Big Ol’ Cushion Cover

Recently I have started running a Stories & Rhymes group at my local library. It’s lots of fun. As the name suggests, A lovely lady and I read stories and sing songs to kids. It’s for children up to five, but we generally get two and three year olds.

The woman who runs it with me has two kids and she brings in a mat, cushions and big cuddly toys to make the sessions feel a bit more welcoming. She also found an uncovered sofa cushion in her attic which i offered to cover to give the sessions more of a cosy feel.

I decided to do an envelope cushion with some old sheets, mostly because I  was too lazy to add a zip. I’ve never actually made an envelope cover, my method thus far with cushions is sewing the cover around a pad and hope they never need to be cleaned.

Google came to my aid and I found this Ikea tutorial. and fudged it as much as I could to work for a sofa cushion.

I stuck a load of newspaper together and traced  out the shape of the cushion, I basically guessed how much seam allowance I needed, roughly a couple of inches, it turned out a big baggy so would probably go for less next time.


I used the same pattern for the two back pieces but folded it so it measured two thirds the length.   I ended up making a a silly mistake and didn’t turn the pattern over for the back pieces. It wouldn’t matter for a square cushion but the awkward shape makes it vital. I  made another upper piece and saved the other one for the next cushion (there’s another sofa cushion someone in my friends loft).

I measured the circumference and cut out stripes off newspaper leaving a wide seam allowance. I attached them together and then realised that was useless as I didn’t have a single piece for the whole band. It was still helpful I just cut the strip to fit the remaining pieces of fabric.

The cats where very helpful

Now for the sewing, first thing I had to do was pin and stitch all the individual pieces together.

Next I attached the front section to the band, right sides facing together. once that was done I double hemmed each of the back pieces, pressed and then pinned in place.


I then sewed along the fold on both pieces. The final step is to attach these two pieces the Ikea tutorial makes it sound so simple but this is the bit I found most complicated. most likely because of the awkward shape. I sewed one piece to the band, right sides together. I then sewed the second piece to the band, it ended up a little wonky so I unpicked it and made it a little straighter.


It doesn’t look too bad, more than acceptable for a toddler group. I forgot (didn’t want to) take a picture of the back, and now it’s made it’s home at the library.

I am currently making a set of cushions with the same method, I’m hoping they will work out a lot better. Here’s a sneak peak.


Today I made an attempt at drawing

I’ve always been keen on drawing but my perfectionism has gotten in the way. If there’s a drawing I’m not happy with I’ll often just tear out the page rip it up. This is not conducive to learning. Recently I’ve decided to make another attempt. It took me a surprising amount of time to find a book that actually began with the basics. Every book I looked at went into very technical detail and demanded knowledge of technical materials. This is an awful lot to assume of a novice.

I finally found one that seemed perfect when perusing the little library down the road. |his trip in itself was a big achievement as it was the first time I left the house by myself in a very long time.  I managed to push through the anxiety and even had a nice conversation with the library assistant. I walked home, very proud of myself, with a Everyone Can Draw and a small bundle of books under my arms.

everyone can draw
Everyone Can Draw: Step by step instructions for artists Barrington Barber

       I skipped the introduction, hopefully I’ll go back but I was impatient to start. The very beginning  taught me different ways to hold a pencil, work with tones and create simple shapes.

2015-05-19 16.01.40 (1)

I particularly like the fact that Barber give advice on which pencils to use an later which charcoal, pens and brushes. So far the ‘lessons’ are clear concise and not the least bit patronising.

The ink was trickier than pencil, it feels a clumsy
The ink was trickier than pencil, it feels a clumsy
2015-05-19 16.01.18
working on shading, I’m not that keen on this
starting to have fun here and not being technically correct
starting to have fun here and not being technically correct

I’m really looking forward continuing, I’ve just order watercolours and brushes and will post my mess of an attempt here.