If you are just starting out making your own
soft furnishings, cushions are a great way to begin. Cushions designs are
extremely varied, but once you've mastered the basic techniques your skills can be adapted
to produce a wide range of exciting designs
Before you dive straight in though, take a look at this
simple checklist of things to consider before you start buying fabrics and other
materials. These are short extracts from the Simply Furnishings sewing guide
that we have adapted to give you a taster of
what's to come. We hope they're helpful!
the design options
I've put this topic first, as I know you are thinking along these
lines and can't wait to produce something really stunning. In theory, design options
should come a little further down in your list of priorities, but here goes! Basic
cushions come in all shapes and sizes, but it is best to start with a square or
rectangular cushion that you can then adapt by using lots of exciting decorative
techniques. The design options are almost endless, but here are some of the most commonly
- Standard piping
- Ruched piped band
- Ruched padded band
- Ruched trim
- Embroidered or appliqué designs
- Contrasting or coordinating border or braid
- Tassles and fringing
|Consider the use of
|Your first thought
will probably be whether the fabric matches your sofa or bed linen! While that's a great
place to start, your choice of fabric should also be based on several important factors.
It is important to consider the use the cushion will get, as this may affect not only the
design, but also the type of fabric used:
- Is the cushion intended to be purely
- Will it get lots of abuse from the children?
If this is the case, the quality and weight of the fabric will need to be robust and you
may prefer to use a cushion pad with a synthetic filling rather than a more expensive,
soft feather cushion pad.
- Does the cushion cover need to be washable? To
see your beautifully finished cushion covered in grubby finger marks or juice stains can
be heart breaking! Machine washable fabrics are a must with small children.
- Or, is the cushion for decorative purposes
only? Decorative cushions can be made of lighter, more delicate fabrics, such as silks or
|Choose the right
face fabric by considering the room setting
you use your fabric is almost as important as the original choice
itself. For a
cushion made of a patterned fabric, to match curtains or other materials in the room, you
should consider the following questions:
- Which part of the pattern looks best on the
cushion? For example, stripes and checks must be centralised for good effect.
- With large bold designs, will choosing a small
part of the fabric look effective on such a small item as a cushion? Getting the
scale right is essential.
- Which way up does the pattern go? With some
patterns, the cushion may well look strange when upside down!
|On the other hand,
plain materials that pick out one of the colours in another fabric used in the room can
often be most effective. Remember that plain fabrics can be spiced up in many ways:
- Plain cushions can be trimmed with a
contrasting border, decorative braid or patterned piping
- Tassles and fringing, embroidered panels,
appliqué designs and quilting can all be used to give an impressive boost to a plain
|Once you have decided on the best
design and fabric for your cushion you'll need to make sure that you have all the right
sewing tools and that you understand how to acheive the basic (but essential) sewing
techniques used when making cushions and other soft furnishings. These include the right
needles and threads to suit different tasks, as well as the standard stitches and seams
that you'll need to produce either by hand or with the help of your sewing machine. Simply
Furnishings has a free guide designed to
help you get organised and tackle these initial simple tasks. Basic Sewing Equipment and Techniques is a
30 page beginner's manual which you can either view online or download and save for later.
Perhaps your first project should be to print off this handy guide and begin practising
your sewing techniques ready for your next cushion making project!
has virtually everything you'll need to begin making your own professional looking
cushions (except the fabric, needles and threads of course!) TEACHYourself CUSHIONS is our comprehensive, easy to use sewing guide
available to order online world-wide for just £8.99. Using tried and tested techniques,
clear instructions and illustrations, we will guide you through each stage of the design
and make process step-by-step. In no time at all you will be making your own beautiful
cushions with a really professional finish.
full set of 8 individual guides are available to buy online now as an
immediate download (PDF) or as a set on CD ROM!