Putting Zippers In Couch Cushions

I don't know if you recall last June, I posted a short sewing chore list that included putting zippers on the back cushions of my couch. The seat cushion covers were removable, but the back cushions were sewn shut.  This was one of those things I needed a really good reason to do and I found February just stressful enough to warrant some down and dirty therapy sewing.

Would you like a quick rundown of the process?

I purchased two 30" long Dritz upholstery zippers from the local fabric store with coupons.  I think full price they cost about $3.99 each.

I opened up the bottom seam of the cushion.

As you can see, the inner cushion doesn't have any sort of cover around the foam.  I addressed that problem later, but to get the cushion out, I slipped a garbage bag over one end.

Once I got one side out, the other side came out easily even though it didn't have plastic over it.  I don't know if you noticed in the pic, I tried putting a safety pin at the edge of the hole to keep it from ripping open more while I pulled the pillow out.  I don't think the pin really made a difference.

I turned the cushion cover inside out, shook out the little pieces of foam, and then reinforced the stitching on each end of where the zipper would be inserted.

I used a sewing machine needle for denim because that's what I had on hand. It's a size 100/16.  I also used heavy duty thread.

Next I pinned in the zipper.  I pinned with the zipper closed and sewed with the zipper open because ya gotta get the machine in there somehow!

I'm not any sort of expert on heavy duty sewing, so I sort of learned as I went.  In the last picture, you can see that I didn't pin the other side, but I should have!  With the second cushion I pinned both sides of the zipper in place before I began sewing.

All finished.  Not the prettiest thing you've ever seen, but serviceable.

I never found a good solution for crossing the metal zipper at the ends.  I thought it left too big of a stitch over the metal.  I'm hoping the reinforcement stitching I did at the end will make everything okay.

The second pillow cover zipper took me less than a half hour from start to finish.

I hand sewed a cover around the foamy inner part of the pillow.  I used a bed sheet.

I pinned it around the pillow like a present and whip stitched.

Two cushions, two covers.

Threw the covers into the laundry for the first time in eight years. (Washer and dryer!)

MUCH better!!!  Why didn't I do this years ago?

I'm so inspired, I might even clean the smiley faces off of the arms one of these days.


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