Weaving for hours and hours while sitting on your hard loom bench is not the most comfortable thing to do. While you do not want to take time away from your weaving if you can help it, you also want a comfortable place to sit!
Not only do you want something comfortable, but having something that looks great can be an important part of your studio.
Creating an environment that is not only functional, but also inspirational can really help you to create more.
You do not have to have a nice pillow or cushion for your loom bench. Likewise, you do not even really need an actual loom bench! Yet, there is something to be said for having cohesive furniture in your studio that is beautiful.
Using handwoven fabric for your cushion is a great way to use some of your yardage that you have previously woven, or to create something new that is just for you.
This is not pattern for you to download or print out – just directions for making your own. That is because this is essentially just cutting squares and rectangles. Plus your bench or pillow may be a different size. Do not worry! You got this!
If you are looking for other ways to weave for longer and be healthier while doing it then make sure to check out my post on weaving posture! These tips apply to weaving on any type of loom.
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What you need:
Fabric for underneath
Choosing your handwoven fabric
The first thing that you need to do is either weave your fabric or choose the already handwoven fabric that you want to use. This pattern will still work just as well with commercial fabric, but where is the fun in that?!?
You will need enough handwoven fabric to cover the top of your pillow. The bottom of the pillow will use regular commercial fabric because there is no sense in using your handwoven fabric where you will not really see it.
When choosing your fabric, plain woven patterns will be the best option.
You will be sitting on your cushion so you do not want to have anything that has too many floats. Any excessive floats could get caught on zippers, buttons, or anthing else that are on your clothes when you are weaving.
Your loom bench could be a different size than mine, so make sure to measure yours and change up the pattern accordingly.
The loom bench that I have has a seat depth of 9 inches and sitting width of 22 inches. So for this pattern I will be using a pillow insert that is 12″x20”. Finding an insert that is smaller than 12 inches in depth can be hard, but this will actually allow me to have a fuller pillow to sit on when it is finished.
Keep this in mind when you are purchasing your pillow inserts.
This is the one that I used:
Since there are many different types of loom benches you may have a different way that you want to attach your pillow. You also have the option of just having it sit on top of the bench like a normal pillow. This may be necessary for the type of bench you have, or you could just prefer it that way! Personally, I like to have mine attached so that it is not moving around so much or falling off when I get up to advance my warp.
My loom bench’s sitting area comes off easily by just pulling it up. Due to this, I can get away with just creating a 2 loops on the underside of my pillow cover. This is simpler than having to create either two flaps with a button hole or a snap.
If your loom bench does not come off or you do not want to take it off whenever you need to wash or change your cushion cover then make sure to add either buttons or snaps to your straps. This will make it simpler for you!
Before we get started, make sure to check out my post on sewing your handwoven fabric. This is an essential read before going forward with this project!
The first thing you need to do is make sure your handwoven fabric is prepped and ready. My favorite way to do this is to use fusible interfacing. Whether you are applying your fusible interfacing to the entire fabric or just the edges, the instructions will be the same. I talk more about fusible interfacing in the above linked post!
Make a mock loom bench cover
This is not a necessary step unless you are nervous or new to sewing. If you are uneasy about cutting and sewing your handwoven fabric, then you can first make a mock-up pillow cover with muslin fabric. This is especially important if you are making up a pattern or do not have a physical pattern to work from. It can be a good idea to try out your pattern in muslin first because it is inexpensive.
If you mess it up then no harm! Just try again.
This is your proof of concept. If it works in muslin then it will work in your handwoven fabric!
Do not worry about making it pretty, just make sure it fits and you have the right measurements for your bench and your pillow.
When you feel comfortable and you know that it fits the way you want, then you can cut up your handwoven fabric and get started.
Make your handwoven loom bench cushion cover!
After you have chosen all of your fabric you will need to cut everything out. To keep everything really nice and full I cut out my fabric to almost the exact size of my pillow. Since a pillow is pliable it will stuff into a cover that is the same size. Doing this will also help to keep it from getting too flat in the future!
For your cushion cover you will need at least 3 pieces of cut fabric – 1 handwoven and 2 commercial. If you are adding straps then you will need 4 pieces of commercial fabric.
My pillow insert: 12″x20″.
Handwoven fabric: 12″x21″ (I added a little bit of extra for seem allowance on the ends)
2 Straps: 5″x14″ each
2 Underside flaps: 12″x12″
Once everything is cut out; fold your straps in half and pin them. You can iron them at this point to get them flatter if it is easier.
Next: fold in one of the edges of each underside flap about .5″ and pin them. (see image above)
Using an overlock stitch (you will be using this for the entire pattern) sew along the open edge of your straps. Then turn them inside out and iron them again if need be to get them to sit flat.
The overlock stitch is a really strong stitch that will be able to hold up to any stretching or stress put on the fabric while in use.
Sew alongside your underside flaps where you pinned them.
Place your handwoven fabric on a table with the right side facing up. Lay out each of your straps about 5 inches in from the edges with the seem facing up. Then place your underside flaps on top or these with the right side facing down. The flaps should overlap slightly so that there is not a gap when you put the pillow insert inside.
We will be turning the entire cover right side out once we are finished so this will make sure our seams are on the inside of the cover.
Pin everything in place, making sure to put a pin where the strap sits so it does not move around.
Sew all the way around your cover!
Go slow and make sure that your underside flaps overlap the same way – otherwise it will look twisted.
Once your cover is completley sewn then you can cut any extra fabric, but you do not have to.
Turn your cushion cover right side out and insert your pillow!
Have you made your own loom bench cushion? Or have you made anything else with your handwoven fabric? I would love to see it! Leave me a comment below and/or tag me @cole.bun on instagram!