Usually at Christmas my immediate family tell each other what they’d like for a present. I have no beef with this; my loved ones get something that they really, really want, and I get something I really, really want, it’s all good. However, as an increasingly obsessive crafter I love the opportunity to make stuff for my family, so when my brother Chris gave me the go ahead to make his Christmas present there was much air punching and excitement at the Swizzle residence.
I wanted something meaningful and fun, and after seeing Alexandra Ferguson’s “sassy little pillow company” on Etsy I loved the idea of a sloganned cushion. It didn’t take long to work out what they would say: in the very early days of my pregnancy with Chloe, Chris informed me that upon her arrival he would henceforth be known as Cool Uncle Chris and it soon followed that his then girlfriend would be Awesome Auntie Amy. Job done.
To make your own cushion, you will need:
- 3 pieces of plain fabric as follows: piece A: 53 x 53cm; piece B: 53 x 27.5cm; piece C: 53 x 42.5cm. Measurements include a 1.5cm seam allowance.
- 50cm x 50cm cushion inner
- Sheets of coloured felt
- Bondaweb (1/2 metre should be more than enough)
- 3 buttons
- Embroidery thread and needle
- Sewing machine and thread
- Pencil, fabric pencil, scissors
- Access to a computer and printer for printing off letter templates
Using Microsoft Word, write your chosen slogan, choose your font, and increase the size. The letter need to be big enough to spread across the finished 50cm cushion, but make sure you leave enough space for each letter to have a contrasting border. I used Franklin Gothic Heavy, sized up to 200.
Print and cut out letters:
Turn letters print-side-down onto the paper side of the Bondaweb. Trace them:
Cut each letter out roughly, then one by one, put the rough side of a letter onto a piece of coloured felt and iron it for 5 seconds using dry heat. Cut letter out accurately:
Peel off backing paper and place each letter onto a contrasting colour felt. One by one, cover each letter with a damp cloth and iron for 10 seconds, pressing down lightly. Lay flat and cool for 20 minutes, then cut around each letter leaving a border of approx 0.25cm.
Turn bordered letters upside down and place on paper side of Bondaweb. Trace, and cut out roughly. Match each piece of Bondaweb with its corresponding bordered letter and iron the rough side onto the back for 5 seconds with dry heat.
Arrange bordered letters onto fabric piece A, making sure they don’t overlap into 1.5cm seam allowance. One by one, unpeel backing paper of each letter, cover it with a damp cloth and iron for 10 seconds, pressing down lightly. Lay flat and cool for 20 minutes.
Crack out the embroidery thread and do a contrast running stitch in each letter:
Now its time to make the cushion. Starting with fabric piece B, fold up 3cm on the longer side and press. Then fold up another 3cm and press. This is your button placket! Sew along upper edge:
Repeat with fabric piece C, but this time fold down the fabric:
Place fabric piece B on top of piece A, with right sides facing, and pin. NB: the folded over fabric that makes the placket should be on top:
Place piece C on top, with folded fabric on top, and pin. Button plackets should overlap:
Sew cushion edges with 1.5cm seam:
Trim seams as necessary then turn right side out – nearly done! Space buttons evenly along button placket and mark where buttonholes need to be. Make buttonholes in top layer using sewing machine (see machine’s manual for instructions):
Mark button positions on bottom layer of placket by marking with fabric pencil through button holes. Sew buttons on:
As we say in the West Country, jobs a good ‘un!
PS: I was going to apologise for the slightly dodgy illustrations (I forgot to take photos of the whole process) but actually I kind of like including a few of them, they go with the whole DIY aesthetic and are probably clearer than some of my photos anyway :-S What do you think?
Wow, its almost the end of March already, how did that happen?
So, back in November when I signed off for a while I promised that when I returned I’d tell you what I’d been up to. Here are a few highlights of our festive crafting…
My absolute favourite craft project of Nov/Dec was making Chloe’s first nativity costume. Using this tutorial as the basis, I made her outfit from one of my Nanna’s old bedsheets and some fake sheepskin material, while watching It’s a Wonderful Life, drinking Baileys, and getting all nostalgic for the costumes my mum used to make for me:
We also made our first ever butterfly cakes to gobble while watching the unbelievably cheesy Christmas film Santa Buddies. I used the same Nigella recipe as in the rainbow cupcakes we made last year, without the food colouring, obvs :
At Chloe’s Grannie Jude’s house I helped her and Hazel make felt Christmas stockings (including one for Chloe’s Big Teddy):
Chloe made a clay handprint for her Dad using Das air drying clay. I’d never used Das before but would recommend it as it’s cheap, supereasy to use, and you can even paint or varnish it afterwards if you want. I even quite like the smell (paint fumes and Amaretto – mmm):
And finally, I made cushions for my brother Chris and sister-in-law Amy. Tutorial coming soon!: