First start with one of your zipper strips (that we learned to cut already). You’re going to want to bring it in an inch or so from the start of the zipper (from the pull.)
Put the selvage edge next to the zipper, using a zipper foot – you are going to sew on top of the RIGHT SIDE UP of the zipper. Make sure to back stitch when starting and finishing all seams.
Pin the second side aligned with the first side, so it’s on the other side of the zipper. It should be selvage edge towards the zipper – being sure to use matching thread because this seam will be exposed.
Sew it down so the right sides are together (think zipper pull directed towards the middle of the fabric sandwich.) Stitch it together, and you will need to sew slowly when going over the zipper. If it gets jammed, lift your needle, scoot it just a tad and try again.
Once you have this seam done, take a needle and thread and sew around the zipper with 8 or 10 stitches – some around the whole zipper, some going in the middle. This will keep your zipper from separating. It may be a little difficult to pull the needle through, so if it is use your side cutters as pliers and grab the needle to pull it through. Please use BUTTON thread for this step. Regular thread isn’t strong enough. Button thread is thicker and stronger.
Once your zipper stop stitches are in, trim off the excess zipper by snipping the “fabric” part of the zipper with scissors, then cut through the metal portion with your side cutters.
After your zipper stitches are in and your zipper is trimmed, open up the seam from the inside and smooth it down.
Now stitch right over the top of that seam, so you have a finished seam to hold everything in place. Repeat the steps on the other end of the zipper and it’s installed. Woot!
Now let’s pin the cushion! You’re going to start with a bit of your scraps to use to cover the beginning and end of the piping. I used a 2 inch by 3 inch piece, and just finger press the ends in place to create a little channel.
Pin it together all the way around the cushion, making sure to think about how your fabric will go into your machine and pinning so the pins will face out and you can remove them while sewing. (Counter clockwise works best.)
If you have a bit of excess fabric, make tucks in the CORNERS to keep everything neat on the straight sides. Speaking of corners, when you are turning the piping for corners, snip several little slits into the outer edge of the piping so you can get it to curve into corners neatly. Do a couple of inches before and after the fold so you have plenty of working room.
Once it’s all pinned together, use your sipper foot and get right up next to the piping and sew as close to it as possible. You can check your work periodically to see if you need to get closer. If so, go back and stitch again.
After the first side is sewn down, pin on the second side of the cushion and sew it to the other side of the long strip. Be sure to open up your zipper so you do not sew it all shut together.
When that side is all finished, turn it out right, then put it on your cushion. Ta Da!! You covered a cushion! Let me forewarn you that this part takes a LONG time. It takes me 2-3 hours a cushion, and you will get faster as you go. I cut out all of my pieces at once, install all my zippers, then pin and sew the cushions one at a time. It’s a slow process, but taking your time will give you a finished slipcover that looks professional.
Want to see all the slipcover posts? Here ya go!