How to make and apply covered cording properly

Yesterday I showed you how to sew the strips together and quilt the bench pillow top. Today I’ll show you how to add a covered cording for a very professional finish to your bench pillow.

Bench pillow finished with covered cording

Make the cording

  • I used a Creativ Dekor cotton cording that was ½” in diameter, but a smaller cord would work equally well.
  • From green accent fabric, cut 3 strips 2⅝” x WOF (width of fabric). Cut the ends of each strip on a 45° or 60° angle.
  • Sew the strips together to make 1 strip long enough to go all around the pillow top with about 8″ extra.

Cotton cording for the edge finish

  • Fold the green strip around the cording, right side out.
  • Using a zipper foot, stitch as close to the cording as possible. Be sure to keep the outside edges of the green fabric even.
  • If necessary, trim the seam allowance so it is ½” after the stitching is finished.

Use a zipper foot to stitch close to the cording.

  • Place one end of the covered cord in the center of one side of the cushion top.
  • Starting about 12″ from the corner, sew the covered cording to the cushion front. Make sure to stitch as close to the cording as possible and keep all outside raw edges even. Using a small plastic ruler pushed against the cording will help you stay close to the cording.

Stitch covered cording to the pillow top.

  • When you come to the corner, stop stitching about ½” from the corner and back stitch. Make a diagonal cut in the seam allowance of the cording. This will help to ease the cording around the corner.

Make a diagonal cut in the seam allowance.

  • Continue sewing the cording around all sides of the cushion top.
  • When you come to the last side, stitch about 8″ past the corner and back stitch. Remove the cushion top from the machine.
  • Adjust the cording so it lies flat. Stitch the 2 ends of the cording fabric together using a 45° or 60° seam. Finger-press seam open. Trim excess fabric.

Sew ends of cording fabric together.

  • Trim the cording so the two ends butt up against each other.
  • It’s a good idea to tape these ends to prevent fraying.
  • Finish sewing the covered cording on the cushion top.

Trim ends of cording.

You’re almost finished! Let’s make the pillow back.

  • From backing fabric, cut 2 pieces 17½” x 25″.
  • Fold 1 short edge on each piece to make a double fold hem and stitch in place.
  • Overlap the 2 pieces by about 4″ and baste the 2 sections together.

Overlap edges of backing fabric and baste in place.

  • Trim the pillow back so it is the same size as the pillow front, keeping the opening in the center.
  • Trim the corners of the pillow back on an angle so they match the front.

Trim corners of backing fabric to match pillow front.

  • Place the cushion back and front right sides together.
  • Pin the corners together first. Then pin as needed to keep all outside raw edges even.
  • Sew the front and back together, using a ½” seam. Stitch as closely as possible to the cording.
  • Insert the bench pillow form and adjust it as necessary for a good fit. Sometimes, the corners of the pillow form don’t fill the corners fully, so I just place a little bit of extra stuffing in those areas.

And now you have your own custom-designed bench pillow to enjoy!

Finished Bench Pillow with covered cording

This is part 5 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 4: Arrange strips, sew and spray baste, finishing up a garden cushion cover

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Orla V. August 21, 2018 - 2:38 pm
Love everything about this cushion - the fabric, the pattern, and especially the cording around the cushion. And the tutorial is brilliant - thank you very much.
Jean Boyd August 21, 2018 - 2:51 pm
Thanks so much, Orla. Good luck with all your projects!
Anita August 21, 2018 - 1:29 pm
A very useful tutorial!
Jean Boyd August 21, 2018 - 1:40 pm
Thanks Anita. Glad you enjoyed it.
Michele T August 20, 2018 - 8:58 pm
Great tips and techniques for cording! It really adds to the cushion and looks great!!
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