1-hour couch cushions

I love sewing. There’s something thrilling about the speed of the projects and the thuka-thuka-thuka of the machine – compared to knitting, it feels like moving from a horse ride to a motorbike.

There’s pros either side, but it’s nice to mix things up and this holiday I’ve really knuckled down into some home decor sewing projects.

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Sewing is a brand new skill I learnt after I got a sewing machine for my birthday. I’ve started to take lessons and with those basic skills (I made my brother some ill-fitting pyjama pants for Christmas) and the help of my friend Stacey I made some quick couch cushions yesterday. Even with my rudimentary skills, these are really easy and quick.

1-hour cushion (1)
And greyhounds love them too it seems…

Note: This specific pattern was designed for 50cm cushion inners, but by following the ‘rules’ you can make cushion covers of any size.


  • 50cm cushion inner
  • Pre-washed fabric
  • Matching thread
  • 40cm matching invisible zip (the zip needs to be shorter than the cushion inner, but not so small that the cushion can’t fit through)
  • Dressmakers chalk or a fabric pen (whatever will show up on your fabric)
  • Pinking shears (optional)


Note: all seams are 1cm unless otherwise stated.

Add 3cm to the side where you want to place the zip.

(Steps here, pictures below)

  1. Measure out with a ruler and your dressmakers chalk a square 49cm high (cushion cover must be 5cm shorter than the cushion, so it’s [cushion cover length: 45cm] + 1cm hem for the bottom + 3cm for the zip) long and 47cm wide ([cushion cover length: 45cm] + 1cm left hem + 1cm right hem).
  2. If you can, fold your fabric so you’re cutting out two squares at once. If doing this, pin in place so the fabric doesn’t move while you’re cutting it.
  3. This is a bit of a shortcut, but cut the fabric out with your pinking shears to prevent fraying. Otherwise, cut out straight and ‘zig-zag’ the edges or use an overlocker to prevent fraying. This will all be on the inside of the cushion, so I had no qualms about doing this.
  4. Fold and pin the top of the ‘zip side’ down by that 3cm you added, towards the wrong side, and iron this seam down in place. Do this to both pieces of fabric. This will make an invisible ‘pocket’ for the zip at the seam.
  5. Separate the zip. Mark 2cm from each edge of the fabric, or whatever length will put your zip in the center. With right sides facing, pin the zip in place, about 1cm from the top of the fabric. Do this to both pieces of fabric. Match the zips to make sure they will work when the whole thing is sewn together.
  6. Using a 1cm seam, stitch in place from the edge of the fabric to the other end. Use a backwards-forwards stitch on either side to secure in place.
  7. Once you’ve sewn both parts of the zip down, pin the cushions in place, right-sides facing.
  8. Sew each side down with a 1cm seam, from edge to edge on each side (this keeps the corners secure).
  9. Turn inside out, and stuff with the cushion inner. Et voila!
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Basically all the materials you’ll need!
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Measure out the correct size on your fabric, and fold if you can to cut more pieces at once.
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Pin down 3cms to the wrong side.
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Keep as even as you can.
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Iron this down, and take out the pins.
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Pin down the zip, right sides facing, with the zip at the top.
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Sew in place.
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To test the zips are sewn down correctly, put wrong sides facing and test the zip out. It’s essential to make sure that your zips are evenly sewn down.
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And watch out for sneaky, sleepy greyhounds!

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