Store bought outdoor cushions have a habit of fading in the sun and they need a fresh look now and then. This tutorial is going to show you how to sew new covers using outdoor fabrics. Although they’re a simple project, this is a more advanced method of sewing cushion covers, using an invisible zipper. If you’re a beginner with a little experience with zippers and a smidge confidence, you might want to try this out. It’s not difficult and you might learn a thing or two. New cushion covers are a great way to breathe new life into a space.
Outdoor fabric (yardage depends on cushion size) for front and back of cushion. Our fabric is by Tommy Bahama from fabric.com
Invisible zipper (slightly longer than the length of one side of the cushion)
Sewing machine and thread
Old cushions you want to cover and a new pillow insert
Cut the fabric to size. To make a full cushion, cut the fabric to the same dimensions as the cushion you are covering. Cut one piece for the back and one piece for the front. OPTIONAL If you have a serger you can finish all edges of both pieces of fabric.
Pin the piping around the entire perimeter of the cushion front piece of fabric. Ease the piping into a curve around the corners.
Sew the piping the cushion front piece of fabric. Using a zipper foot will allow you to sew close to the piping for a neat finish. Where the two ends of the piping meet, cross them over and sew in a straight line along the edge of the cushion front. Trim away excess piping with scissors.
Pin the zipper to the cushion front piece of fabric. The zipper should be upside down so that the right side of the zipper is facing the right side of the fabric. Align the zipper tape along the seam allowance. The zipper teeth should be against the piping. Next, sew the zipper to the fabric. With a fingernail, you can roll the zipper teeth out of the way and stitch as close to the teeth as possible.
Place the back cushion fabric piece on your worksurface with the right side of the fabric facing up. Place the cushion front piece on top of the back piece so that the right sides of the two fabric pieces are facing each other. Align the edges of the two pieces of fabric. Pin the zipper to the back cushion fabric. The right side of the zipper should be pinned to the right side of the fabric. Sew the zipper to the back cushion fabric piece, rolling the zipper teeth to the side so you can stitch as close to the teeth as possible.
Unzip the zipper then pin the cushion front to the cushion back at the sides and bottom. The right sides of the two fabric pieces will be facing each other. You must keep the zipper unzipped (or at least halfway unzipped as you will not be able to unzip it inside out). Now sew the two pieces of fabric together and trim the corners and extra zipper length to reduce bulk.
To finish, turn the cushion to the right side through the open zipper and insert the cushion.