Tuesday, 7 August 2012


Its been hard to resist the impact of the Olympic Games when they are being held just down the road - there's been a really tangible feeling of excitement and good cheer in the streets around here. So in celebration, I've made a Gina Take a Bow version of a Union Jack cushion. Its super-simple and you could make it yourself either using Gina Take a Bow borders, or, especially if you wanted to go for the good old red, white and blue effect, you could use any other ribbons you like.

So, to make a cushion 40cm x 60cm, you will need:

0.5 metres of fabric (in my case a lovely rich black 100% linen 240g/m) cut into 3 pieces: 40 cm x 60 cm (front), 40 cm x 33 cm (back) and 40 cm x 43 cm (back)
1 metre of wide border cut into a 60 cm piece and a 40 cm piece
1.5 metres of narrow border, cut into 4 equal lengths.
A 40 cm x 60 cm cushion pad - preferably feather-filled.

Then, finish one short side of each of the 2 back pieces by turning in a narrow double hem (1.5 cms), press it in place and then stitch.

Next, arrange your border or ribbon pieces on the right side of the 40 x 60 piece of fabric. To make this easier make crease marks in the fabric by folding it in half both ways and then folding it diagonally both ways. The creases will give you a guide to positioning your borders, but you will still need to measure from side to side to check that you've got each pieces centred correctly. When you're happy with the arrangement, pin them carefully in position and stitch down either side of each border, starting with the diagonal strips. Be careful not to stretch the fabric too much as you stitch because these are going onto the bias - the more pins you use the better I reckon.

When you've stitched the wide borders in place too, with right sides together, lay the smaller of the two back pieces with the finished edge lined up with the centre of the front piece.

Then lay the larger of the back pieces with the finished edge overlapping the smaller one. Pin all three pieces together, and, leaving a 1 cm seam allowance, stitch all the way around the outside edge of the cushion cover. Snip off the corners of the seam allowances to reduce the bulk.

Turn the whole cover right side out, press and insert a 40cm x 60cm cushion pad and you're done! Fix yourself a drink, put your feet up, prop your cushion behind and sit back for the greatest show on earth!

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