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Tutorial: How to make rouleau loop fastenings for cushions

Sewing Sundries

Since there’s been a lot of cushion making going on around here lately, I thought you might enjoy like this tutorial…

© Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013. Sewing tutorial: make a rouleau loop fastening.

What sort of closure do you like best on your cushions? Zips, ties, button-holes? One of my favourites is the rouleau loop. It’s so simple to make, looks pretty and costs virtually nothing compared to the price of a zip! For this type of closure all you need is a button and a small strip of fabric. Here’s how to make one in a couple of different ways:

The authentic rouleau loop is made from a strip of fabric cut on the bias (dark blue in the picture  below – A), but I’ll also show you how to make a loop from a simple tube (green in the photo – B) and a topstitched version too (yellow in the picture – C).

Making rouleau loops/button tabs for cushion closures. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Step 1, cutting strips for rouleau loops

Working Out The Measurements

First of all decide on the finished width of the loop you require and add a seam allowance of about 0.5cm. Times this figure by 2 to give you the width you will need to cut. If you want a narrow loop, make version A.

The length of your loop will depend on the size of your button, the size of the seam allowance that the loop will be inserted into and the ‘fabric fold allowance’*. Let’s assume the loop is going to be fitted into a 1cm seam allowance and the button is 2.5cm. We need to times the button measurement by 2 and the seam allowance by 4, giving us 9cm so far. Now we need to add a couple of millimetres to allow the button to slip through easily and a few millimetres for the fabric fold allowance, in total I would add about 5 -6 mm if you’re using a quilting weight cotton fabric, giving a total length of 9.5mm in this example. Always cut your strips longer than required and trim to size after stitching. (If you’re making more than one loop, they can all be cut from the same strip).

*An allowance required when fabric is folded, i.e. how much fabric the fold itself will take up (it could be a few millimetres to half a centimetre depending on the thickness of the fabric).

1a. Making Rouleau Loop A

1. Cut your strip on the 45˚ bias.

2. Fold the strip in half right sides together and press.

3. Stitch along your seam allowance gently stretching the fabric as you go.

Making rouleau loops/button tabs for cushion closures. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Step 3, stitch along your seam allowance with right sides together

4. Turn through: use a thick linen thread (or several strands of your usual sewing thread) threaded into a wool or darning needle. Tie a small knot in the end of the thread and stitch it to one end of the tube. Draw the needle through the tube and using your fingernails carefully turn the tube over the knot. Gently pull the knotted end through the tube with the needle, gathering the fabric as you go, until it comes out the other end. Trim off the knot.

Making rouleau loops/button tabs for cushion closures. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Step 4, turning through using a needle and linen thread

5. Press the tube with the seam along the edge.

6. Move onto section 2.

1b. Making Rouleau Loop B

1. Cut your strip on the straight grain.

2. Follow steps 2 – 4 for version A. (Note there’s no need to try and stretch the fabric as you machine the seam)

5. Press the tube with the seam along the centre back.

6. Move onto section 2.

1c. Making Rouleau Loop C

1. Cut your strip on the straight grain.

2. Run your strip through a bias binding maker (instructions here) and then press in half wrong sides together (if you don’t have a bias binding maker press your strip in half with the wrong sides together then open it out and fold each edge towards the centre crease (wrong side) and press.

Making rouleau loops/button tabs for cushion closures. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Step 2, after the fabric has been ironed through a bias binding maker.

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Step 2, now fold the two outer edges right sides together and press.

3. Top-stitch the two open edges together, then turn and top-stich the folded edge.

Making rouleau loops/button tabs for cushion closures. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Step 3, top stitching the edges

4. Press.

5. Move onto section 2.

2. Inserting the Loops into the Seam Allowance

1. Cut your loop to the required length and fold in half lengthways and then into a triangular shape as shown in the photos below of all three styles. Press again.

Making rouleau loops/button tabs for cushion closures. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Step 1 from the front

Making rouleau loops/button tabs for cushion closures. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Step 1 from the back (note that the seams pressed on/towards the back)

2. Press your seam allowance on your main piece of fabric.

Making rouleau loops/button tabs for cushion closures. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Step 3, pressing the seam allowance where the loops will be fitted

3. Insert your loop in the required position so that the wrong side of the loop and the wrong side of the main fabric are facing together. Pin and/or tack the loop into place if you wish.

Making rouleau loops/button tabs for cushion fastenings. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Step 3, inserting the loops right side face up

4. Stitch the seam down close to the fold being careful as you go over the loop.

Making rouleau loops/button tabs for cushion fastenings. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Step 4, stitch along the seam going carefully over the loop

4. Press.

5. Move onto section 3.

3. Top-stitching the Loops into Place

1. Fold the loop back on itself so that it protrudes from the edge. Pin into place.

2. Top-stitch along the fold of the seam allowance. I prefer to do this on the right side so that I can ensure the the top-stitching is close to the fold as it goes over the loop, but it does mean you’ll need to be careful that the loop stays perpendicular to the seam. If you’re unsure, it’s best to tack the loop down.

Making rouleau loops/button tabs for cushion closures. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Step 2, after top-stitching. Finished loops from the back.

 

Making rouleau loops/button tabs for cushion closures. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Step 2, front view after topstitching.

3. Press.

Once you’ve made up your item, stitch the button in place in the centre of the loop. I recommend using a button with a shank for this type of fastening, so if your button doesn’t have a shank be sure to stitch one!

That’s it! Simple eh?! I hope you’ll have fun making these, why not share a link if you have a go – I’d love to see how you get on!

By the way, my free pattern Grandma’s Hothouse Cushion has a rouleau loop fastening too 🙂

 

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