How to make a Liberty print deck chair headrest

Saturday 5th July 2014, 10.26

Deck chair headrest Apartment Apothecary

Katy Orme from Apartment Apothecary returns again for another one of her ‘how to make’ sewing tutorials – this time it’s a summertime project. While the sun is high in the sky, why no bask in its rays with your new Liberty print deck chair headrest cushion for comfort.

Katy explains more about how she came up with this project:

‘I have had a bare deck chair frame lying around for three years and done nothing with it. Every summer I tell myself that I am going to bring it back to life and I have finally got round to it this year! I started by oiling the frame to give it protection and bring a bit of colour back to the wood. I made a sling from blue canvas – I wanted to keep it plain as I knew I wanted a feature head rest cushion in a pretty print (P.s. If you want to replace your deck chair’s sling, just copy the pattern of the old one – it is really easy).

I have never found deck chairs that comfortable; they always look so appealing, but when I sit in them it doesn’t feel quite right. Resting your head on taut canvas is actually quite uncomfortable. However, if you make yourself one of these headrest cushions you’ll never want to leave your deck chair again…’


How to make a deck chair headrest

You will need:

Cushion inner 50 x 30 m (You can chop a square cushion to this size and just stitch it up again)

Front piece in Thorpe – 52 x 32 cm

Two back pieces in Glenjade – 35 x 32 cm

Two tab pieces in Thorpe – 4.5 x 22 cm

Two tab pieces in Glenjade – 4.5 x 22 cm

Four tab pieces of light iron-on interfacing – 4.5 x 22cm

Two 15mm diameter self cover buttons and two 35mm diameter circles of Glenjade fabric

Needle and thread


Button hole foot for sewing machine

Stitch picker





Making the fabric covered buttons

Step 1 & 2 Liberty print deck chair headrest

Step 1:

Place the top of the button, which comes in two parts, on the wrong side of the 35mm diameter circle of Glenjade. Thread your needle and sew round the edge of the circle so you will be able to gather the fabric in around the button – pull as tight as possible to avoid wrinkles.

Step 2:

Press the bottom of the button over the gathered fabric, securing it in place.


Making the tabs

Step 3 Liberty print deck chair headrest

Step 3:

Iron the interfacing onto each of your four tabs (follow the instructions on the pack).

Step 4 Liberty print deck chair headrest

Step 4:

Place one Glenjade and one Thorpe tab right sides together and pin. Sew around three sides of the tabs (1cm seam allowance), leaving the bottom open. Repeat with the second tab.

Step 5 & 6 Liberty print deck chair headrest

Step 5:

Cut off the corners and excess seam allowance and turn the tabs inside out using a pencil to help you poke out the corners.

Step 6:

Attach the button hole foot to your sewing machine. Sew a button hole 3cm from the bottom (the open end) of both the tabs.

Step 7 & 8 Liberty print deck chair headrest

Step 7:

Rip open the button hole using a stitch picker – pin through the top of the hole so you don’t rip too far.

Step 8:

Sew the button 1cm from the top on the back of both the tabs (the Glenjade print side).

Put your tabs to one side.

N.B. If you want to make this project in a rush, you can use ribbon instead of making your own buttons and tabs.


Making the cushion

Step 9 & 10 Liberty print deck chair headrest

Step 9:

Press a 1cm hem on the right hand side of one of the back pieces and the left hand side of the other back piece.

Step 10:

Then turn over a further 2cm of the same hems and press again. Sew these hems.

Step 11 Liberty print deck chair headrest

Step 11:

Lay the two back pieces down, right side up, with the hems facing each other in the middle. Pin a tab on the opposite end to the hems on each back piece. The open bottom end of the tab should line up with the top edge of the back piece, Thorpe print facing up. The tab should be 1.5cm from the side of the back piece.

Step 12 & 13 Liberty print deck chair headrest

Step 12:

Sew both tabs on to their respective back pieces with a crossed square so that they are secure.

Step 13:

Lay the front piece down, right side up. Place the two back pieces on top, right sides together (they should overlap as this will form the envelope opening). The tabs should be sandwiched between the back and front pieces. Sew all the way round, cut off the corners and turn inside out and press.

Sit back and enjoy your new rejuvenated deck chair, just in time for the sun!

Finished Liberty print deck chair headrest

Follow Katy on Twitter @AptApothecary

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