Easy craft sewing projects – garden cushions

[AD] Make the most of the fine weather with these simple garden cushions, made from cheerful PVC fabric for durability. These practical cushions are easy to sew, and are wipe clean and practical for outdoor use. Sara Walker breaks out the sewing machine…

“As I’m lucky enough to have a garden, I’m really making the most of it at the moment. I’m planting, weeding, chopping back and tidying – but I’m also taking the time to make the most of just sitting out there. My old garden cushions were looking decidedly worse for wear, so I thought it was time for some new ones – with a little help from Terry’s Fabrics. They have a wide range of PVC fabrics, but I went for this Maritime design with its bright colours and seaside feel.

“I wanted to make these cushions out of what I had available already, so decided to cannibalise the old cushions and reuse the pads and zips. Putting a zip in means the cushions will have a ‘weak spot’ where the water can get it in if it rains, but I did want to make covers that could be removed so that I could dry the pads out if necessary. I’ll just have to put them in the shed if there’s a downpour!

“I’ve never worked with this type of fabric before, so was interested to see how it sewed. Almost immediately two questions presented themselves.

  1. Why have I never discovered PVC fabric before, it’s fantastic! and
  2. Where on earth could the zipper foot for my sewing machine be, honestly, I’ve turned the house upside down?

“Oh well, onwards and upwards!

I started by measuring the existing cushion pads (15″), and cutting and measuring the fabric. I cut the fabric in a strip that was 18″ wide and 32” long, so that I could fold it over the pad and not have a seam on the top of the cushion (again to make it more waterproof). I then turned the fabric right sides together, and measured in 1.5 inches from each side, drawing a line that I could follow when sewing the seam.

I was reluctant to stick pins in my seams (again, making extra holes!) but to my delight I didn’t need to – as the fabric is slightly ‘sticky’ it didn’t need fastening at all. I sewed down each side, so that I had a bag with an open top. Another advantage of this fabric is that it doesn’t fray at all, so I probably didn’t need to be quite so generous with my seam allowances in retrospect!

“Now came the tricky bit, as that wretched zipper foot was still nowhere to be found. I decided to put the zips in with the normal sewing foot (perfectly possible, but you don’t get as neat a result as you can’t sew as closely to the zip as would be ideal). I undid the zipper to halfway down its length, made sure the pull was on the inside and positioned the foot of the zip against one side of my opening. I sewed the first side then the second side in place, then finished off all the loose threads by hand. Finally, I opened the zip fully so that I could turn the finished cover the right way round. If you don’t fancy using zips, then press studs or Velcro would work just as well.

“Even if you’re a non-sewer, these cushions are very straightforward – just a basic bag with a fastening – and they’ve certainly made a difference to the look and comfort of my old garden chairs! Now, time to put the kettle on and see if there are any biscuits left….”

Images (c) Write Image for you Media

The fabric used in this project was gifted by Terry’s Fabrics, an online fabric warehouse who are still open for deliveries.

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