I recently moved house, and while I was packing up I realised I had never sewn any accessories for the home. I often see some amazing fabrics online that I love but wouldn’t work for menswear, so I thought a home decor project would be a great way to experiment with these slightly whacky prints!
I wanted to put together three cushions in contrasting fabrics, but still use patterns and colours that I think work together on the same couch. Each cushion has an invisible zip sewn in so that I can easily remove and wash the covers. Invisible zips don’t really exist in menswear so it took a bit of time to get the first one right (three attempts!) but the others went in smoothly.
The first fabric that caught my eye was this Michael Millar Cotton Fabric. It was the lightest of all the fabrics, so I interfaced it before sewing… I’m not convinced this was the right move, in hindsight. The cushion feels very ‘crunchy’—I probably used interfacing that is too heavy and a softer, lighter one would’ve added body without making the fabric so stiff. I am still in two minds about whether I should attempt to remove it, but the cushion might feel a little limp without the support.
I was instantly drawn to this abstract Canvas by Art Gallery Fabrics. I really like the pops of vibrant colour amongst the monochrome blocks. The material is fairly heavy so I didn’t interface it and it has a rougher feel compared to the poplin, as you’d expect from canvas.
Brocade has been on my list to work with for a while now, and this magenta and cyan Oriental Brocade Fabric really caught my attention. I embellished the cushion with four Tassels—I was a bit nervous about the colour combination, but the light sage really works with the bright pink. I did actually interface this cushion cover, but the fabric is much heavier than the Michael Millar poplin, so I decided afterwards that it didn’t really need it and I managed to peel it off—thankfully with no damage to the fabric. The result is a soft, plump cushion (and my favourite of the three.)
It was fun working with invisible zips, I’ve had the machine foot for years and never really had a reason to use it. I neatened all the edges with my overlocker before sewing the seams and zips, and that will hopefully give the cushion covers a longer lifespan as they should hold up better when washing.
I didn’t use a pattern for these projects. You can buy patterns for more elaborate cushion covers, but to make a simple covering like this all you need to do is measure your cushion and cut fabric of the exact same dimensions. If you want plump cushions DO NOT add any seam allowance—that way your cushion cover is a bit smaller than the pad, so it fills up to be nice and fat! I used a standard 1.5cm seam allowance for all my seams.
I used two square pads and the canvas cushion uses a rectangular one.
I may have the home accessories bug now… I’m trying to think what else I could make for the house. The best thing about these types of projects… no fitting is required! There’s no scary moment when you pop on the half-made garment and hope you’ve got it right. These simply work first time.
Have you tried any home accessories? I’m desperate for ideas, so let me know! Until next time, happy sewing everyone.