Make an Oxford Cushion Cover the Cheats Way

Make an Oxford Cushion

I love a trawl around charity shops and late last year, I found a length of linen in one of them.  The lady in the shop said they get given fabric off-cuts and remnants from a soft furnishings company.  For £5.00 I got 5 metres of lovely, slubby linen, just right for the neutral colour schemes I favour.  I used some of the linen to make a roman blind for our small guest bedroom but had plenty left.  The cushion covers in the living room had seen better days so I decided to make an Oxford cushion cover for two of the pads.

Traditionally, an Oxford cushion cover has a fully mitred border but I am all for making life easy if you can get the look you want.

With these instructions, you get an Oxford style cushion cover without having to deal with the tricky mitred corners. The instructions are for a cover to fit a 50cm feather pad so if yours is different, just adjust according to the size of your pad.

Instructions to make an Oxford cushion cover

  1. Measure your cushion pad (mine is 50cm).
  2. Add a 1.5cm allowance all round (this makes a size of 50cm plus 3cm (1.5cm allowance each side) making a total of 53cm. Add 5cm to this measurement to allow for the “Oxford” border making a total of 58cm.
  3. Cut a 58cm square for the front of the cover.
  4. Cut two pieces to form the back of the cover.  Cut the first piece the width of the cover (58cm) by 12cm deep.  Cut the other piece the width of the cover (58cm) but 10cm shorter than the cut size (48cm).
  5. Neaten the edge of all pieces with a zigzag stitch or use an overlocker if you have one.
  6. Press 2cm under along the lower edge of the larger back piece.  Pin the smaller 12cm strip to it and stitch along the ironed fold line on each side for 12cm.  This will leave an opening in the middle where the zip is inserted. Press seams open.
  7. To insert the zip, pin one side of the zip to the opening about 2mm away from the teeth.  I find it is easier to sew if I tack stitch the zip in place before machine stitching.  Machine top stitch this half of the zip in place.
  8. Machine the other side of the opening to form a flap to encase the teeth.  The zip itself should not be visible on completion. (There are some good tutorials on Pinterest and YouTube that explain how to insert a zip better than I can explain it!).
  9. Once finished, the zip looks something like this:Inserting a zip in a cushion cover
  10. Open the zip, then pin the front and back pieces together.  Stitch all round with a 1.5cm seam allowance.  Trim across the corners slightly to reduce the bulk when turned through.  Zigzag over the trimmed edge to strengthen.
  11. Turn the cushion the right side out through the zip opening and press the cover, easing out the corners and flattening the seams.  Close the zip then pin across the cushion to prevent the fabric slipping when you come to sew the border..
  12. I wanted a 5cm border around the cushion.  You can draw a line on the cushion cover with a vanishing pen but I find it just as easy to put a bit of tape on my machine bed 5cm out (as if you had an extra wide seam allowance) then use this as a guide when top stitching round the cushion (this is the line of stitching you can see on the image below that encases the cushion pad).Oxford cushion cover
  13. Open the zip, insert your cushion pad, plump up the cushion a bit and you are done!Oxford cushion cover made with linen

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