Make a Sophie Conran patchwork cushion: free sewing pattern
Follow Sophie Conrans clever ideas for making cushions and transform your home and garden with unique style
Recently I’ve become a little bit cushion obsessed! I love them, especially the big squishy ones that you can sink into on the sofa or lounge around on in the garden at the end of the day. They’re great for adding colour, pattern or texture to beds, chairs and sofas. Car boot sales, fleamarkets and antiques stalls are good sources of inexpensive fabrics: look out for vintage silk scarves, linen grain sacks, or old curtains or shirts.
There are all sorts of pads available (visit www.merrick-day.com for a selection or www.woolsoft.co.uk for good quality, wool-filled pads). Some will hold their shape and always look tidy, but I prefer feather pads – though they do need lots of plumping. But whatever filling, shape, size or fabric you choose, making your own cushion covers is easy and very rewarding.
Patchwork shirt cushion
Once old shirts are a bit tired looking, don’t throw them away; with some basic sewing skills you can transform them into a patchwork cushion perfect for a bedroom.
How it’s done
First create a backing for the patchwork front of your cushion cover. Cut a piece of cotton fabric – curtain lining or similar is ideal – to the size of your cushion pad, allowing a 1.5cm seam all the way round.
Cut the shirt into patchwork pieces and arrange them onto the cotton backing.
When you’re happy with the design, edge stitch the patches in place onto the backing.
Use the entire front section of one of the shirts as the back of the cushion cover. Cut it to the same size as the front. The buttons and buttonholes will provide a ready-made opening and fastening for slipping the cushion pad inside.
Place the front and back of the cushion cover together, right sides together. Stitch all the way around the edge and then turn it right side out.
Tip: Make use of the shirt cuffs, collar and buttons to create interesting details and fastenings.