Friends of ours have recently moved into a new house and had a few peeps over on the weekend for a bit of a house warming shindig. It was most fun! Our friends have decorated their home beautifully, so I walked in and just sighed because of all the loveliness. Our friends’ new home is all the things I love about interiors: stylish and simple with a soft, neutral colour palette that has been built upon with a few gorgeous statement pieces and injections of personality. I think it’s important that a home reflects the personality of its owners as it makes the home welcoming and prevents it from feeling like you’re in a stuffy furniture showroom.
Their lovely home has inspired me to do a few little things around our home to try to pretty it up a bit. Given my penchant for sewing I figured I’d start with a couple of new cushion covers. I made two of them over the weekend and thought I’d share with you how I did it.
I wanted to keep the colour scheme neutral but create interest through the use of different textures. The first cushion cover is made from a rough cream fabric that’s been sitting in my cupboard for years. Using a beige faux leather, I appliquéd the silhouette of an elk onto to make it a bit more interesting. This was really easy do to and looks quite impressive, even if I do say so myself!
To make this cushion you will need:
- 2 squares of fabric that measure the dimensions of your cushion insert, plus seam allowance all the way around. (I added 1 cm to each side for seam allowance.)
- contrast fabric for the appliqué
- a zip (I usually use one that measures 5 – 10 cm less than the length of your cushion)
- thread to match your fabrics
- an image of what you want to appliqué. If you are good at drawing you can create your own appliqué design (clever you!), or, you can cheat by doing a Google image search and printing the image you choose (which is what I did!)
- fusible web, which is available from good fabric and haberdashery stores (make sure you ask the staff if you can’t find it). Both sides of the web are fusible so you essentially sandwich it between 2 layers of fabric to stick them together. When you buy it, it will come with a layer of paper underneath it.
Overlock the edges of the squares of fabric for the cushion cover so they won’t fray. Cut a square/rectangle/random shape of fusible web that’s big enough to fit your image on it and trace your image onto the paper side of the web. Cut a piece of contrast fabric a little bit bigger than the piece of fusible web, placing the web sticky side down (paper side up) onto the wrong side of the contrast fabric. Iron over the paper side of the fusible web so the sticky side melts and sticks to the fabric. Cut around the image you’ve drawn on the paper (cutting through both paper and fabric). Peel the paper away from your shape and place it in the desired position on one of your cushion squares with the fusible side of the shape on the front of the fabric square. Carefully iron over the shape to stick it to the fabric square. If using faux leather, like me, don’t iron directly on the faux leather as it might melt. Use a low heat and place a cloth over the faux leather to protect it from the iron.
Sew around the edges of the appliquéd shape to make sure it’s really secure. You could do this by hand or with a sewing machine. This is really optional, as the fusible web should hold the appliqué pretty well without the addition of stitching. However, I think that sewing it makes it more secure (particularly if the cushion is likely to be sat on) and it also adds more textural interest.
Now insert your zip. The method you use will depend on whether you use a normal zip or an invisible zip. (I’ll be giving more detailed instructions for how to insert an invisible zip with the next cushion post). Finally, with the zip open, sew around the remaining three edges of the cushion cover, turn through to the right side, insert your cushion and stand back and admire your handiwork!
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