroidery floss to match each cushion cover to its cushion:
That will make it easy to match them back up!
The cushion covers were the most time-consuming part of this sectional slipcover project. It easily took me over two hours to finish the first couple, but I got faster as I went. With 11 cushions, it took me about three and half days to finish them all.
Are you curious how much my brand new custom slipcover cost?
If I did the math correctly, I spent around $275. That includes fabric, zippers, thread, and piping. I call that a worthwhile investment. 🙂
If you have any questions at all, ask in the comments below and I’ll be happy to answer them!
I’ll be back on Tuesday sharing what I did with this gem:
See you soon! 🙂
UPDATE: You won’t believe what this set looks like now…check it out HERE!
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