Monday, 22 July 2013

Sewing a Cushion Cover

While we were staying at Boscrowan Farm last month, Elizabeth offered to give me a little sewing tuition in her soft furnishings workshop. (And oh, what a workshop. I have serious workshop-envy after seeing this space, it makes my dining table feel quite inadequate.)

I have a couple of cushions with old covers that no longer match our decor, so I took one of those along with me for a refresh. The first task was to hunt out some suitable fabric from Elizabeth's extensive stash. After almost being tempted by a very bold passion flower design, I eventually settled on a more moderate cream and blue, with cream piping, to complement our sofa and carpet.

While I've done a bit of sewing, I've never done piping, so I was fascinated to learn how that worked. I've seen ready-made piping on reels in upholstery shops, but I hadn't realised that you could also just make piping in any fabric of your choice by wrapping plain piping cord. You just have to cut the fabric on the diagonal, and then sew the sections together to make a long enough strip.

Elizabeth has some serious, industrial sewing machines - and a heavy-duty overlocker that I wasn't brave enough to use on my project! Anything that cuts fabric at the speed of a sewing machine is bound to be a little bit daunting, but this one also looked like it could have your finger off if you weren't careful.

This was a great session, and an unexpected bonus for our trip. I learnt a lot, and ended up with a nicely finished little cushion cover.

Boscrowan Farm - Cornwall 2013
Cutting strips for piping.

Boscrowan Farm - Cornwall 2013
Elizabeth demonstrates how to make piping.

Boscrowan Farm - Cornwall 2013
Intense concentration as I make my first attempt with the piping foot.

Boscrowan Farm - Cornwall 2013
Piping close-up.

Boscrowan Farm - Cornwall 2013
Corners are particularly tricky.

Boscrowan Farm - Cornwall 2013
The piping is in place.

Boscrowan Farm - Cornwall 2013
Adding the second side.

Sewing - Cushion
The finished cushion, at home.


Becky Jerdee said...

Absolutely charming! Thanks for the view of that great sewing studio! I also work on my dining table which requires lots of taking out/putting away to accommodate the activities in that room. But the sunny space with wrap-around windows is a winner for working in the light :)

Rachel said...

What a wonderfully spacious workshop! If you are dealing with home furnishings, all that space is very important - dining-room tables just aren't big enough!

Midnight Cowgirl said...

That sewing studio looks like a dream, and the cushion looks great!

christine said...

well done:)did you know there's a form of embroidery where you set piping cord between two layers of fabric, and make patterns from the cord?

carma said...

you look like a pro in those pictures - and I love the finished product :)

Carl said...

What a workshop!!! And what an amazing result with your cushion! These rectangular-style cushions are becoming increasingly popular and the fact that it's handmade (with piping!) provides a nice a little story to your cushion. I never knew about creating your own piping... you've made it look so simple!

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