I've always loved working with my hands, and long before I picked up wood and a drill I was working with fabric and a sewing machine. My mom taught me how to sew, and as I grew to love it I began to pick out my favorite fabric supply stores.
One of these is a store in Bellevue called Pacific Fabric and Crafts. It's right by our Dunn location on 140th. This store has always stood out to me for its quality of material and outstanding customer service, so I wasn't too surprised to learn that Pacific Fabric and Crafts has a history similar to ours. Started in 1917, Pacific Fabric and Crafts is a locally owned business that started out in scrap metal and slowly turned to fabric.
It's always a pleasure working with businesses that hold to our same values of quality and relationship.
The first step is to measure the size of the bench you'll be covering. Measure length and width (our bench was 17 1/2" x 39 1/4"). You will need these measurements for purchasing foam for the cushion. The thickness of the foam will determine how much fabric you will need.
To determine how much fabric you will need, use the measurements from the bench for the top and bottom of the cushion, and then use the measurements for all four sides along with the thickness of the foam for the side pieces. For all fabric measurements, you'll need to add room for a seam allowance. (Seam allowance is the measurement between the seam and the edge of the fabric.) A standard seam allowance is 1.5 cm or 5/8", which is how much we used. If it makes math easier, you can make a 1/2" seam allowance. Just make sure to add this measurement onto both sides of each piece you cut out.
For the size of cushion we were making, we needed 1 1/4 yards of 60" width upholstery fabric. We sewed together a couple different pieces for sides. If you're working with an organized pattern, take into consideration the direction you want it to run on the cushion.
Once you have everything measured and picked out, it's time to get to work! Measure out the pattern on the fabric and mark with a pencil or piece of sewing chalk. Cut out with a sharp pair of scissors.
To keep your cushion from sliding around on the bench, attach the non-sticky side of furniture grade velcro strips to the bottom piece of your bench cover. Sew them in place.
Pin the ends of the side piece (or pieces), and sew together to make a circle. Pin this circle to the top piece of fabric and sew together.
When you come to a corner, make a cut in the side piece of fabric to help it turn the corner easily. This cut will need to be 5/8" (or the length of the seam allowance) away from the edge of the top piece, and 5/8" long. This will create a square cutout when you turn the corner (as shown below).
Helpful hint: Attach corners as seen above, then once you've sewn them together, cut a triangle piece off each corner this will help make the corners lie flat.
Now it's time to attach the zipper. You'll be attaching this to the bottom edge of the end of the cushion. Following the directions on the package, shorten the zipper to just under the width of the cushion (this way you won't have to deal with the zipper on the corners). We followed one of my favorite YouTube tutorials on invisible zippers, where you attach the zipper to each side of the fabric separately, then sew the fabric together around it. Basically, attach the zipper to the side piece, then to the end of the bottom piece. Then pin and attach the bottom cushion to the side piece following the same process you did in step 4.
Now, unzip the zipper and flip the cover right side out and stuff it with foam. This is a surprisingly difficult step and may require an extra set of hands to help. At some point you'll become convinced that it's just not going to fit well, but trust me, keep pulling foam and fabric and manipulating it until it all cooperates and fits together beautifully.
Lastly, attach the other side of velcro to the first. Remove the sticky side then turn over and stick to bench.