Make your own Liberty Print chair pads
Enliven plain metal or wooden kitchen chairs with made-to-measure seat pads, which provide colour as well as comfort. Follow our easy step-by-step tutorial to make your own – taken from The Liberty Book of Simple Sewing, the perfect book of sewing projects for beginners.
YOU WILL NEED
for each chair pad
• approximately 50cm square Liberty Linen Union in print of your choice (we used Hebe in colourway A)
• approximately 50cm square plain furnishing fabric in contrasting or matching colour, for the backing
• approximately 40cm of 2.5cm-deep safety standard foam
• 1m bobble edging in contrasting colour
• 40cm self-adhesive magnetic strip or
1m cotton tape, for the optional ties
• permanent marker pen
• air-erasable pen or chalk pencil
• large sheet of card (if fabric has a large pattern
• matching sewing thread
• sheet of newspaper
• sewing machine
• sewing kit
Note: If you are using a fabric with a large repeat pattern, like the one shown here, you will need to allow extra length if all your pads are to be identical.
MAKING THE TEMPLATES
Cut a sheet of newspaper roughly to the size of your chair seat, tape it to your chair and draw around the outside edge of the seat. Cut along this line. To make the template symmetrical, fold the newspaper in half vertically and trim both edges. This process may take a bit of trial and error, but you will end up with a perfect fit. If you want your cushion to have ties, mark the position of the two outer struts on the template.
Place the paper template centrally on the sheet of card, draw around the edge and neatly cut out to create a window template. You can now line up this frame on your fabric to select the area of pattern. If your print does not have a large repeat, omit this step and simply use the newspaper template.
CUTTING OUT THE CHAIR PAD FRONT
Position the window template on the wrong side of the print fabric and move it around to find an interesting, symmetrical section of the pattern. Draw around the inside of the template, using a chalk pencil for a dark fabric or an air-erasable marker for a light fabric.
ADDING THE ALLOWANCES
To allow for the depth of the foam, you will need to add on an extra 1cm all round plus a 1cm seam allowance. Using a clear ruler or quilter’s square as a guide, draw a line 2cm outside your marked outline. Cut neatly around this line.
MAKING UP THE COVER
Pin the chair pad front to the backing fabric, with right sides facing, leaving a 15cm opening at the top edge. If you are adding ties, cut the tape in half and then fold each length in half. Referring back to the template, pin the folds to the edge of the chair pad front, in line with the strut marks. Tack the front and backing together, then machine stitch 1cm from the edge, leaving the 15cm opening unstitched. Reinforce both ends of the seam with a few reverse stitches. Trim the backing fabric in line with the chair pad front.
NOTCHING THE CORNERS
For perfectly smooth curves at the corners, you will need to notch the seam allowance. Cut a series of small triangles from the surplus fabric to within 3mm of the stitch line, spacing them approximately 2cm apart.
TURNING THE COVER RIGHT SIDE OUT
Press back the seam allowance along either side of the top opening, then turn the cover right side out through the opening. Ease out the seams and lightly press. The ties, if you have added them, will now have popped out to the right side.
CUTTING OUT THE FOAM
Using a permanent marker, draw around the template onto the foam; cut out the foam. Roll it roughly into thirds and insert through the gap in the cover. As the chair pad is designed to be a tight fit, you will need to manipulate the foam and cover until the foam sits flat. Work around the edge of the chair pad to centre the seam line.
ADDING THE MAGNETIC STRIPS
If you are placing the cushions onto metal chairs, use self-adhesive magnetic strips to anchor the pads to the chair. Slip one 10cm length along each side of the foam, with the adhesive side upwards and press into place.
ADDING THE FINISHING TOUCHES
Pin the two sides of the opening together and hand stitch to close. Starting at the centre back, pin and then over stitch the bobble edging all the way round the cushion, following the line of the seam. Sew the ends down firmly.
For more sewing projects visit the Sew Liberty tutorials page.
THE LIBERTY BOOK OF HOME SEWING by LIBERTY, published by Quadrille (£20)
Photos © KRISTIN PERERS; Illustrations ©RICHARD MERRITT