When we left off with part 1 of this tutorial, we had just cut out our materials and were getting ready to sew.  This week, I'll show you how to make the casing for the piping, sew it to the chair pad, make the ties, sew both sides together and stuff the cushion.  I swear it's not as hard as it sounds.

Taking the strip of 2" wide fabric, measure around your cushion and give yourself an extra 2".  This will be our casing for the piping.  Cut a length of piping the same length.  Wrap the piping in the fabric, wrong sides together and pin so that the fabric is tight to the piping.

Keep the edge of your presser foot on the piping
to ensure a tight casing.
Once you have the piping done, pin it to one piece of your cushion.  You'll be pinning the casing towards the middle of the cushion and right side up.  I found that using the pins at the sewing line in the casing worked well and kept the fabric taut.  Sew the piping to the cushion on the same seam line as before.  Again, if you keep the left side of your presser foot on the piping, you should be sewing on the same line as before.  Seam allowance here is about 1/2".  

Sew the casing to the cushion, tucking one
end inside the other casing for a neat edge.
Next we're going to double check the shape and size of our cushion on the seat we'll be putting it on.  Don't worry if it seems just a bit big right now, that's a good thing.

Yes, my butt shall look good on you!
While you're admiring your handy work, plug your iron in and wait for it to heat up.  We're going to create the ties for our cushion next.  Take the lengths for your ties and fold them like below, then iron them.

How cute, my nails match my ironing board pad!
Fold your tie in half and iron it again.  Use pins to hold the ties together.

I pinned the edges due to my fabric being so thick.

Now you're going to sew the ties.  Stitch the open edge together using a straight stitch, giving yourself about a 1/8" seam allowance.  If you want to get fancy, fold one end in and sew it closed as well to finish it.
Either tuck the ends in and sew those
closed, or zig zag the ends.

Laying your cushion back on the chair, figure out where you want your ties and pin them there.  I have mine pinned to the casing, on the wrong side of the fabric with the finished ends of the ties out around my chair not pinned to the casing.

If you want, baste the ties to the casing.

Get the second piece of your cushion, we're going to start the process of putting them together.  Pulling the piping and ties to the inside, with the right sides of your fabric together start pinning.  Again, you'll see I'm pinning at the seam where the piping is.  You're going to want to sew on that line.

It was this point of the project that I was dreading.  The fabric I have is really thick and 4 pieces of it was too thick to go under the presser foot of my machine.  I know some of you are snickering now, but I really had no idea.  The thing I really had no idea of was that the catch for the presser foot lifts up more than I knew(in my defense it was nearly jammed from never having been used).  I discovered this today while looking at new machines, and figured I'd come home and check mine before buying a new one.  As I was all excited about this amazing discovery, minion #2 comes in and asks if the king had to show me how it worked.  My bubble of happy quickly popped as I answered with 'thank God no, he didn't.'  I'd have never heard the end of RTFM.  Even after 10 years of sewing projects, you can learn something new!

Take your time pinning and sewing this, if you
don't the piping will look messy.

Start sewing just before the first set of ties
 end just after the second set.
As I was sewing my cushion together I met up with Murphy, from his law.  He explained to me that since I was nearly finished with this project and my cushions were looking FABULOUS, he should give me a hand.  As a side note, always make sure you're using the right type of needle for your fabric.  Usually it will prevent things like this from happening.

One broken needle.  :(

Do not sew the entire cushion together!  I left the area between the ties open to put my stuffing in.  Depending on what type of filler you use, polyfill or an actual cushion, the hole size you need will vary.  In my case, I'm using the filling from some old bed pillows.  I took the cases off the pillows and using my template cut the foamy inside to size.

Handy dandy template - trace with sharpie

Sharpen your scissors before attempting this!
With the cushion still inside out, if you have rounded edges, you should clip them.  When you do, make sure you do not cut through your seams, or you'll be sewing again.

Clipped edges at the corners.

Turn your fabric to the right side.  You should now have a nice, nearly finished cushion with one hole towards the back where you will stuff it.  Before you do that though, put your hand inside and draw a finger along the seams to ease them and the rounded edges out.  Your piping should be nice and neat, laying flat if you eased the seams out enough.

Look at my pretty piping!

Once you have your cushion almost sewn together, and your filling ready, stuff your cushion.  I rolled mine up as tight as I could, and with the help of the king's man hands wrangled it into the cushion.  It was easy enough to then unroll it inside the cushion and push it into all the nooks and crannies.  When you're satisfied with the way the stuffing is, you can hand sew the hole closed with a slip stitch by hand, or top stitch it if you don't mind seeing the seam.

Ignore the pins at the back.  I have to get
a new needle to finish it.
Once I have the back closed up properly, I'll be putting two buttons on each of my cushions so it looks like eyes, staring at your butt while you sit on it, I mean, to hold the foamy insides where they are.  I chose silver decorative ones and they'll go the whole way through the cushion and attach to small white shirt buttons on the other side.  If you only use thread and knots, there is the chance that it will tear the fabric, or pull back through.  By using another button, the chances of Murphy showing up and explaining that to you are slim.

My total cost for 4 cushions with this project, not counting the broken needle was $9.64.  Not too shabby considering the other things I looked at were $40 a piece.

I hope you enjoy your cushions as much as I do!

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