It all started when I was putting away some too-small clothes of my son's. The colour of his old school trousers caught my eye. A gentle charcoal cotton and still in great condition by some miracle. Why had I overlooked them all these years as a gorgeous grey goldmine?!
I began to keep my eye out for something to make with them.
The second ingredient was a pack of three tea towels that I bought from Dibor. Two were red and one was white.
White? For a kitchen tea towel? What were they thinking? It'd get dirty faster than you can say, "Wipe your hands on that...."
But as a panel in a cushion: perfection. The panel suited the trouser idea too because, though long, the material needed wouldn't be terribly wide.
You want to see how I did it? Come with me, my friend......
Unpick the trousers.
You may need two pairs depending how tiddly your children are.
Cut out six pieces on the grain (i.e. in the direction that the threads lie - otherwise it'll fray all over the shop). These pieces should measure:
21" x 4.5", 21" x 4.5", 8 x 4.5", 8 x 4.5", 21" x 12.5" and 21" x 10.5".
These are your best friends for cutting material straight.
Now take your tea towel and cut a 14" x 8" section including the main pattern, if applicable. This will be your central panel.
Press all pieces.
Take the tea towel section and lay its shorter edge along the longer edge of one of the 8" x 4.5" strips of grey fabric, right sides facing.
Pin and sew together 1/2" from the edge.
Repeat on other side of tea towel with second short grey strip.
Now lay the long edge of this pieced-together rectangle along the long edge of one of the 21" x 4.5" strips, right sides facing. Pin and sew 1/2" from the edge.
Repeat on the other side with the second long strip.
Zig-zag stitch along the inner edges of the panel to prevent fraying.
That's the front completed.
And for the back?
Take each back section and fold in the long edge by 1" and then again by 1" to enclose the raw edge. Pin and sew in place, close to the inner edge.
Press all pieces thoroughly.
Place the cushion right side up and lay the smaller back piece on top, right sides together, matching its long edge with the bottom edge of the cushion front. Pin and sew along three sides, not including your hemmed side.
Repeat with the top piece of the back. There will be an overlap of 3" of the top and bottom pieces.
That's so that the cushion doesn't gape at the back.
Snip away corners.
Otherwise the cushion inner can't squeeze in as well.
Zig-zag stitch round the seam, cutting away excess material.
Turn the cushion the right way round.
Gasp at your awesome sewing skills!
I know the pressing is boring but it'll give you a MUUUUUUCH better finish.
I decided to go for a button enclosure but left adding it until this point to ensure everything was correctly lined up.
I sewed button holes spaced 2" apart on the double-folded section of the top back-piece.
Then I sewed corresponding buttons onto the bottom piece.
Add the cushion-inner, button up, and, Bob's your uncle, your very own panelled cushion.
The fiddly part for this cushion was working out the measurements but, once that was done, the actually sewing was easy. I've done the working out for you so now all you have to do is keep your eyes peeled for a tea-towel!
Next time, I'll show you the snuggly home I've given this new cushion. Here's a sneak peek...
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