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Garden Seat Pad

Add a pop of colour and style to your dining chairs or patio furniture with this comfortably deep seat pad design with practical tie fastenings.



For one seat pad

For the seat pad: 2 pieces of soft-furnishing fabric (you can use different fabrics if you wish), each 16⅛ x 16½ in (41 x 42cm)

For the straps: 4 pieces of fabric, each 2¾ x 9⅞in (7 x 25cm)

Piece of high-density foam with a depth of 2in (5cm), measuring 13¾ x 13¾ in

(35 x 35cm)

Matching sewing thread

Basic sewing kit


Pressing ham



14½ x 14½ in (37 x 37cm)



Curved Front



■ Cut foam to size

■ Make tube straps

■ Sew curved seams

■ Create boxed corners

■ Use ladder stitch to close a gap


1. Lay the template on one corner of a piece of the seat pad fabric. Draw round the curve, then cut along the drawn line. Repeat to draw and cut along the second curved corner on the same side of the seat pad fabric. Repeat for the second piece of seat pad fabric.

2. Repeat step 1 to draw and cut two curves on the piece of foam. Cutting through the foam isn’t difficult if you use large sharp scissors (and they don't have to be completely smooth curves), but take care when using the scissors. Alternatively, cut out the corner in several goes using a bread knife at right angles to the curve, again taking care.

3. Fold one short end of a strap piece to its wrong side by ⅜in (1cm) and topstitch in place. Repeat with the other strap pieces.


4. Follow step 1 of the Bag-making Workshop to fold one of the strap pieces in half along its length with the right sides together. Sew down the long edge and over the fold at the end. Reverse stitch at the start and finish and trim the seam to 3⁄16in (5mm). Follow step 2 of the Bag-making Workshop to turn the strap through to the right side using a safety pin and press. Topstitch down each long side using the right-hand side of the sewing-machine foot on the edge as your guide. Don’t sew further than the stitched line that is at one end of the strap. Reverse stitch at the start and finish. 

Repeat with the other strap pieces.


Bag-making Workshop

  1. Fold a rectangle of fabric in half and sew down the long side, reverse stitching at each end. You can turn it to the right side by pulling it inside out by hand, but if it’s a long tube, you may need help. Pin a safety pin on one end, through the side so it doesn’t tear the raw edge.
  2. Push the safety pin down inside the tube, then pull and push the safety pin along through the fabric tunnel. The fabric may get scrunched up at the start, but you can help it by pulling and releasing those bunched-up gathers so you can continue.


5. Overlap two of the straps and fabric-clip or pin them together so they make a “V” shape. The ends of the strap should be about 3½ in (9cm) apart at the top. Repeat with the other two straps. Along the straight edge and on the right side of one seat pad piece, mark 4in (10cm) in from each side. Position the raw edges of the crossed straps on the raw straight edge of the seat pad at each 4in (10cm) mark. Sew across the straight edge, within the seam allowance, to secure the straps in place.


6. With the right sides touching, place the two seat pad pieces together, matching up all the raw edges. Tuck the straps inside, making sure they are away from any of the edges. Sew from one strap all the way round to the other strap, pivoting at the two corners and sewing smooth curves. You can use a hem gauge to mark dots along the curves to guide you. Reverse stitch at the start and fi nish. Reinforce your stitches by sewing round the bottom curve again over the first row of stitching. Clip into the curves.


7. To make the boxed corners, push out one of the corners from the inside with your finger. Secure it by pushing a pin through the seam to match it up with the seam on the other side. Draw a line across the corner to make a triangle shape with a 2in (5cm) base line. Sew across this base line, reverse stitching at the start and finish. Repeat with the other corner, and then trim the end off each triangle.


8. Turn the seat pad cover to the right side through the gap, and push out all the corners and curves with a pointer. Press the seams. Use a pressing ham inside the seat pad to press the seams on the outside, especially along the curves.


9. To get your foam piece inside the cover, roll it up tightly and push the roll inside the seat pad cover, letting it unfold inside. Then manoeuvre it into position, putting the corners and curves in place first. It may take a few adjustments to get it in position (you will need to get your hand right inside) because the foam does drag on the fabric, but persevere!


10. Tuck the raw edges of the straps and the raw edges of the turning gap inside, and secure the sides of the gap together using pins or fabric clips. Using a ladder stitch, hand-sew the gap closed. Sew with the side that hasn’t got the straps sewn onto it facing you. As you come to a strap, just continue sewing the ladder stitch. At the end of the gap, do two little stitches in the same place and then dive down into the pad with your needle, pop up farther along the seam, and cut off the thread. You could make several of these seat pads for your chairs. Whether you’re using them for dinner parties or barbecues, your guests won’t ever want to leave!



To customize your seat pad to fit a different-sized piece of foam, measure the length and height of the piece of foam. Add half of the depth of your foam plus a seam allowance to each of these measurements.

For example:

Foam dimension = Length: 15¾ in (40cm) x Width: 15¾ in (40cm) x Depth: 1 3/16in (3cm)

Fabric required:

Length = 15¾ in (40cm) + ⅝in (1.5cm) (half of depth) + ⅜in (1cm) (seam allowance) = 16¾ in (42.5cm)

Width = the same

Cut out 2 x fabric squares, each measuring 16¾ x 16¾ in (42.5 x 42.5cm) 

You can omit the curved front of the seat pad and just give it four boxed corners instead.


This project is from Simple Machine Sewing by Angela Pressley. To get more free projects like this one - direct to your inbox - sign up to our mailing list here.

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