Skill level: Beginner
The warmer months are upon us, and what better time than to freshen up your décor? Instead of opting for mass produced goods, why not try something a little different – and kinder to the planet? Start by clearing out your wardrobe, or take a trip to your local op-shop, and find some inspiration in the many interesting garments that are waiting to be transformed.
For this DIY cushion I have used a retro 60’s dress and a large shirt. As long as one garment has buttons (to make your cushion cover removable), and the fabric is suitable for cushions (ie not fine silk), you are only limited by your imagination. I usually take the cushion inner with me when I shop, to make sure the shirt and the other garment have enough fabric to cover the cushion.
So what you will need to complete this project is:
Your chosen garments (one being a large shirt with buttons)*
A sewing machine (or needle and thread if you are very patient!)
Taylors Chalk or a light pencil
An iron and ironing board (or towel to iron on)
A tape measure Paper or light card for a template
*The best material is generally cotton or poly/cotton and medium to heavy weight. Hold the garment up to the light - if you can see your hand through the fabric it won’t be durable enough for cushions. Remember to make sure your shirt is a large size or bigger, as the smaller sizes don’t have enough fabric for a cushion.
1 Measure your cushion inner from seam to seam. Add 1cm onto each seam for seam allowance.
2 Draw a template of your cushion, remembering to add 1 cm all the way around the template for seam allowances.
3 Now place your template onto your shirt and trace around it. Make sure you have the garment straight and the template on straight. When placing the template onto the shirt, make sure the button and button stand are straight and running down the middle of the template. It can help to mark the half-way point on your template, and line it up with the buttons. Also make sure you do not have your template edges going over the top of a button. The cushion seams need to be in between the buttons. This will be your back piece.
4 Take your cut out back piece, and place it down with right sides together, on top of your other garment. Pin it to the other garment, making sure the fabric is straight. Now cut around the back piece.
5 Keeping the pins in place, sew the back piece and the front piece together, remembering your seam allowance is 1 cm. When you get to the corners, try to sew a curve, so you do not have very pointy corners sticking out when the cushion is stuffed. You can now either overlock or zig-zag the raw edges of the cushion to stop the fabric fraying.
6 Now carefully undo the buttons on your back piece and turn the fabric in the right way. Press all your seams with the iron.
7 Carefully insert your cushion inner into your cushion cover. Spend some time moving the inner around so it has filled the corners and isn’t lumpy.
8 After admiring your creation, find a sunny spot with a comfy chair, insert your gorgeous upcycled pillow and yourself with something chilled to drink...sit back and soak up summer