inspiration: Fabric

DIY EASY THROW CUSHIONS

As you can probably imagine, when I’m travelling I can’t help but buy fabrics wherever I go. Usually it’s a case of having to put a limit on myself lest I end up in one of those awkward, and costly, excess baggage situations. Sadly often the small scraps of fabric I buy are too small for a skirt or a pair of shorts, but too dear to my heart to throw away so end up sitting in a box. While in the process of finishing off my favourite nook in the studio I got a craving for throw cushions, and rather than buying them myself I realised it would be a great opportunity to use some of those colourful fabric scraps. My one main issue with sewing cushions though was that putting a zip in can take aggges (I wanted to make seven cushions), but the last thing you want is a cover you can’t wash. After a bit of pondering I worked out a way to create a cushion with a folding flap so you don’t need a zip. What’s even better is that if you have time you can totally make these by hand! Read on the see how.

No zip (but washable) DIY cushions www.apairandasparediy.com

You need:

  • A piece of colourful fabric for the front
  • Some canvas or linen for the back
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • A sewing machine or needle and thread.
  • Cushion stuffing or inner.

Simple throw cushions with minimal sewing and no zip www.apairandasparediy.com

How to:

1. First cut your fabric pieces. I used the shape of my fabric scraps to determine the size of my cushions, this colourful piece is roughly 45cm x 30cm (17 in x 12 in). Cut a piece of cotton or linen 1.5  to 2 times the length (longways) of your statement piece of fabric. If your fabric is square just pick a side to use as the longways. The longer you cut the backing piece the bigger the overlap of the flap at the be will be so I made mine closer to 2 x because I was using cushion stuffing and I didn’t want it to come out.

Simple throw cushions with minimal sewing and no zip www.apairandasparediy.com

2. Cut the piece of backing fabric in half width ways.

Simple throw cushions with minimal sewing and no zip www.apairandasparediy.com

3. Lay the fabric together, first one side of the backing fabric, then the other and then the statement fabric right side down. Note that the backing piece that is second from the bottom will be the outer flap, which is why I oriented the clean selvedged edge here. In the event you don’t have a clear selvedged edge on this piece, the best thing to do is to hem this along the short edge so when you turn it inside out it has a nice finished edge.

Simple throw cushions with minimal sewing and no zip www.apairandasparediy.com

4. Pin together.

Simple throw cushions with minimal sewing and no zip www.apairandasparediy.com

5. Sew all the way around the cushion about 2.5 cm (1 in) from the edge.

Simple throw cushions with minimal sewing and no zip www.apairandasparediy.com

6. After sewing the fabric should look like this.

Create simple cushions without a zip www.apairandasparediy.com

7. Turn the fabric inside out by pulling it through the flaps in the backing and then iron down well, making sure to turn the points of the cushion out, you can use a pencil or chop stick to do this.

Create simple cushions without a zip www.apairandasparediy.com

8. The back of your cushion should look like this – you can see that my back piece overlaps a lot to keep the stuffing inside but yours may be more centred.

Simple cushions

9. Stuff your cushion or if you’re using an insert put that in.

Create simple cushions without a zip www.apairandasparediy.com

Voila! I can’t wait to show you all the different ones I made with fabrics from all over the world. Nothing better than hanging in the studio sitting on cushions that remind me of places I’ve been!

Make simple cushions with no zipSimple throw cushions with minimal sewing and no zip www.apairandasparediy.com

DIY NO SEW FRINGED KIMONO

Ok so despite the torrential rain (that anti rain dance wasn’t worth the trouble), Glastonbury was a seriously fantastic weekend. But more on that later! One thing I noticed while I was there was the dominance of a few key ‘festival dressing’ trends. One which sort of surprised me was the proliferation of the mermaid/ sea punk theme – there was seriously miles of blue and pink hair on display and flat backed pearls applied to faces like it was nobody’s business. Another trend which I have to say I was getting amongst myself was the kimono one – not so practical in half a foot of mud but that sure didn’t stop me or any other girl!  Being a lover of kimonos ourselves, last week Wander & Hunt and I created this no sew one (you got a glimpse of the BTS here during my week with Ferragamo) – perfect for those of you a bit scared of the thought of a needle and thread. It’s available in two prints so there’s something for everyone, and is Glastonbury festival tested so what more could you want?

No sew kimono DIY craft kit www.apairandasparediy.comNo sew kimono DIY craft kit www.apairandasparediy.comMake a kimono with absolutely no sewing! www.apairandasparediy.com

You need:

  • 1 floral scarf
  • Black fringe
  • 50 x large gold prong studs
  • 50 x gold metal backing plates
  • plyers

You can buy the kit in floral and in geometric.

Make a kimono with absolutely no sewing! www.apairandasparediy.comMake a kimono with absolutely no sewing! www.apairandasparediy.com

Instead of sewing you’re going to be using round prone studs to attach the fringe and create the arms, we were excited while we were creating these because it really is such a simple method!

How to:

1.  Iron the piece of fabric and fold it in half lengthways.

Make a kimono with absolutely no sewing! www.apairandasparediy.com

2. Measure approximately 60cm (24″) from either ends of the fabric and mark it clearly with a pin or chalk. You will be attaching the sides together to create sleeves while the middle section will be open and act as the body of the kimono. The fringe will go all the way along from end to end, but in the middle section it will only be attached to the bottom side of the fabric.

Make a kimono with absolutely no sewing! www.apairandasparediy.com

3. Place the fringe along the edge of the double up edge of fabric.

Make a kimono with absolutely no sewing! www.apairandasparediy.com

4. Using the round prong studs, start pressing them through at 3cm (a little more than 1 inch) intervals, sandwiching both sides of the fabric together.

Make a kimono with absolutely no sewing! www.apairandasparediy.com

5. When you are closing the prongs, add one of the ‘blanks’ into the back so it locks the fabric in and then press the prongs down.

Make a kimono with absolutely no sewing! www.apairandasparediy.com

6. When you get to the 60cm (24 in) point where you marked with pins, continue to attach the fringe all the way along but only to the underside of the fabric rather than both.

Make a kimono with absolutely no sewing! www.apairandasparediy.com

Volia! Alanna from Wander & Hunt and I are loving it!

No sew kimono DIY craft kit www.apairandasparediy.comMake a kimono with absolutely no sewing! www.apairandasparediy.com

Buy the kimono kit in floral and geometric (and read a slightly more detailed tutorial over at Wander & Hunt here).

Photos by lovely Marion Tessier

DIY OFF THE SHOULDER TOP

This summer I can’t help but notice the re-emergence of a simple off the shoulder silhouette. After lusting over them online I realised (with glee) that this particular shape was incredibly easy to make, using a simple gathered waist skirt technique g I utilise so often (in literally everything!) because it’s just so easy. You can even make it by hand without a sewing machine like I did here if you so choose. As part of my week with Ferragamo, I recently tried my hand at this top, and will definitely be making a few more in a bunch of fabrics and styles. Read on to see how.

Make a simple summer off the shoulder top www.apairandasparediy.comMake a summer off the shoulder top

Wearing: J Crew hat, bag and flats, DIY shorts (from J Brand jeans), DIY necklace, Ferragamo sunglasses and watch

You need:

  • Around 2m (2.4 yards) cotton or silk fabric
  • Elastic, cut into three pieces to go around your bust and your arms.
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Machine (you can do it by hand too if you like similar to this)

Make an off the shoulder top in ten minutes www.apairandasparediy.com

To do this you are literally going to make three gathered tubes of fabric, one big one for your top measuring from the top of your bra line to waist and two from your arms measuring from below the shoulder to the elbow. Then all you have to do it sew them together under the arm and voila!

How to:

1. Cut your fabric for your first big tube (for the body part).

Make an off the shoulder top in ten minutes www.apairandasparediy.com

2. Hem the bottom of the tub, and then sew the top hem wide enough to pass your elastic through.

Make an off the shoulder top in ten minutes www.apairandasparediy.com

3. Sew down the long edge so you have a tube, making sure to leave the opening for the elastic.

Make an off the shoulder top in ten minutes www.apairandasparediy.com

4. Create two small tubes for your arms in exactly the same way and then iron well.

Make an off the shoulder top in ten minutes www.apairandasparediy.com

5. You materials should look like this.

Make an off the shoulder top in ten minutes www.apairandasparediy.com

6. Using a stick of some sort, thread the elastic through the  top seams. Do the two arm sections separately and then using a light hand stitch, sew the arms to the top of the body, checking to see where they need to go by trying on the top. Once the top is finished, to create a heart shaped neckline I simple pinned it to my strapless bra – a bit of simple DIY magic right there!

Make an off the shoulder top in ten minutes www.apairandasparediy.com

Voila!

Make a summer off the shoulder topMake a simple off the shoulder top www.apairandasparediy.com

On the hunt for a perfect fabric? Excited to let you know that Wander & Hunt now specialises in sourcing fabrics (as well as any other item you need) from your new collection, design or major project.

Photos by Marion Tessier