Why can I NEVER seem to get a gusset attached correctly for a box pillow? The corners never work out correctly!

Sewing a gusset, sewing home dec box cushions,

Gorfram8 years ago
Because almost nobody can. That's why so many pillows have trim sewn on over the seams, effectively hiding the corners.

Perfection being unattainable, some tricks for getting corners close to perfect:

  • Precision, precision, precision. Measure your fabric, mark your fabric, go and have a cup of tea, and then measure and mark it again. Make sure the lengths and angles are as close to perfect as humanly possible before you cut.
  • Watch the bias. If you fabric wants to stretch on the bias, stabilize the wrong side with masking or scotch tape. (Test the tape on a scrap of your fabric first, so as to lessen the risk that you'll wind up cursing my name.)
  • Watch the ravels. If the fabric wants to fray, tape the edges or baste them with a loose overcast stitch.
  • Basting is your friend. Pinning is too. Pin everything carefully, and then baste. It may seems like this is an extra, time-wasting, extra step, but it will save time & aggravation in the long run. (Trust me on this one... ...Boy howdy, do I know.)
Okay, now for the stuff you hadn't already heard from your ninth grad Home Ec teacher:

  • When you sew up the cushion seams, stop an inch or two from the corner. Then, when you have all three seams coming into the corner, check how well they meet & adjust the basting sticthes as needed.
  • Use a cube-shaped something-or-other (your kid's Rubik's cube maybe?) to fill & shape the corner from the inside as you adjust the seams on the outside.
  • Get as many corners as possible (preferably all eight) adjusted and basted properly into place before doing the final sewing on any of them.
  • You'll probably need to sew the actual "triple point" by hand, unless you have some sort of sewing machine foot I've never seen. If you can get the same stitch through the "corner point" on all three pieces of fabric at once, that's a big head start.
  • If you swear out loud more than three times in ten minutes, it's time to take a break. Go have a cup of tea (and I won't tell anybody if you add a shot of whiskey :).
  • And, if all else fails, there are lots of lovely trims out there just waiting to be sewn around the pillow's edges and over those #$%& corners. :)
Gorfram, that may be the best Answer I've ever read on this site! Well done!
Thanks so much, ToniRose! Mostly for your compliment, but also partly for letting me know that someone actually read this. :)