Monday, 5 March 2012

Making a scatter cushion with an oxford flap & zip

A single, flat border is appealingly simple, yet adds a tailored appearance to your cushion.
It is simple to make, here is how:

Cut your fabric for the front of the cushion the size of your inner + 1.5cm for each side seam (so + 3cm) and then add the width of the flap you would like x2.

For example:  If your inner is 50 x 50 and you would like a 5cm flap.  Add 3cm for seams and 10 cm for both oxford flaps - cut your front 63 x 63
Cut your back piece in two pieces.  You will need to put your zip in just above the bottom flap, so one piece will need to be 5cm (size of flap) + 1.5cm (seam) + fold for zip 2cm (in our example) so that piece will be:  8.5cm x 63cm

The 2nd piece will need to be the inner (50cm) + one flap (5cm) + one seam (1.5cm) + fold for zip - enough to hide zip under (approx. 8cm).  In our example the piece will be: 64.5cm x 63cm

I use endless zips for almost all projects!  For cushions you need to use a zip with the narrowest teeth possible (or an invisible zip if you like, but with the flap to hide the zip, I feel this is not necessary).

Have a look at my VERY simple video on how to use endless zips here.
And the EBay shop I currently get endless zips from,  here.  The colours in the photos are accurate.

Sewing it all up:

Add the zip to the small piece of the back fabric 1st.  Place zip right side down on the top edge of the small back piece.

Line up with edge, and stitch in place using zipper foot

Fold back the fabric, and on the right side top stitch next to the zip, without overlapping the fabric over the zip

Now lay this piece (you have been working on) on top of the bigger back piece with right sides together.  Make sure the pattern of the fabric runs the correct way!

Match the edges & stitch together using the zipper foot again.

Fold the bigger back piece down to create a flap to hide the zip as you see in the next picture:
Pin in place on the right side
Then flip this whole piece over & pin along the zip as shown in next picture:

Stitch down making sure you stitch just next to the teeth of the zip.

Move the head of the zip within the cushion edges now & pin the end of the flap closed in place.  Stitch where this pin is (in the next picture) for a short way - about 4cm in from the edge.  This will be within the oxford flap.  Make sure your zip is open about 20cm.  You will need this space to turn your cushion right side out!

Now lay the front piece of the cushion directly on top of this completed back piece and trim them to fit perfectly together.

Straight stitch all the way around the edge, keeping to a straight line.  If you find this difficult, draw a line with a ruler to follow.
Once you have gone all the way around - you can stitch right over the plastic teeth of your zip, your machine will have no problem with them - trim the corners off MAKING SURE you do not cut through the stitches!
Now you can either zig zag the edges OR you can use your pinking shears & cut the edges off with these, ensuring the fabric will not fray.  Pinking shears are a recent addition to my sewing room, and a worthwhile one too!  Spend a bit extra & get a good pair, with longer blades that can cut through a few layers at once ... it is well worth it!

Now turn your cover the right way around, and carefully poke out your corners with a crochet hook's blunt end (or similar).  DO NOT use a sharp point (like a pencil) as you can easily poke through the fabric.

Now use your fingers to flatten the seam perfectly, and then iron in place.  This part is VERY important as you will be sewing this down, and you need a perfectly flat seam to make a nice, concise oxford flap.

Measure 5cm in from edge, you can use masking tape or electrical insulating tape (neither are too sticky and therefore easy to remove!) to make a line to follow on your machine, see photo:

Now you have an easy guide to line the edge of your cushion with to make a clean 5cm hem.
Stitch all the way around to form your 5cm oxford flap.

Your beautifully made cushion is complete!

This one is especially for you Jilly Dilly... now you know how to make the rest yourself!

June 2012:  I have recently discovered (thanks to Pinterest) that another name for this type of cushion is a flanged cushion.  Yet another good reason to browse Pinterest  :)


  1. hey these all scatter cushions like the indian tradition design. I am sure that people would like those cushions. The coloring and designs are outstanding.
    Love this blog!!!

  2. Great post, very interesting, the tutorial shared by the blogger is also very detailed, thanks