Thursday, 13 October 2011

Union Jack Cushion Tutorial

I have a massive stash of fabric, like 12 boxes full. Some of it is from my degree, you always had to find the fabrics you would use, even if you weren't making the garment. You could get tiny swatches but it was easier just to buy 25cm or 50cm. Some was from working in a fabric shop. All of it is because I can't resist buying nice fabric. Anyways the result is a ridiculous amount of fabric all in small amounts. So, I'm slowly trying to use it all up productively. I've used up some making bunting (like 30m of the stuff. everywhere you look in my house is bunting.) So I decided to reuse the pattern that I made to make this cushion for my friend, and make another from floral prints, using up some of those small pieces of fabric.

I have also being looking at hundreds of online tutorials (my favourite place to find them is One Pretty Thing) and I feel like since I use so many tutorials, I ought to make a contribution and put up a tutorial.

This is the first tutorial I have written, I hope it makes sense. I've tried to explain everything in as much detail as possible as sometimes I find it hard to gauge how easy or difficult things are. This seems easy enough to me, but maybe it's tougher for someone else.

If any of it doesn't make sense, tell me and I'll try to explain myself better. Any feedback at all would be really helpful. I'd love to see a cushion that someone else had made too! send me the pictures!

This cushion has a flap close (like a pillow) rather than a zip close.

You will need;
1 piece of fabric that is at least 1m x 75cm (1m square would be easier to cut from however) OR if like me you are using up fabrics 2 pieces that are at least 50cm x 50cm and 1 piece that is 50cm x 25cm. These will be the main body of the cushion and the blue of the flag. I will call this fabric BLUE but it doesn't have to be blue.

1 piece of fabric that is at least 50cm x 50cm. This will be the red part of the flag. I will call this fabric red, but mine is more of a pink.

1 piece of fabric that is at least 50cm x 50cm OR 4 pieces that are at least 24 x 22. These will be the white parts on the flag.

One cushion inner that is 50cm x 50cm


Sewing Machine

Pattern Paper or Newspaper

Making the pattern pieces

Print the piece called white shown below. To get the pattern, click on the image below. then right click on the image. Click on save as and save it. Then when you print it, print it off at 100%. Cut the shape out. These are the white parts of the Union Jack. I know some parts of this are supposed to be wider than others, but that's getting a bit complicated for me.

On pattern paper (or newspaper) draw a vertical line that is 50cm. mark 25 cm down. 3cm to the right, draw another line, parallel to the first, that is 50cm long. Do the same for the left side.

At the 25cm point draw a 50cm line that intersects the first, with the 25cm point being the same as the first. 3cm above and below the horizontal draw another line forming the centre cross. 

Close up the shape. Cut this out of the paper and it's your pattern piece.

Cut out 1 square in that is 50cm x 50cm and 1 rectangle that is 50cm x 25cm. These will form the main body of your cushion.

I use my pattern-master do draw all these, which not everyone has, but you can use a set square.

Making the cushion

Remember to press your fabric first!

Cut out from the blue fabric 2 of the big squares and one rectangle

Cut out from the red fabric one big cross.

Cut from the white arrow-looking pattern 4 arrow looking pieces.

Lay one of the blue squares out flat. Place the white arrow shapes at the corners of the blue square. make sure they are nice and flat. To check they are in the right position lay the red cross on top in the middle.

Mine were a little out with the cross covering up too much of the arrow shapes. Move them slightly until they look right. Take off the red cross and pin down the white arrows.

On the sewing machine, set the stitch to the smallest zigzag stitch and the stitch length to 3.  zigzag stitch over the edges. I like to go over each part 4 or 5 times to really secure the pieces down and prevent fraying (on the yellow lines). You only need to zigzag stitch once on the inside parts (pink lines) as they are getting covered over anyways.

Press the whole thing.

Lay the red cross down on the centre of the square as flat as possible and pin it down. make sure there are no gaps.

Zigzag stitch over the edges of the red cross. Go over each part 4 or 5 times.

Press the whole thing. Again.

If you have an over locker you could over lock the edges of the cushion. Mine's broken so I shalln't bother.

The front of the cushion is finished. yay!

Okay, now to make up the cushion...

Take the rectangle of blue fabric and hem one of the long edges. I turn it up 5mm stitch along, press, turn it up 5mm again and press it again. Make sure you remember to switch the machine back to straight stitch. Do the same along one edge of the plain blue square. (The one without a flag.) This is going to be the opening of your cushion, so it should be neat.

Lay the rectangle face down on the flag (front of the cushion) with the right sides together. Make sure the hemmed edge is in the centre. Pin around the outside edges and stitch in place with a 1cm seam allowance. 

Trim the corners that have been stitched.

Now with the right side of the flag facing up and the rectangle at the top, lay the back of the cushion face down (right sides together, sort of) on top of the front of the cushion with the hemmed edge at the top and the rectangle sandwiched in the middle. 

Stitch the edges except the one that is hemmed.

Trim the corners that have been stitched.

Turn the cover right side out and put the cushion inside. 

 Make sure you poke the corners out. Then turn the flap the right side out.

Et voila. One cushion.



leelee said...

nadia you are so cute!!!
love this so much :)

Nadia said...

aww thanks lee!

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