budget living

Do-it-yourself: Toy chest cushion

Sunday, October 2, 2011
Do-it-yourself: Toy chest cushion

This cushion is both a finishing touch and a seat. It is tied in place at the back, so the cushion stays in place and doesn’t move around – the front ties are longer than the back ones.

Size: Length 145cm, Width 45cm, Height 5cm.

You will need:

200 x 150cm cotton floral print
145 x 45cm high density foam 5 cm wide
800cm piping cord
140cm zip fastener
Matching coloured thread
Dressmaker’s pencil
Ruler
Dressmaking pins

Note: a 1.5cm seam allowance has been included in the measurements. Use the selvages when cutting out if your fabric is not wide enough to cut out each panel from the main fabric. Use a ruler and dressmaker’s pencil at all times to ensure the edges of the pattern are straight.

How to cut material:

  1. Cut two rectangles each 148 x 48cm for the top and bottom panels, cut one strip 151 x 8cm for the front gusset, two strips each 51 x 8cm for the side gussets and two strips each 151 x 5.5cm for the back gusset. This section of the gusset is made in two strips for the zip insertion.
  2. Cut two strips each 71 x 7cm for the front ties and two strips each 23 x 7cm for the back ties. From the leftover fabric cut bias strips 4cm wide for the piping.

How to make cushion:


  1. Join bias strips together, sewing each strip on the bias until you have a continuous length of fabric sufficient to pipe the edges of both the top and bottom panels. Press seams flat. Fold strip in half lengthways with wrong sides together. Place piping cord into the fold and, using a zipper foot, cover the cord. Stitch as close to the cord as possible.
  2. Take the two back gusset strips and close the seam at bottom of zip opening. Insert zip using the concealed method into centre seam. Make sure zip is centred and equal amounts of the seam protrude at each end of zip. Use a zipper foot and take care not to sew the seam into the zip teeth as you fold in the seam allowances. Close remaining seam at top end of zip.
  3. Fold front ties in half with right sides facing. Machine stitch both short ends closed and down the length, leaving an opening in the seam of approximately 7cm for turning. Turn tie through to the right side, fold in seam allowances and press tie-flat. Top-stitch around edges of tie, working the stitching as close to the edge as possible, closing the opening in this process.
  4. Repeat this step for back ties. Place back panel right side uppermost on a flat surface and pin back ties to the panel 5cm from side edge. In the same way, pin front ties to the other side of back panel 5cm from side edge. Top stitch ties in place, following original stitching line. Work another row of stitching for reinforcement.
  5. Sew the four gusset pieces together in the correct order to form an open rectangle. Press seams flat as you work. Open zip. Each side of the finished gusset should now measure the same as a raw edge of the main panels.
  6. With right side of top panel facing, pin and tack piping in place around outer edge. The raw edge of the piping must align with the raw edge of the panel. Overlap ends of piping before cutting. Place right side of open gusset on top of the piping and machine stitch, sandwiching the piping in between two layers of fabric. Snip into seam around the curved edges of all layers of fabric so corner edges will lie flat.
  7. Repeat this step for the bottom panel. Remove all tacking stitches. Insert foam into zip opening and close zip fastener.
See how to make the toy chest here.


Related video: More craft ideas.
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