Tuesday, 22 July 2014

How to: Turn an Unwanted Tapestry into a Cushion

DIY Embroidered Pom Pom Cushion

One thing I'm really loving at the moment is embroidery - especially vintage style pieces that positively scream kitsch. However, when it comes to embroidering something, I am a right lazy so and so - it takes a long period of time, is very repetitive, and is not particularly something I enjoy in large doses. Is anyone else the same? My antidote for this is buying other people's embroidery cast offs, which I can then use in my own way, even pretending that I did the embroidery myself (I am just so talented, you guys). This cushion is one way I've been using up my collection of embroidered fabric.

At the moment, one of my favourite charity shops has had an influx of half finished embroidery. Looking at it makes me feel kind of sad - somebody has obviously put a lot of time and effort into their work, only to throw away the half finished results. At the time, I didn't really know what I was going to do with my haul of embroidery, but I felt a need to make something with it, so that someone's hard work didn't go to waste. Seeing as we have a new wooden bench in the kitchen that needs some cushions on it, I figured I'd make one. With pom-poms of course, because - pom-poms.

How to Sew a Cushion

If you want to make a simple cushion too, you'll need some fabric (it doesn't have to be embroidered), and a cushion pad in a size of your choice. Pom-pom trim is optional (but completely recommended).

Firstly, cut out the panel for the front of your cushion, allowing 2cm for seams. This panel will either be a rectangle, or a square.

Next, you'll need to cut out the back pieces - two of them, to create a flappy back fold (kinda like a pillow case). The first of these back panels should be half of the width of the front panel, whilst the second's width should be 3/4 of the front panel. You'll need to hem one side of both panels (the edge that will create your flappy opening.

Now to lay out your pieces before sewing. Lay your front panel piece down, with the right side facing you. Then lay the longer of the back panels on top of the front panel, right sides facing. Lay this over the left side of your front panel (there will still be a small area of your front panel showing). Lay your other back panel over the other side of your front panel, covering the small area of front panel showing. Your hemmed edges on the back panels should be overlapping in the middle. Pin in place.

If you want to add a pom-pom trim, do so by pinning it in place between the front panel and back panels. Make sure that all the pom-poms are on the inside of the fabric (so that when your sewing is turned right way out, they will be on the outside).

Sew around all four sides of your rectangle (or square), finishing in the same spot as you started. Leave a 2cm seam allowance.

Turn your cushion cover out the right way, before inserting your cushion pad through the back flap.

Once you get used to the process, this is a fairly easy little project, and I can soon see myself having an abundance of cushions everywhere. Which can only be a good thing, right? If, like me, you want to use embroidered or tapestry fabrics, keep your eye out in second hand shops (you could even use fabric from framed cross-stitch pictures), or you could even try your hand at embroidery. There are lots of fun-looking embroidery kits out there, which I don't think I'd have the patience for, but would look amazing.

Let me know if you try this!

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