How to Sew a Garden Seat Cover

covered garden seat

Here is a sewing tutorial to cover a garden seat.  I recently covered a seat that I have in my garden wall but the same technique would apply to covering wrought iron garden furniture or a wooden garden bench.


cindy sitting on garden seat

The seat that I worked on can be seen in this photo – it is lovely but a bit hard to sit on for long periods, so I wanted to have a nice foam padded customised seat cover. I used the vintage garden cotton canvas design for the seat and a beige polka dot cotton canvas for the reverse and pelmet.


measure and marking out garden seat

Start by measuring the size of your seat and back panel and cut the foam to fit.  I used 2.5cm (1 inch) foam.

To calculate the size of fabric that you need, place the 2 pieces of foam flat on your table (back panel at top, seat panel at bottom) and allow 5cm between the 2 panels. Add 5cm along the top, bottom and both sides. This gives you a 2.5cm seam allowance on all sides and enough room to allow for the thickness of the foam. Cut front and back panels to size.


marking out

To calculate the size of fabric needed for the pelmet use the width of the foam plus 1.5cm seam allowance on both sides and the bottom and 2.5cm seam allowance at the top. Cut front and back panels to size.

Place right sides together. I’ve added a decorative split at the front of the pelmet (this is optional). To calculate for this, I have marked it out with a water soluble pen.


cutting out sewing pattern

Cut out the pelmet.


sewing seam

Sew down the 2 edges and along the bottom of the pelmet with a 1.5cm seam.


cutting seam

Snip the seam allowance on the curves at regular intervals. This will help the seam allowance lay flat. Turn right sides out and iron flat.



Sandwich the finished pelmet in between the front and back fabrics of the main seat cover, pinning it in place on the bottom seam (see photo above). Sew all the way around with a 2.5cm seam allowance. You must remember to leave a gap on one side big enough to place your 2 pieces of foam in.


cut corner off

Snip off the corners of the seam allowance to reduce bulk on the corners.


turning sewing inside out

Turn right side out and iron flat.


pushing foam into seat

Place the seat foam panel in position.


seat on table

This is like trying to get a duvet in its cover!


sewing seat

Sew the cover in place, running along the edge of the foam.


inserting foam into back of seat cover

Place the back foam panel in position.


sewing back of cover

Sew in place. This method allows the back panel to be easily articulated (like a simple hinge). Finish by top stitching the gap and gently pressing.



Now your seat panel is ready to enjoy, so grab yourself a cup of tea before you cut that grass!



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