I am slowly but surely teaching myself to sew. It makes sense on so many levels and brings with it so many benefits – a lot of them in line with my eco philosophy’s:
- I can source locally made and/or organic fabrics to make my own products.
- I can create a whole heap more upcycling projects that I spy on Pinterest (follow me here) which not only have less impact but can help me be greener – produce bags… I’m comin’ for you next!
- It will be a whole lot easier to avoid that nasty ‘Made in China’ label
- I will have a greater attachment and pride in my possessions because I will understand all the work that went into them!
My first project to get me into the groove has been making a recycled pallet day bed (which I can’t wait to share with you next week once it is complete!). And what does every daybed need? A million throw cushions, that’s what! As this is my first time behind the machine I didn’t want to have the trouble of zips and buttons – I wanted quick and simple. I found a few blog sites that detailed how to make this pouch style cushion and I am happy to say it was easy enough for even me to master. And I mean master… I have sewed 19 of them in 2 weeks! Here are a few being enjoyed by Velcro the little stray kitten we rescued last month (read about her here).
**Special thanks and love has to go to my amazing, stupendous, wonderful and above all progressive husband here! My first attempt at sewing a cushion was after our antenatal class where I was shown all the surgical equipment that can be used during labour and was told of all the possibilities that could go wrong. To say I was emotional was an understatement. I knew so little about sewing that I didn’t know you had to even clamp the sewing foot down and I buggered up the machine and ended up face down on the table bawling. But my man of many talents cleaned me up and showed me a few basics and I haven’t stopped since. What a superstar!
- Sewing Machine
- Cushion Insert
- Chalk / Pencil
- Ruler / Measuring Tape
- Scissors (Fabric scissors are SO worth it!)
1. When you buy your cushion insert you will be given the dimensions – pictured below is Size 24: 61cms x 61cms (24″ x 24″). Measure out with your tape measure a shape the same size as the dimensions. You do not need to allow for a hem or for the stitch – you want your cushion to be snug and… well… cushy!
Mark out the shape with chalk or a proper fabric pencil (obviously on the inside of the material). This may take a bit of playing around to make sure you get it square.
This piece will be the front of your cushion.
2. Cut out your front shape.
3. You then need to cut out the two back flaps which will form the pouch to insert your cushions. There is no exact science on this and there is a little wiggle room but you want the ‘flaps’ to be approximately two thirds the height of the front piece of fabric. For example both flaps should measure…
- As wide as the front piece of fabric
- Approx two thirds the height of the front piece of fabric PLUS 2cms (approx 1″) for a small hem
EXAMPLE: The three pieces of my fabric were as follows;
- Front Piece – 61cms x 61cms (24″ x 24″)
- 2 x back pieces – 42cms x 61cms (16″ x 24″)
4. You then need to hem one edge of each of the back flaps. To do this fold the material over and pin it. My hems were 2cms (approx 1″). If you want to really crease the hems then iron them which will flatten them. Whizz it through your sewing machine and tie off the ends.
5. Then pin all your pieces together ready for sewing- which for the amateur sewer can be confusing at first. Lie your cover piece flat on a table with the pretty outside of the cushion facing up. Then place your first flap squarely onto it so that the ugly inside of the fabric is facing up. Repeat with the other piece therefore completing the back square.
Pin along the edges securely. Make sure you pin the edges of the flaps down to ensure that they don’t get folded while you sew.
Sew along each edge and tie the threads off.
6. Once you have sewed all four sides turn your cover inside out and stuff your insert into it. Give it a bit of a plump and a fluff until it looks deliciously inviting and voila! You have a sturdy, simple cushion!I hope that made sense! I have had great success with them and have used all sort of different materials with them. The best bit is, your average store-bought, mass-produced cushion seems to retail for $50 these days. That is an absolutely HUGE mark up. If you want your life filled with beautiful cushions, this is the way to go!