Rug Hooked Footstool – Sew the side seams

Written by Cindi Gay

This method of sewing the seams is the easiest ever! I will always be grateful to Kim Nixon for showing me this technique years ago. It made me fearless about sewing seams for any three dimensional hooking such as footstools, purses or dolls.

Sewing side seams on your rug hooked footstoolTo sew the first side seam, choose a corner and fold the backing to the back on each side. DO NOT try to fold it back hard and hide the backing. Bring the two sides together. The raw backing will be showing. See the image below. The gap is more than 1/4″ but less than 1/2″. Align the bottom edges and smooth the seam up to where it disappears into the footstool top.

Sewing up the footstool side seam

Sewing the side seams on a rug hooked footstool

Gap in seam of rug hooked footstool

Use a simple whipping stitch and some strong thread. Keep your stitches far apart on the first pass. Once you know it fits well you will sew back over the seam again. It’ll be easier to rip out if you don’t sew it too tight the first time. You do not have to make perfect stitches but put in enough to hold the edges together. The color of the thread does not matter. It will not show at all when we are finished. When you get to the top where the hooking curves you will need to use your finger to push down the seam as you sew.

Second pass rug hooked footstool seam

Seam closeupOnce you reach the top, fit it to the stool. Everything still OK? If so, then sew once again back down the seam. This will reinforce it. When I reach the bottom, I add extra stitches in that area so that later when I am pulling and tugging to get the footstool on the frame, I don’t pop open a seam.

When you have ONE seam done, stop and read the rest of the instructions. Do NOT sew the other three seams yet.

Now fit the hooking to the footstool again. You will do this from now on after each pass on the seam. Is the fit still OK? Your footstool will have a better fit if you follow this sequence. If the fit is still right, move to the seam diagonally across from the first corner. Sew and test fit that seam just like you did the first one.

When that is done, refit the hooking to the stool. Recheck the fit. Remove the hooking and sew up the third seam. Repeat the process again, then sew up the final seam.

Hooking to fill the gap in the side seam

Seam in a rug hooked footstoolYou will now have ugly bare corners. That’s OK, we are going to fix that. You are going to hook up one side while pushing both seam allowances to the other side. Do not try to hook through both layers because it’s difficult to do and doesn’t add anything to the process. You cannot do this on a rug hooking frame.

I pinch the footstool backing between my knees to hold it in place. Usually a single #8 hooked up each side works well. Increase the cut size if needed to fill the gap. If you hooked the footstool in smaller cuts, consider two rows up each side. The loops will be a bit crowded but remember that this is a corner and the loops should have a tight fit. If not, when the hooking is bent around the corner the loops will separate and show the backing. The padding we added to the footstool frame in the last step helps to round the corners and make this less of a problem.

While your hand is inside holding the strip, push the seam allowances out of the way and hook up the seam matching the colors on each side. For this stool, I started with the brown but I will hook red in the bottom border area.

When one side is complete, push the seam allowances to the other side and repeat. Repeat the process by hooking up all four sides.

Now it is time to attach the footstool to the frame you built.


Make your own rug hooked footstool

Annie's Flower Power rug hooked footstool by Cindi Gay I have several rug hooking footstool patterns available. I am posting complete instructions (videos are still being edited) on how to build your own using simple 2x4s, plywood and foam. There is a complete cutting diagram for the wood and the foam. I also have instructions on how to finish your hooking so you can complete your rug hooked footstool.
Here are the list of instructions available so far:
  1. Footstool Construction Material List
  2. Footstool Feet - Where to Get Them
  3. Footstool Feet - Staining
  4. Build the Box
  5. Adding the foam
  6. Preparing the Backing
  7. Sewing up the Sides
  8. Upholstery and Finishing Touches

Missing something? Please let me know so I can make these instructions as complete as possible.

Read More Articles:

Rug Hooked Footstool - Finishing the Upholstery

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