I was absent for a long time, because I had a lot of homework in the college. I’m ready to pay someone to write my essay, which I need to send in two days. I cannot cope with the number of assignments at the course. Should I improve my time management? 🙂

1-finished-cushion

I love making cushions! They’re such an easy and affordable way to update a room. I recently made the spotty cushion, pictured below, for our living room and had a few scraps of the fabric left over. So I decided to make another cushion in a neutral linen, decorated with some circles from the left over scraps. I’ve done a few cushion tutorials here before, but zippers are often intimidating, so I thought I’d show you how do it again. 

2-circles-cushion

Let’s get started! You will need fabric, and an invisible zipper slightly shorter than the length of your cushion. Measure two squares of fabric 3 cm (1 1/4″) bigger than your cushion insert to allow for 1.5 cm (5/8″) seam allowance around all the edges. Use a ruler and pencil (or chalk) to draw your squares directly onto the wrong side of the fabric, then cut them out. Overlock the raw edges of each square straight away because it needs to be done before inserting the zipper. If you don’t have an overlocker, you can use a zig-zag stitch to overcast the raw edges. It’s important to overcast the raw edges so that you can launder the cover without it fraying and falling apart. Unless you are super clean and never have spills or messes on your cushions, in which case, good on you!

3-fabrics

I decided to decorate my cushion cover with some appliqué circles to match my other cushion. To do this, simply trace circles or other shapes onto the paper side of some fusible web, iron it onto the back of the contrast fabric (with the paper still attached to the other side of the fusible web). Cut out your shapes, peel off the paper backing, iron them onto the cushion square and stitch around the edges.

4-circles

Now let’s insert the zipper. Don’t panic, it’s not as hard as you think! Lay out one of your cushion squares with the right side of the fabric facing up. Lay the open zip next to it. Flip the zip over onto the fabric, with the back of the zipper facing up. Line up the edge of the zipper tape with the overlocking (about 6 mm (1/4″) away from the edge) and pin along the middle of the zipper tape, stopping about 2.5 cm (1″) from the base of the zipper. Using either an invisible zipper foot, or a normal zipper foot, sew down the middle of the zipper tape, as pinned, remembering to stop 2.5 cm (1″) from the base of the zipper. You will notice that at this stage we’re not worrying about sewing close to the zipper teeth yet. First we just want to get it securely in place, on both pieces of fabric, then we’ll worry about stitching nice and close to the teeth. This first step is essentially just tacking it in place and while it’s a little more effort, it’s easier than needing to unpick stitches from close to the teeth.

5-lay-out-zip

 

6-pin-zip

Now for the other side. Lay the square with the zipper on it right side up (the zipper should still be open). Lay the other square right side down on top, flipping back the edge that will be attached to the zipper. Line up the zipper tape the same distance from the edges as for the other side and pin then stitch in place down the tape, like you did for the other side.

7-pin-other-side

Do up the zipper and check that your two cushion squares align. As you can see the invisible zipper is still very visible, but now it’s securely in place so it will be easier to stitch close to the teeth.

8-check-alignment

Undo the zipper again and re-stitch along from the plastic stopper at the top to the place that you stopped 2.5 cm (1″) from the bottom as close to the teeth as you can get. Roll the zipper open with your fingers as you sew to get really close – you may also need to adjust the needle position on your machine. Work slowly to maintain control as your stitch.

9-invisible-at-last

Close the zipper and check out how invisible it is! If it’s still really visible, stitch again, trying to get a little closer to the teeth (there’s no need to unpick the previous row of stitching –  it will just serve to strengthen your work).

10-sew-bottom-end

With the zipper still closed, pin together the cushion squares beyond the end of the zip, holding the end of the tape out of the way. You’ll need to use a narrow zipper foot to sew this portion of the seam to get as close as you can to the stitching of the zipper. Repeat at the top of the zipper, but this time you’ll need to open the zipper to do it.

11-sew-top-end

Open out the cushion cover, close the zipper and press the seams. The zipper is finished and the rest of the cushion is easy-peasy!

12-finished-zip

To finish off the cushion, open the zipper about half way (don’t leave it closed or your cushion will get stuck inside out!) Put your normal sewing foot back on the machine. With the right sides of the cushion cover facing together, pin around the remaining three sides and sew with 1.5 cm (5/8″) seam allowance. Turn the cover through the opening in the zipper and iron it flat.

14-pin-cushion

Insert the cushion and it’s finished! Hooray!

15-final


Halloween intrigues me a bit, probably because I’ve never really celebrated it. Halloween is just not as big here in Australia as it is in the US. But when I made this ribcage top to wear to a medical themed birthday party I realised it could also work well for Halloween! Given that Google Analytics tells me that many of you lovely readers are from America, I thought I’d share this project with you!

To make this top you will need a cheap white, fairly thin top (it needs to be pale and thin so you can see through it to trace the design), some contrast fabric for the heart, needle and embroidery thread, a small scrap of fusible web (like interfacing that’s sticky on both sides to appliqué the heart), paper and pencil, cardboard or more paper, some images of a skeleton/ribcage (I just did a google image search and printed off a few that I liked), and the most important tool – a black sharpie, or other permanent felt tip pen.

Start by drawing your design in pencil. You can draw freehand, trace your design from another image, or base it on another design, tweaking it to get it the size and style that you like. Or you can use my drawing, above, and re-size it and print it off. You can see that I re-did several sections of mine until I was happy with it. Go over your design with the black marker so it’s clear and dark.

Slip your design inside the top, line it up so it’s centred and pin through the top layer of the singlet and through the paper (but not through the back of the top). Place a piece of cardboard, or several sheets of paper inside the top, underneath the image, to protect the back of the top from any marker that might soak through. Then you can start tracing the design onto the top using your marker.

Once you’ve finished tracing the design, you can leave it as is, or you can add an appliqué heart to add some colour and texture. To make the heart, cut a small square of fusible web and iron the shiny side to the contrast fabric, with the paper side facing up. Draw a heart on the paper, cut it out and then peel the paper off.

Place the heart shiny side down on your top and iron in place. Be aware that ironing over the marker might smell a little bit. Use the embroidery thread to do a few decorative stitches around the heart.

Your top is now finished! Hooray!


Check out these pretty bracelets I made! They’ve been on my list of things I want to make for a while. I followed this tutorial from Honestly…WTF. She recommends using waxed linen thread to make the bracelets, but unfortunately I couldn’t find any at my local craft supplies store so I used embroidery thread instead. The thread worked okay, but it was a bit thick to pass through the tiny beads. I’d like to try this project again once I’ve hunted down some waxed linen thread. This was a fun project and a great way to use up old buttons, of which I have a rather large collection!

Have you made anything fun recently? Have you blogged about it or created a tutorial? I’d love to hear about it, so tell me about it in the comments, below. Feel free to include a link to your project, too!