These are relatively easy. Especially if you follow the directions and look at the pictures, insert "wink". It is nicely illustrated here.
I say this because: 1) I have made 2 of these before and 2) because in making them again, I am making lots of mistakes!!
Some helpful hints for doing this:
1. You can use any color bias tape. I used extra wide double fold bias. (You can find very few colors of pre-sewn bias and piping-locally anyway). One package of bias tape will do your 2 circles but you won't have enough left over for your handles if you add them.
To make your own bias tape and piping go here.
2. Do yourself a favour and iron your bias tape flat first then in half. This will save time and frustration when making your piping.
You will be using a zipper foot for most of this project.
Also go slow!! I am not sure how many needles I broke the first time I made these. For whatever reason, it scares the crap out of me when my needles break. Early on I used to joke about wearing safety goggles when sewing, now sadly I have 40 year old eyes and now glasses. At least they provide some protection lol.
3. Download and print the circle here Trust me, I didn't do this for the first 2 and trying it a second time without the pattern proved not worth the frustration with the compass and trying to mark correctly or consitently on the fabric. Just do it for sanity sake.
4. On the first two I made a bladder out of broadcloth which is essentially double duty. This time I am skipping this step. In talking with others who have made these cushions for adults, they have never bothered to do this and the stitching has held without incident. My biggest concern is a toddler getting at all the bean bag fill in there if the stitching came loose. It would be disastrous to say the least!!!
5. One bag of fill goes a long way. You can make 3-4 of these cushions out of a bag. I am currently making 4 at a time for christmas presents and to use my fill. My husband may throw it away if I don't get it out of the garage so it stops spilling little beads everywhere.
6. Now the instructions say to pin your piping to the circle first. I find it just as easy not to, as I am adjusting every inch or so anyway and going so slow. When you start, pull your cord through 1/4 of an inch first so you just have bias tape at the beginning and then start sewing just where the cord starts. This will help when you overlap the pieces when they meet at the end of your circle. You won't have to hold your breath and guard your eyes in anticipation of a needle breaking when it hits the cord. (Ehem..maybe thats just me).
7. If your piping seems a bit loose in places, this is your chance to tighten it up when you are sewing it to your circles. This may be another reason to use different color thread for this.
Also pay attention to the pictures and the instruction. I say this because I have had my seam ripper out many times in the past hour. I put the wrong side up and put the bias tape on backwards as well. Arghhh.!!
Once your done a circle, examine it for areas where you may not have gotten the piping very close. Fix it now and carry on. It does not have to be perfect. Remember you are your own worst critic and you can drive yourself nuts with this part.
8. Do pin your side piece to your circle but I wouldn't close the ends until you have sewn most of it onto the circle as it will stretch a bit. I just ended up doing it twice! If you leave a 1/2 inch on either side or more, you can line up your seam and sew it and then go back and sew the rest onto the circle.
9. Now comes the mess. Filling your cushion. It will work better with 2 people but you will still have a mess and pick someone who has patience as this is a process. I ended up going through my recyclables and coming up with this concoction. I used an empty soap box and an empty toothpaste box and pinned one side to the opening of the cushion (one less thing to hold).
Have your vacuum cleaner empty and on stand by. I also tried to contain the fill in a clothes basket. Static will be your enemy as well. (I vacume daily due to the amount of dog hair in my house and I am still finding fill weeks later on my floors).
I did vacuum before I started so I could reuse whatever I cleaned up in the vacuum periodically while filling them.
10. Do not overfill. You will need to leave some room for the bag and fill to shift and move when sat on. Do not let adults sit on your cushions often as the beads will compress and you will soon have less in your bag. Also inspect occasionally for any holes or seams coming loose. Hand sew your opening shut and you are done:)