Thursday, 6 September 2012

Cushion covers

Our new couch is very long, very deep and very black. It desperately needs some cushions for colour and comfort. It's taken me a month, but I've finally finished a set of four covers in different indigo 'Three Cats' patterns. 

Three Cats is a brand of cotton fabric used in South Africa to make dresses for both ceremonial and everyday purposes. Traditionally it is indigo, but some designs are  produced in brown and red (like the one I used for this skirt). You buy the fabric heavily starched, stiff as a piece of cardboard (this apparently dates back to the need to preserve it on its sea voyage from Europe), but it becomes lovely and soft over time. I always feel sad to wash out the starch because the smell takes me back to the shop where I used to go to buy it - Dick Louis in Cape Town (sadly, no longer there). 

These are square piped covers with a zip in the centre back piece. I cut the cover pieces to the exact dimensions of the cushion insert, not adding anything for seam allowance, so they would fit snugly. Making the piping was the time-consuming bit - the rest was relatively quick and straightforward. For the zip I like the method of sewing a seam, sewing on the zip behind it, then unpicking the seam (if that makes sense) - it's detailed in this tutorial, which uses a completely different assembly technique from my covers but does explain the zip/seam method. I used this other tutorial to work out how to add the piping. 

Now our giant couch is a whole lot more comfortable.

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