1 yard Petal and Plume Peacock Waltz Gala
1 yard Petal and Plume Panache Profundo
1/2 yard Oval Elements Passionate Fuchsia
2 1/4 yards Kona Storm
Batting: 2 1/4 yards by 42 inches
5 yards 1/2" Piping cording
Wonder Tape (optional)
Foam (my foam is 27"x15"x10", but I explain how to resize this to fit your foam)
Zipper Foot for your sewing machine
The first step is to determine what size you want to make the footstool. In most cases, what foam you can find to buy will determine what size you make this. In my case, we had bought new foam inserts for our couch, so I am using the old couch cushion insert.
Measure your foam: In this example, my foam is 27" wide by 15" deep by 10" tall. I will be using 1" seam allowance to determine the size I need.
Side sizes: This means that I will have two sides that are 27" by 10" and two sides that are 15" by 10". To determine how much fabric I need, I add the seam allowance and then determine a layout to cut this from the fabric. The two large sides need to be 29" by 12" and the two small sides need to be 17" by 12". This barely squeezes out of 1 yard of fabric as shown below.
- Note: This cutting diagram will use the quilted fabric, so if you need 36" of quilted length, you should actually buy a little over a yard (about 1 1/4 yard) to account for some shrinkage during quilting.
Top and Bottom sizes: The top and bottom are the same size, 27" by 15" so I need two pieces of quilted fabric 29" by 17". This easily fits in 1 yard of fabric.
Once I determined how much fabric I needed, I proceeded to quilt the fabric. I used 2 1/4 yards of backing fabric and 1 yard of each top fabric. I quilted the peacock fabric with peacock feathers, and the the feather fabric with a feather edge to edge design.
To see more of the quilting from this project, check out my blog where I go into more detail about what designs I used and how I decided to quilt it.
To do a project like this yourself, it is a lot of work to quilt 2 yards of fabric before you can even get started. This is a great project to send to a long armer like me because I will quilt the fabric for you and send it back to you ready for your project. Set aside some yardage that you love, and send it along with your next quilt. You can use the quilted yardage in your home decor as you would like.
The next prep step is to make the bias tape for the piping. Using my foam sizes above, I need two identical lengths of piping that will go around the top and bottom. In my case that is (27"+27"+15"+15"=84"). Add several inches extra to account for going around corners and to make sure you have enough to overlap the ends. I made about 90" of piping for the top and bottom.
Mark the 45 degree angle on your fabric. I did it by folding and pressing. Make sure to get as close to 45 degrees from the grain as you can.
The width of the bias tape will depend on the width of the piping cord you are using. For 1/2" cording that I plan to sew with 1/2" seam allowance, I used 2" bias tape.
One nice bonus to cutting the tape on the bias is that the edges are ready for you to sew together. Make sure the as you pin them, the two pieces of bias tape intersect 1/4" from the cut edge as shown below.
There are a couple different ways that you can prepare the bias tape. One way is to use your zipper foot and sew the bias tape around the piping as shown below.
You want to sew close enough to the cording to hold it in place, but not too tight because you don't want this initial seam to show in the final finished product. Leave enough space for a second seam to go closer to the cording.
Another option is to use double sided fusible tape. I used Wonder Tape which is a narrow tape that is flexible, advertises not to gum up your needle, and will wash away when this cover gets washed. I found this method a little bit easier to control, but it's preference and experience as to which is easier.
As you make the piping, try to minimize rotation of the bias tape as much as you can. It should lay straight and flat after you are done.
Then, you will have a pile of piping ready to go.
After all that prep work, we are ready to get started!
Cut your pieces out of the quilted fabric using the cutting diagrams shown above. Once they are cut out, finish the edges using your preferred method. If you have a serger, that is a really fast way to do it, but a zig zag stitch would work well. At a bare minimum run a straight stay stitch along the outside edges just to keep the quilting in place now that you have cut it.
Now is also a good time to do a dry run for the fit. I used my clover clips to hold the sides together where the seam allowance is planned to be.
During this dry run, I discovered that height wise, I didn't include in my initial measurement the batting that was glued to the foam (from its former life as a couch cushion), so I will need to use a smaller seam allowance when I sew the sides to the top and bottom. The side seams fit well though. Better to find these things out now than after it is completely assembled!
- Note: The batting that is shown attached to the foam in the picture above is a high loft polyester batting. It is used in furniture cushions to give the stuffed look. It will accomplish the same thing in this footstool, so I left it in place instead of removing it. When my cover is finished, if the cover needs to be filled out a little, I will use more high loft batting to fill it in.
Sew your side seams together using a 1/2" seam or whatever you determined your seam needs to be based on your dry run.
Next, you will sew your piping to your top piece. Measure where you need the piping to be located to get the seam allowance you want. For example, in theory the edge of my piping should hit the edge of quilted piece, but it ended up a little short so I need to have about 1/8" of the quilted part showing to get a 1/2" seam. The best and most detailed information I have found on how to apply piping is part of a pillow tutorial at Sew4Home if you need more detail on how to do it.
I sewed the piping onto the top piece.
With right sides together, sew the top to the sides. The binding will be in-between, and it will be thick to the left of the needle. Try to get as close as you can to the piping.
Add each side individually instead of sewing in one big loop around the entire item. Start and stop in the corners. You will end up with a corner that looks like the picture below in order to get as tight of an outside corner as possible.
When you reach the piping end, one way to end it is like I show below. Cut the end of the piping cord so that they butt right up against other tightly.
Fold one end of the fabric over, and place the non-folded end inside the folded end. Pin in place and sew the piping down. One round of piping is complete!
You now have the top attached to the four sides.
Next, I added the zipper to the bottom piece of the footstool. You will apply the zipper using a similar technique as the piping. At the corner, cut slightly into the zipper tape so that it can ease around that corner.
I started with the top of the zipper in one corner of the covering. Check the length of your zipper to decide the best placement for it.
Continue to use a zipper foot to get as close to the zipper teeth as you can (without being so tight that you can't open and close it).
I continued to sew the zipper around the covering until the bottom of zipper ended at the opposite corner that it started in.
For the bottom of the side, I applied the piping to the sides so that it would be visible with the zipper hidden below it.
I started in the corner I just finished - the bottom of the zipper - and sewed all the way around the cover back to the top where I had started.
Double check to ensure that the zipper didn't get flipped and that it will open and close once you are finished.
As you can see below, my 60" zipper was the perfect size to go all the way around three sides of my cover. It made putting the cover on the foam very easy. All of the cut edges on this cover are finished, so this cover is machine washable, and the zipper will make it very easy to take on and off for cleaning.
The photo below show the bottom side of the footstool. You can see the zipper peaking out a little, but it's only visible if you have the bottom side up. From the top you can't even tell the zipper is there.
If you don't want to use a zipper, you could also hand sew the bottom side shut, but then the cover is no longer removable.
From the top, this is what your finished footstool will look like! This isn't a quick project, but it really makes an impact when you use beautiful fabrics like these. It is also a very durable project because you used quilted fabric.
My little helper couldn't even wait for the photoshoot to end before she tested it out, and she definitely approves!
If you make a footstool like this, please share a photo with Lindsey at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Instagram using the hashtag #sewingwithfwfabricstudio.