My desire to have more cushion covers seems to have no end point! Late last year I read the amazing book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. At the time I was completing my Diploma in Interior Decorating at iscd in Sydney and was up to my eyeballs in assignments and presentation boards. But I vowed to put the lessons of the book into action after the course was complete and really get stuck into it over the Christmas break. After 18 months of doing courses, working full-time, a living-in-separate-houses relationship and my Colour Design business, I had let my surroundings become somewhat cluttered. I used to have a good cull every year, but that has slipped somewhat, so I had not had a good clean out for some years.
The premise of the culling process outlined in the book is that you only keep items that bring you joy and discard anything that doesn’t. This particular skirt gave me a lot of joy and I loved it because I bought it while living and working in Singapore from a store called British India, which we don’t have here in Australia. I particularly love the border with all the Indian beadwork on it. But it has been several years since I wore it so I decided to repurpose it into some cushion covers, thinking the border would look good down one edge.
It really was a skirt, here it is after I had removed the waistband. My decision was whether to make one two-sided cushion or two cushions with something different on the back. I opted to make two and sourced some wonderful velvet from Warwick Fabrics. Stunning colour matching is always a plus!
The skirt was lined so I decided to reuse that in the cushions as well, giving some extra weight to the front part of each cushion. I got some instructions from the internet and used an existing cushion cover as the template for cutting it out.
The instructions for fitting the zipper include sewing the edges in a seam with very long stitches, and you’re then supposed to fit the zipper underneath and stitch it on the outside. However I amended that and did an ‘invisible’ method instead, where I stitched the zipper to the fabric on the inside. Then you work it so the front part comes in underneath and then overstitch the zipper on the outside on the back piece (I will try and dig out the instructions and reference them at the end). The front fabric was a bit flimsy for stitching all the way around – I did try it but it puckered and didn’t look right.
Stitching the front and back together was the worst part! The differences in the weight of the fabrics made it difficult as the finer fabric kept slipping. I had to stitch one side at a time, and then on the last one still had to unpick it ⅓ of the way and smooth and iron endless times before finishing the final seams.
I also had enough velvet left over to do another large square cushion as an addition to the “set” (see picture at the top). I teamed it with some bronzy-gold ones with dobby-like embroidery that I got from my favourite cushion outlet store.
They took a while to get right, but I am pleased with how they have turned out, and even more pleased to have yet another set of cushions for my bedroom!
All photographs © Fiona Saville for Flow Colour and Design – please credit if you re-post