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Sewing with Oilcloth Spotlight: Oilcloth Seat Cushion


Spring is almost here and it’s time that I start thinking about a new look for the seat cushion that I made for my sewing book, Sewing with Oilcloth. I love a porch makeover, don’t you?

I’ve been using these since 2010, they’ve been great fun and worn well. Five years later they are a bit faded and have a few holes from our cat’s claws. Thankfully, the holes never ripped or tore and they are just a little reminder of the kitten days.

This is Ozzy’s bed of choice which is fine by me, because it’s so darn easy to clean. Every so often I spray the oilcloth down with a gentle all-purpose cleaner and wipe it clean so it’s ready for humans once more.


The pattern is written so you can make your own custom seat cushion. I recommend that you make yourself a paper pattern and store it in a safe place, this way you can skip that step when it’s time remake your cushion covers.

Oilcloth is a stiff PVC fabric that can be hard to turn and difficult to stuff with foam. For these reasons I developed a snap closure for the back of the boxed seat cushions instead of going with the typical zipper method. The zipper works well with woven fabrics, but failed miserably when I did it with oilcloth. Sadly, I ripped a perfectly lovely oilcloth cushion cover trying to get the foam inside.


Oilcloth is not protected from UV rays, so it’s best to use on a covered porch or in a shady spot to avoid fading. I recommend taking the seat cushions in for the winter if they aren’t on a cover porch. I have a deep porch, so I’ve kept mine out year round for 5 years. When spring comes I need to give the oilcloth a good cleaning to remove the built up dirt and mildew. Again, just wipe it down with the gentle cleaner and a little elbow grease.

What about rain? Oilcloth is a waterproof fabric, but water can seep into your cushions through the seams and the back of the cushion. There have been several hurricane’s where my seat cushions have gotten plenty wet (even with being on the covered porch) and the foam is held up well.

My thoughts on using laminated cotton for this outdoor seat cushion… Don’t do it! Laminated cotton dulls and flakes when used out-of-doors and it will not hold up for long. Stick with oilcloth for longevity and save the laminated cotton for indoors.

I know you have one more question… Will your legs stick to the oilcloth? Yep, they sure will. In the heat of the summer, I toss a towel down on the seat cushion when I want to lounge on the veranda for long period of time.

I hope to have my seat cushions ready for Easter, wish me luck!


Photo Credit: Meghan McSweeney


  1. Linda says

    Where do you purchase your oil cloth? I need some to make outdoor chair cushions. Everything I find seems too thin. Thank you!


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