Monday, October 26, 2009

Tutorial: Ikea cushions

I finished the second (and last) Lillberg chair cushions on Sunday night. I made a mistake with the measuring of the patchwork on the bottom cushion and ended up with it vertically instead of horizontally like the others, but I think it looks quite nice. I also sewed these cushions with a 2cm seam allowance around the square edges so they are nice and snug and look much better than the first set.

I also took some photos while I was making them so I could create a photo tutorial.

What you need to make the set of cushions:
4 metres of fabric around 80/90cm wide.
2 x 90cm zip
1000m cotton thread

Cut out the following pieces for the bottom cushion:
2 x back/zip pieces - 90cm by 11cm
2 x side pieces - 61cm by 17.5cm
1 x front piece - 64cm by 17.5cm
2 x top and bottom pieces - 64cm by 74cm

Cut out the following pieces for the top cushion:
2 x back/zip pieces - 90cm by 11cm
2 x side pieces - 40cm by 17.5cm
1 x front piece - 64cm by 17.5cm
2 x top and bottom pieces - 64cm by 52cm

How to

1) Sew the zip on using the two zip/back pieces, effectively joining the pieces together.
  • First pin a 2cm seam along the longest on both pieces
  • Then pin a piece onto the zip - using the same pins you used to pin the seam. Make sure that you overlap the folded edge at least to the center of the zip.
  • Put the zip foot on your sewing machine and sew with the foot as close to the center of the zip as possible. Continue until one piece is sewn onto the zip.
  • To sew around the zip pull, I open the zip about 5cm, sew along about 4cm, then lift up the foot (with the needle in the fabric of course) and close the zip.
  • Repeat with the second zip/back piece
2) Sew the two side pieces (right sides together) onto the zip piece - using a 1.5cm seam allowance. Note: If the completed zip piece is too wide (wider than 17.5cm) then trim it using the side pieces as a guide.3) Sew the front piece onto the the two side pieces (also using a 1.5cm seam allowance) - so all the pieces are joined up into a circle/tube. Make sure you don't get a twist!

4) Pin the tube onto the top and bottom pieces, right sides together.
  • Start with the front piece because it is the only piece that matches the width of the cushion cover, then continue around the tube until you have pinned it around the top rectangle piece.
  • Sew along the rectangle, this time using a 2cm seam allowance (unless you want to top stitch or stitch in a cord).
  • To make the corners nice, sew up to 2cm away from the edge, lift up the foot - with the needle in the fabric, turn the fabric 90 degrees left, fold fabric underneath neatly and so it is out of the needle's new path (as much as possible anyway)
  • Repeat the same for the bottom cushion piece. It's a good idea to open the zip a few cm so you can turn the cushion the right way when you are done.

5) Optional: do a top stitch around the edge of the top and bottom pieces - you can also pin in a cord and sew the cord into the edge for a professional finish. Use the zip foot.


  1. I love them! You're so clever, totally transforms the chair. Well done!!

  2. totally clever! maybe kimz can make some too! different pattern of course...