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70s cushion revamp!

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70s cushion revamp!

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Continuing with my marathon of making cushions in all shapes and sizes, my mum asked me to recover the cushion from her trusty old stool in her studio. Amazingly, she has had it since the 70s or 80s and it was designed by her dad (my granddad).

The original cover was completely falling to bits but somehow the foam inner cushion looked fairly intact. Mum's favourite colour is bright pink and she already had a director's chair in her studio in bright pink (and covered in flamingos!), so I picked a beautiful lamb's leather in fuchsia that I've had in my leather stash for years. 

I used a sample sale purchase of bright pink ribbed upholstery fabric for the gusset and a super long invisible zip, which I struggled to sew round the curved edges of the cushion - so it doesn't quite zip up the whole way.  But this is such an improvement from what I started with...I don't think I care that much! More importantly, neither does mum!

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 The original cushion...looking in desperate need of some attention.

The original cushion...looking in desperate need of some attention.

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Beautiful sofa cushions

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Beautiful sofa cushions

I am lucky enough to have access to sample sales at my current job, where I can pick up interesting food or random Christmas decorations in the middle of July! But occasionally, the fabric department sends over loads of ex-display upholstery fabric samples...and then, I just can't help myself! Although the fabric samples are fairly small (about 60 x 60 cm), some of them are like works of art. I've not heard of most of the fabric companies, but I could never justify paying the full retail price for a whole metre anyway. The samples are a perfect size for creating cushions and we recently bought a cream sofa which is in desperate need of some colours pops of colour.

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Armed with an array of beautiful fabric samples to choose from, I managed to select a couple of samples that were strikingly different but complemented each other:

  • First up is an African inspired print "Noir & or" "black and gold" from Pierre Frey Paris (part of their Majestic Velvet range). The fabric is a viscose/polycotton mix but the photos just don't do this fabric justice - the charcoal grey background is a heavy cotton-like tightly woven fabric with the velvet squiggle design sitting on top almost like devore. the back of the cushion is a rich gold silk fabric, but there was no label on the sample so I don't know where it is from/its composition;
  • The second cushion was made from a linen/viscose fabric in "Cinnamon" from the Lustre range of a company called Zoffany. According to their website, fabric in the Lustre range is finished with a light glaze to give a subtle sheen; the fabric also has a wonderful drape. The back sample was plainand the front sample was printed from their Edo-Fabric range, "Kanoko" in gold had a striking design in a rich gold. The zig zag design is inspired by a 1930’s Japanese Shibori document from Zoffany's archives.
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Now that I've made up these 2 cushions, I need to work out what other fabrics will complement these 2 designs and bring out the rest of the colours in our living room, including the beautiful tiles on the Victorian fireplace.

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Comfy bedroom cushions

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Comfy bedroom cushions

This is a simple project, but one I've been meaning to do for a few months now.

Apart from the beautiful charcoal coloured Victorian fireplace, the colour scheme in our bedroom is very neutral. The walls are painted in light grey and there's a cream carpet left over from the previous owners - I haven't helped much by adding soft grey bed linen and white lacquer drawers!

To add some personality and a focal point to the room I've hung one of my mum's brightly coloured paintings of Saint Tropez over the charcoal Victorian fireplace. These cushions add a bold touch against the plain bed linen and the warm wood of the bed frame, although I think I could have been more adventurous by adding a punchy magenta piping or pompom trim! The ceiling lampshade is made from some beautiful silver crushed velvet (in Voyage Mimosa - £30 a metre from John Lewis) and I made sure that I bought extra at the time so that I could incorporate it into some other soft furnishings in the bedroom.

I finally tackled an invisible zip closure rather than my lazy pillow case fold...well I was forced into doing this or otherwise I didn't have enough silver velvet to back all three cushions! But I'm pleased that I did as they give a much more professional finish to my cushions. I also reused some feather cushion inserts rather than the cheap polyester ones and they make such a difference to the way the cushions look and feel.

I used two different fabrics for the front side of the cushions. The square cushion is made from a square remnant of a Designers Guild fabric (that I picked up for £1!) and the rectangular cushions I printed myself using my Rennie Mackintosh inspired screen print design on some navy silk taffeta. 

It was tricky to get the pictures right as there is so much sunlight streaming into the bedroom that most of my photos end up overexposed! That said, I'm very pleased with the results of the individual cushions and overall improvement to the whole room :) 

 My furry little model Winston! This was the only shot where he stayed still long enough for me to take the photo...shame that you can't really see the cushions.

My furry little model Winston! This was the only shot where he stayed still long enough for me to take the photo...shame that you can't really see the cushions.

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