Today I’m going to show you how to make a bench seat cover. Years ago, my husband made this bench for our home but the cushion cover has gotten pretty dirty. It’s beyond a simple run through the washing machine. Time for a new cover!
You’ll want to use thick woven fabric such as home decor canvas. Today I’m repurposing a shower curtain made out of canvas. It has the colors I want and I don’t need it as an actual shower curtain anymore so I’m going with it!
The first thing to do is cut out your pieces. If you’ve already got a cushion that you are just making a new cover for, you can take the old cover off, measure each piece of the cushion, add seam allowance, and cut out your pieces from those measurements. Or you can take the cover completely apart and use the pieces as pattern pieces.
If you’re making the cover from scratch, measure the length, depth, and height of your cushion. Cut out rectangles for each of the faces of the cushion using the measurements you took plus seam allowance. My cushion is 48.5 inches by 17 inches by 2 inches tall and I decided to use a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
two 49 X 17.5 inch rectangles for the top and bottom
two 2.5 X 17.5 inch rectangles for the short sides
three 2.5 X 49 inch rectangles for the long sides.
You need three pieces for the long sides because two are for creating the opening to get the cover on and off the cushion.
You also need some velcro:
48.5 inches of 1 inch velcro
3-4 inches of 2 inch sew on velcro
3-4 inches of 2 inch sticky back velcro
The 2 inch velcro is for getting the cushion to stay on the bench. You can skip this part if you have a different method for getting it to stay.
Take two of the long side pieces and serge one of the long edges on each of the pieces. Then iron the serged edge under using the serging as a guide. Don’t have a serger? Zig zag the edge and then iron the edge under 3/8 inch. If your fabric is directional, take care which side you sew under.
Position the ‘hook’ part of the 1 inch velcro to the wrong side of one of the pieces you just turned under and stitched. The velcro should be close to the finished edge. Position the other side of the velcro on the right side of the second long rectangle 3/8 inch from the edge you did not serge and sew. Stitch in place.
Take those two long sides with the velcro and lay them on top of each other with the velcro together. Check to make sure the width of them together is the same as the width of the short rectangles. Adjust the ends of the long rectangles to match the end of the short rectangles if needed. Bast the two long rectangles together on the ends. It can now act as one long rectangle!
Sew the two long sides to the top and bottom pieces, right sides together. One of those long sides is actually the rectangle with two layers of fabric and velcro.
Now is the trickiest part. Looking at the wrong side of your cushion cover, align one short rectangle into one of the open ends of the cover. Pin the middle of the sides together. Clip a corner of the short rectangle diagonally, from the point in towards the center of the rectangle. Cut up to but not past your seam allowance.
Push the seam allowance to one side so it continues the side and pin your short rectangle close to the seam.
Push the seam allowance to the other side and line up the other edge of the short rectangle and pin it as well. Repeat with the other 4 corners. Lots and lots of pins!!
Now stitch all around the short rectangle. At the corners, stitch up to the pin, then place your needle in the fabric one stitch past the pin.
With the needle in the fabric, lift the pressure foot, pivot the fabric to face down the other side of the corner, and reposition the seam and fabric underneath to be behind the needle.
Repeat with the other short rectangle.
Turn the cushion cover right side out through the velcro side. Gently poke out the corners. They should be pretty crisp points.
Last step is to attach the cushion to the bench! Position both sides of the sew on velcro to the bottom of the cushion cover. Take the sticky back velcro, separate the side, and place them on the corresponding sew on velcro. Then take the film off exposing the sticky backs. Place the cushion on the bench where ever you want it to stay. Now the cushion will stay on the bench but can be slightly repositioned and removed for washing!