How to Sew Rope Trim & My Embroidered Seat Cushions

I showed you how to make a traditional tufted seat cushion a few weeks back, but after living with it on the patio for a few days, I decided i wanted something more colorful. When i discovered this gorgeous embroidery pattern for the woman in a headdress at urban threads, I had a vision for the new seat cushions.

This is really a standard pillow with a tie, but the interesting thing is sewing on the rope trim. I experimented with a variety of ways to do it, and I’ll show you what worked best. Learn how to make a rope trimmed seat cushion after the jump…
How to Sew Rope Trim and Embroidered Seat Cushion

I decided to make round seat cushions. I happened to have a 16″ round platter which was perfect for tracing. I needed four seat cushions, so I cut eight circles from kona solid cotton from Fabricworm. An upholstery weight might be better for constant use, but the cotton has worked fine so far.

I loaded up my large hoop with stabilizer and fabric…

And used some of this lovely embroidery thread from brother (Country Yarn Thread Pack), which has less of a sheen then most embroidery thread, which gave the cushions a matte look that I love.

Then I hooked up my computer to my Innov-is 2800D and imported my design.

Then I let the machine work it’s strange magic.

Voila. Love.

I did two in brown and two in matte gold.

Then I placed two circles, one blank and one with the embroidered design, right sides facing and sewing around the edges…

…leaving a hole for turning and stuffing in the top center, back stitching at the beginning and end.

I turned my pillow right side out and stuffed with polyfill. Then i cut a length of brown waxed cord (12″ long), folded it in half, and sewed the opening closed, attaching the cord in the center. It’s okay that your seam is showing because it will be covered by our rope trim. This works for my chairs that only have one back support where they cushion can be tied on, you may need to adjust for your particular chairs.

So here’s where we are at so far.

Just an FYI, I tried sewing rope to bias tape to create a sort of piped trim, but in the end it was more difficult and time consuming than just hand sewing the trim to the cushion.

So I pinned my rope trim all the way around the cushion.

Where the two pieces of rope meet, cut them to fit exactly together. Then take a section of fabric (that matches or, if you want, contrasts, with your pillow), and fold the edges in and pin.

It would probably be ideal to have left an unsewn space to tuck the edges into, but I had already sewn all four pillows, so i just cheated my fabric around the edges and pinned.

So now we are all pinned up.

Hand sew in place. I used a blind stitch to make sure none of my stitches showed.

Done and done. It really wasn’t too much of a pain, even thought I detest hand sewing usually.

Tie to your seat.  Sit. Relax.



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