Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Cushion Mission

You might remember my last instalment on the subject of cushions - I was going to use my new cotton tape yarn to attempt a replica of a design I had seen in a magazine.  Well, that didn't work out.  No particular reason, just didn't look that good.  Such is the hit and miss nature of ideas!  However, it has started me on a bit of a cushion mission. 

Sometime last year I made these two crochet cushions - just a simple granny square - but instead of doing the right thing and making a cushion cover I could actually remove, for some (stupid) reason I decided to simply crochet a grey granny square for the back and basically sew the cushion pad into the cover!  Lordy knows why I did this because after only a few months they were in desperate need of a wash and it then became apparent that I would have to completely destroy the seams in order to do this.  Doh!

So this weekend I decided to put this right.  I started by removing the cover (I had to cut the last round of crochet to do this as it was nigh on impossible to unpick it!) and washing the (by now, filthy) crochet fronts. 

 I then had the cunning idea of using old pillowcases as a slip cover for the feather cushion pads (again, laziness had ensued last time and I hadn't bothered doing this, resulting in me picking feathers off the settee on a daily basis).  I just turned the pillowcase inside out,  stitched a line at 16 inches (the size of my cushions), zig-zagged the seam edge and turned it back through.  Simple!
However, making the backing for the crochet cover wasn't quite as simple.  I used Lucy's tutorial on the subject - I pretty  much followed it step by step, starting with acquiring an old jumper from a charity shop, which becomes the cushion back.  I managed to filch a man's jumper, so I had enough for my 2 cushions (hurrah, for £2.49!).  After washing, I cut out my backs

 I pretty much eyeballed this bit.  You can't be too accurate with stretchy knits anyway ;-)  For each cushion I needed basically a piece 2/3rds the size of my front and then another one 1/3rd the size, but with a good overlap PLUS a good inch all the way round EXCEPT on the rib of the jumper which you will use for the finished edge on the biggest panel (as above).

First, zig-zag around all the raw edges, and finish one long edge on the smaller panel by turning under a 1 inch hem.  This will be where the buttons will go.

Then you overlap your two jumper panels (with the rib on top) and pin together (right sides facing up)  Now place your crochet on top with right side facing DOWN (i.e. right sides together).  Pin all the way round and

using some matching wool, over sew the two together.

You can now use the enclosure to turn the cushion the right way round.  Next, Lucy advises to use a small crochet hook to work a line of single crochet into the ribbed edge.  Well, a) I didn't have a small hook, and b) my jumper was pretty fine knit, so I simply placed a line of blanket stitch along the edge, using a large sharp needle.  I then worked a line of single crochet into this.

When you get to the end, you will work another line back, this time placing button holes (I strongly recommend you see Lucy's tutorial if you want to know how to do this properly!!).  It does involve some mathematics, which is why mine are not evenly spaced (ahem).

Then just add some colourful buttons!

Hurrah, a proper, removable cushion cover!  Or 2, as it turned out.  This basically took me an entire weekend, I have to say (including the washing and drying), but I am really chuffed with myself for putting this right and now I can whip off the covers, no problem.

Next up I am going to attempt Lucy's ripple pattern for a cushion cover and if that goes okay, possibly progress to a blanket.  Nothing like a bit of ambition, eh?

P.S.  Don't forget the Sewing Bee tonight!  BBC2, 8pm.

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