I'm just going to say it. I've never bought a commercially-made ironing board cover which wasn't just plain nasty.
My top three peeves with store bought covers are:
- They're often made of thin, open weave fabric
- The way the elastic eventually gives way, causing the cover and padding to bunch up
- When you buy one, you can almost guarantee it wont fit your board properly when you get it home.
I have been making my own covers since the mid 90's and in this tutorial I will share my secret for the perfect fit ironing board cover, regardless of the shape, make or size of your board.
It mightn't' be sexy or insta-worthy project, but this ironing board cover is quick, easy and super functional. Also, by making it yourself you can choose a fabric to suit your sewing space, or even just brighten up your laundry.
You will need:
- 3.5m/4 yards of piping cord
- 25cm or 1/4 yard of quilting weight cotton or calico to make a casing.
- This wont be visible so feel free to grab any old thing from your stash
- 50cm x 1.5m (20" x 1, 3/4 yard) piece of fabric for the cover
- Choose something sturdy such as a furnishing weight linen or a cotton linen canvas. Avoid synthetic fibres as they will scorch and make a mess of the surface of your iron.
- Linen is perfect as it is more heat resistant than cotton ( it burns more slowly in a burn test) so will be more durable in the long run.
TIP: I make two covers at the same time from the width of fabric piece so that I have a new one on hand when needed.
If you need some fabric for your cover you can check out all of our beautiful linens and canvas weight fabrics here
There's also some extra good news. For a short time only,
on all Tiger Plant and Cotton and Steel linens, and Kokka canvas fabrics.
The discount will be automatically added at the check out for you. Sale ends midnight Easter Monday (2 April 2018)
I usually reuse the padding layer. But this is a great time to replace or reinforce it if needed. If it looks a bit thin, I just add another layer of left over cotton or bamboo wadding on top of the existing padding. For each layer you add you will need a 1.5 x 50 cm piece.
Step 1. Trace your board
Lay your board upside down on your cover fabric. Using tailor's chalk or a fabric pencilt trace around the shape of your board.
Using a tape measure or ruler, mark another line 6cm (2.5") around the outside of the traced line.
Cut out your cover on this outside line.
Step 2. Make the casing
Cut your casing fabric into three 6cm or 2.5" strips and remove the selvages. Join strips using a bias seam and press wrong sides together, just as if you were making a quilt binding.
Open the casing out and fold one end over twice and top stitch in place approximately 1/4 inch from the folded end. Make sure that you don't sew the casing closed, as you will need to thread the cord through later.
Step 3. Sew the casing to your cover fabric
Fold the cover fabric in half length ways and make a mark at the centre of the wide end. With the edges aligned, place the folded and top stitched end of your casing on the right side of your cover fabric at your centre mark and pin in place.
Back-tacking to secure the end, and using a 1/4" seam, stitch the folded casing to the right side of the cover.
Gently ease your way around the curves at the end and top of the board, making sure you keep the casing edge flush with that of the cover.
The casing wont sit flat and will wrinkle up a bit. This is normal and totally OK, so don't clip the curve. Stop when you are about 5-6 inches from the end.
Lie the casing flat and cut away the excess, leaving roughly 1/2" overlap. Open the casing out, fold the end over twice and finger press.
Top sttitch the folded edge again like you did at the start. Then finish stitching the casing in place with the ends butted together like this:
Finish the raw edge with your serger/overlocker. To save time, I just used the zig zag stitch on my machine.
Dont clip the curves. You will want the casing to stand up a bit like this as it will help your cover to fit your board snugly.
Fold the casing back away from the cover fabric and edge stitch through all the layers, about 1/8" from the fold. I have an edge stitching foot for my machine and can move the needle position across, but a regular sewing machine foot will also work.
As you come to the curves the casing will want to stand up a bit.
Just ease it flat a couple of inches in front of the foot at a time like this. Keep working your way around the cover, back tacking at the end
Once you are done, and because we didn't clip those seams, your cover will sort of stand up on the casing.
This is the secret of the perfect fitting ironing board cover!
Step 4. Thread the cord and fit your cover
You're almost there.
Tie a knot in each end of the cord to prevent fraying and thread it through the casing all the way around your ironing board cover. A bodkin is best, but I couldn't find mine so I made do with a safety pin.
Ease the fullness out , place your cover over the padded surface of your ironing board and pull the cord up tight. Tie it off firmly, and bingo you are done.