Tag Archives: Cushion

Lola loves… sewing a sugar skull cushion

Here’s two things I can’t resist; a cushion and sugar skull design. I really didn’t need another cushion I’ve made so many, but the fun of it took over.

Appliquéd and embroidered sugar skull cushion front

Appliquéd and embroidered sugar skull cushion front

What you will need:
2x large felt squares
Assorted felt scraps for appliqué
Assorted embroidery thread
Needles
Fabric scissors
Tailors chalk
(I also used Sublime Stitching iron-on designs for the appliqué).

What to do:
Cut a number of shapes from your felt scraps. These will be used to decorate the cushion. Traditional designs are flowers, hearts and diamonds. I used Sublime Stitching iron-on designs to give me the flower shapes.

Next, mark out a skull on your large pieces of felt and add a 1 inch seam allowance – but don’t cut it yet!

Lay  your shapes on top and decide how you want to arrange them. You will need to do this for the front and back.

Appliquéd and embroidered sugar skull cushion - back

Appliquéd and embroidered sugar skull cushion – back

Once you have positioned your pieces, take a photo of them so you can remember where they go.

You may wish to use some shapes for the features.  I used roses for the eyes and an upside-down heart for the nose.

It’s also nice to use a variety of stitches. I used back, chain, feather and rope stitch, plus satin stitch to fill in the black on the mouth.

Now it’s time to embroider your small pieces and the skull (not having cut it yet means you can position the felt in an embroidery hoop, which will make it easier to sew.)

You can either embroider the pieces straight on to the skull or embroider them first and stick them on using all-purpose glue. I found the latter best as it means you don’t have to sew round the edges to keep the shape in place. Also, sewing two layers of felt can be slightly stiff!

Once you’ve finished your embroidery and appliqué, place the two pieces with their faces together and sew round leaving a small gap for the stuffing.

Turn right-side out, stuff with padding and  hand sew the hole.


Lola loves… Fun with fabric pens

I remember when fabric pens were all the rage for kids. We’d decorate our t-shirts with designs so horrible our mums would bin the top and pretend it got lost instead of incurring the embarrassment of allowing us out in it. That was just my mum then? Really?!


I digress. While the memories faded, the fun hasn’t. It still feels a bit decadently naughty to draw all over fabric, and it’s still fun to make an item feel it’s your own by personalising it with a bit of pen.

Here are two homemade cushions to which I added a shot of colour with fabric markers. The designs, both from Ikea, are perfect for colouring and I love that it reminds me of colouring in books (I was naughty, I went over the lines. And I liked it.)

Hmm, what next? Pillow cases? Totes? Na, the tea towels are gonna get it!


Lola loves… Pretty seat cushions

Here’s a chair cushion, a variation on a simple cushion.

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To make this, measure the shape of the seat of your chair, this will give you the shape of your cushion. You’ll see mine doesn’t fit perfectly, that’s because I used a pre-made chair cushion as the filler and simply made a cover for it. You could also use foam cut to size instead of a cushion.

With your measurements, draw your hem line into the back of your fabric. Use either a pencil or chalk, depending on what shows up better. The hem line is where you will sew. Then mark your cutting line 1inch out from that.

You will need to measure two pieces, one for each side, or you can measure one strip of fabric that is large enough for both sides (this way means less sewing!)

A good way of checking you have your measurements right is to place the cushion or foam on the fabric, it should meet with the hem line. BUT, don’t forget to accommodate for depth – the thicker your filling, the more fabric you will need!

Choose the side that will face the back of the chair and mark out a flap on this side. This is so you can tuck the flap in like an envelope, making the cover removable for washing. The flap should be about 7inches long. Cut the sides of the flap at a diagonal so that it’s neater and easier to tuck.

You will only need this on the fabric that will cover the top of your cushion – you don’t have to double up on both pieces of fabric.

Cut the fabric along the cutting line. Next sew round the flap to give it a clean hem. Then hem the same side on the other piece of fabric. This is what you will tuck the flap into so it needs to look neat.

Pin the two sides together with back of the fabric facing up on both sides. Then sew the pieces together along the hem line on each side except the one with the flap.

Turn it inside out, stuff it with your cushion or foam and tuck the flap in.

Sew ribbon to the back two corners of your new seat cushion so they can be tied to the back of the chair, otherwise sew a length of ribbon to the middle of two opposite sides, the ribbon can then be tied underneath the chair to keep the cushion in place.

Another way to cover you chair is simply to measure, cut, and staple your fabric over the existing in-built cushion — but you will an industrial stapler for this!

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Lola loves… Making cushions

During those blissful May Bank holidays I went cushion mad! I made about 20! Most of them were simple cushions made with interesting fabric (I can recommend Ikea or charity shops if you can be bothered to hunt), but a variation was to decorate plain fabric, in my case some unused pillow covers. Here’s what I did…

First, I cut the fabric to the size I wanted, measuring it to make sure it was right. (Here I should add that pillow cases are great for this as some sides will already be sewn and you can simply halve or quarter the case to get the size you want).

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Then, using a template, I traced round and cut the shape of a bird from some coloured fabric.

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I then arranged the birds and pinned them to the fabric, after which I drew the shape of a branch onto different fabric, cut and pinned that. (I found arranging the birds first helped me work out what shape I wanted for the branch).

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Then it’s simply a case of sewing the shapes in place and finishing with a few buttons for decoration. I went for large ‘rustic’ (read lazy) stitches and also glued some rhinestones I’d picked off a formerly tacky t-shirt.

Next, turn the fabric over so the decoration is face down, the other side may already be attached, if not lay it on top. Then Mark your hem line, pencil is fine if using light fabric, chalk if not (as it can be washed or brushed off). If you’re wobbly on the sewing machine I recommend drawing a line 1inch in from the side. Do this all around the edge, pin and sew all but one side (it is best to leave a short side.

Once you’ve done that, turn it inside out so that you have a pocket. Fill this with stuffing (you can use the filling of an old pillow or cushion if you don’t mind hacking it up, or you can buy it pretty cheaply from Amazon). Then just sew the last side turning the edges in first so you get a clean line. Hey presto!

If you like this, also have look at these pretty seat cushions!

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