Good morning Buttoneers! As promised in my 50th blog post since January (I still can’t believe it!) I have a special post for you today as I am going to share with you, my entry in to the Hilarys Blinds Country Crafts competition! This is super exciting and as soon as I read about this competition on Twitter I knew I wanted to try it out. To be honest with you,
It was more about the challenge of creating something way out of my comfort zone to a deadline (you know how I love a good deadline!) that got me excited.
I really wanted to create something I had never created before and to try and do justice to this beautiful fabric. There were four different Country Retreat fabrics to choose from, all designed by textile designer Victoria Robinson. This was a tough start! I eventually chose ‘Bird Parade Teal’ as we have a teal and theme in our living room and teals and blues in our bedroom (you can see this here in my bedroom makeover post) and I thought that this may help narrow down my creation a little.
It arrived through my letterbox and I was really looking forward to letting my imagination run wild! Straight away after feeling the beautifully woven texture of the fabric, I thought ‘cushion covers!’ but worried it wouldn’t be different enough. I found, in my fabric stash, a lovely Teal fabric that matched the peacock colours in the Country Retreat fabric and I decided to go with my gut and make cushion covers. I immediately visited my local fabric shop for some pompom trim to add a bit of fun to them but was a little terrified about not only making cushion covers for the first time, but trying to add a pompom trim! Especially when I am really rusty on the sewing machine…eekkk!
I just had to ask myself “what’s the worst that could happen!?”
So, I grabbed my fabric scissors and nervously cut two 50×50″ squares for the top of the cushion and used these as a template to cut the width of the bottom pieces. . I wanted two pieces of fabric to create the bottom layer on each cushion. One 5 inches longer than the other. This way they would overlap and create an ‘envelope’ style opening to insert my cushion inner when it was finished.
I folded over one of the end edges and pinned it in place…
…I then pressed the edging with an iron to create a stiffer edge and a clean line ready to sew on the machine.
I was so proud of myself at this point! It was the first time I had sewn edging and it looked so neat and tidy. I laid the edged plain teal fabric, right side down, on top of the Country Retreat fabric to square them up and check their size.
I then grabbed my teal pompom trim and laid it out in between the two cushion sides, with the pompoms facing inward (that took a fair bit of figuring out!) as not to sew them in the wrong direction when I turned the cushion cover the right way out. I lined it up around the outside edges of the Country Retreat fabric, pinning it as I went. Then I went around each side of the fabric removing the pins, adding the plain teal fabric and replacing the pins through the three layers. I am pretty sure this was probably a long-winded way of doing this but I wanted to make sure it all stayed together, lined up along the edges…and well, you know me…ever the perfectionist!
Now it was time for the scary part – the sewing machine! I can’t remember the last time I played around with my sewing machine (I know, I know…shame on me…but in my defence it is because I generally hand sew and embroider) So, as you can imagine, this was daunting to say the least but I figured that I needed to just take the leap out of my comfort zone and explore the depths of the unknown…the really scary ‘what-if-I-mess-this-up’ unknown…the ‘jeez-what-have-I-got-myself-into’ unknown…
I did it! woohoo! It was really tricky sewing a straight line with the bumps of the pompom trim under the fabric. I only had enough room for the sewing machine’s presser foot to glide along the edge, carefully sewing as to not trap half a pompom under the stitches and slowly moving along, round the corners (which I strengthened with a slight back-stitch using the sewing machine’s button to keep the corners strong) and to a stop. I struggled figuring out the layering near the envelope overlap of fabrics and the pompoms being on the right layer but I got there in the end with a bit of tweaking before the sewing machine reached that part.
I also used this as an opportunity to size up the cushion inner to make sure I had sewn it up okay and to the right sizes…you know…just in case!
I turned it the right side out and voilà! I was so super excited that it actually looked like a cushion cover and that all of the pompom trim had caught under the machine with no gaping gaps, that I actually squealed a little bit!
I wanted to add a few buttons to the envelope back section for decoration so had a dig through my ‘favourite button’ jar (yes, this exists) for matching teal buttons and Bingo! I can now remember why these are in the favourites jar, I love the multifaceted sections that reflect the light wherever you move around them and they really catch your eye.
I measured out 3 lots of 5″ spaces and set about hand-sewing them on in a straight line (which was trickier than I thought as they were not flat-backed!)
I was (almost) finished. I squeezed the cushion inner carefully (just in case) into my new cushion cover and let out a little squeal again!
I am sooooo proud of myself and I love the Country Retreat fabric a ridiculous amount. I can’t stop looking at it! My only problem I have now is whether to keep it in our bedroom or show it off downstairs in the lounge…oh! And of course start making the other one to match!
What would you have made from the gorgeous fabric? Have you made anything for the first time under pressure of a deadline? How did it turn out? I would love to hear all about it!
Meet me for a chat with a cup of tea in the comments below. I’ll click the kettle on!