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.
Cutting strips for piping.
Elizabeth demonstrates how to make piping.
Intense concentration as I make my first attempt with the piping foot.
Corners are particularly tricky.
The piping is in place.
Adding the second side.
The finished cushion, at home.