2 easy-sew bolster covers

Use either of these easy and quick methods to cover ready-made bolster forms, which are available in solid-foam and polyester-stuffed models.

By Jo Calvert

How to sew a bolster cover

Here are two ways to cover a bolster -- both are easy and quick to sew. Tip: Ready-made bolster forms are available in solid-foam and polyester-stuffed models. The firm foam versions, which keep their shape, produce a crisp-edged, tailored look; the softer, stuffed versions create a shabby-chic effect.

Plain cover
You need:
• Medium-weight fabric such as chintz, denim, flannel, satin, seersucker or velvet*
• Piping (optional)*
• Bolster form
• Matching thread
• Ruler, set square and compass
• Dressmaker's chalk pencil

*To determine amount required, see Step 1, below.

To make:
1. Measure form diameter, length (from seam at end to seam at opposite end) and circumference; add 3 cm (1-1/8 in) to each measurement for total diameter, total length and total circumference. With ruler, set square, compass and chalk pencil, measure and mark on fabric: 2 circular ends, each total diameter, and 1 side, total length x total circumference; cut out. If using piping, cut 2 lengths, each total circumference.

2. If using piping, pin 1 length around right side of each end so cut edges are even, overlapping piping ends in seam allowance to conceal; using 1 cm seam allowance, baste in place.

3. Fold side in half so right sides are together and length edges are even, forming tube. Using 1.5 cm (5/8 in) seam allowance and starting at each corner, stitch 7.5 cm (3 in) along length to leave centre opening.

4. With right sides together, pin 1 end to each end of tube so cut edges are even; using 1.5 cm seam allowance, stitch in place. Remove basting. Turn right side out. Press under 1.5 cm along 1 edge of opening.

5. Insert form through opening. Overlap pressed edge 1.5 cm over opposite edge of opening; slipstitch closed.

Gather-and-tie cover
You need:

• Medium weight-fabric such as chintz, denim, flannel, satin, seersucker or velvet*
• 1.60 m matching or contrasting 1-in wide ribbon or 1/2-in diameter cord* cut into 2 equal lengths
• Bolster form
• Matching thread
• Ruler and set square
• Dressmaker's chalk pencil
• Bodkin or large safety pin

*To determine amount required, see Step 1, below.

To make:
1.
With ruler and chalk pencil, measure and mark on form: centre of each circular end. Measure form length (from mark to mark) and circumference; add 7 cm (2-3/4 in) to length and 3 cm (1/1-8 in) to circumference for total length and total circumference. With ruler, set square and chalk pencil, measure and mark on fabric: 1 side, total length x total circumference; cut out.

2. Fold side in half so right sides are together and length edges are even, forming tube. Using 1.5 cm (5/8 in) seam allowance, stitch along length from corner to corner. Turn right side out.

3. Press under 1 cm (3/8 in), then 2.5 cm (1 in) around edge at each end; edgestitch, forming casing. From right side, snip open a few stitches in seam across each casing, creating opening; with bodkin, thread 1 ribbon into opening, through casing and out again.

4. Insert form into cover, centring along length; pull up each ribbon, creating evenly gathered end, and tie in bow. Diagonally trim ribbon ends to prevent fraying.

Photo by Virginia MacDonald

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