Meet your new best friend!

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Not everything goes exactly to plan every time I sit down in the sewing room. Probably the most useful sewing item I have (after my sewing machine and my super sharp scissors), would be my trusty quick un-picker – all 4 of them!  They are great for quick button refashions, for removing superflous bits and bobs from over-complicated designs and of course, for undoing crooked lines, and wrong side up seams etc (that list is endless so etc will have to do).

If you don’t have one of these in your sewing kit – run, don’t walk, to the nearest haberdashery shop and get you some quick un-pickin’.

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A Simple Sofa Cushion.

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This is a quick and easy project and it’s a great one if you have a Business Man who wears Business Shirts.  If you don’t have one of those conveniently to hand – then the blokes shirt section in your favorite thrift shop usually has plenty of them (shirts that is, not Business Men). It was inspired by Leanne at Lazuligreen.

men's business shirts at Lifeline Balgowlah.

If you don’t have a Business Man with Business shirts to hand, a local charity shop will have a good variety.

The blokes shirt section is one of my favorite areas – we’ll be visiting it frequently for other projects – they are great for His to Hers refashions, children’s dresses, and mix ‘n’ match shirt dresses (OK so the last one is still in the to-do pile).

But I digress. This is a good project if you don’t sew a lot – it involves cutting and sewing in straight lines. There are no zips, or other tricky elements. It’s also a great project to do with children – quick, easy and achievable. If you do sew, you can add piping as it gives a more finished look. Here is a link to a  piping tutorial.The other nice thing about this project is that it is a great way to use a shirt that has frayed/stained cuffs and collar. Usually the main torso area is clean and unworn and depending on the size of your cushion, the underarm area can be avoided.

So, like a recipe, you will need:

Ingredients:

1 large blokes shirt
1 x 45cm by 45cm cushion insert.
Matching thread

If you already have a cushion cover to use as a template, all the easier.

Method:

  • Turn the shirt inside out and lie flat with the arms out so there are no creases or wrinkles, and leaving the buttons done up.
  • Either mark out a 48 x 48cm square or place an existing cushion cover over the shirt. Always leave a seam allowance, that is, cut a little bigger than the actual size.
  • Make sure the buttons are not right on your cutting line.
  • Carefully cut through both layers of the shirt. You should be left with a nice square with buttons down the middle.
  • Pin the two sides together so they don’t get out of alignment
  • Sew around all four sides. You can curve the corners slightly if you like.
  • Undo the buttons and turn right-side out.
  • Pop the cushion insert in through the gap and do the buttons back up again.

Done!

Additional ideas:

You can mix and match two shirts, using the back of one and the front of the other.
Add pockets from another shirt for contrast
Most blokes shirts have plain buttons, try removing the buttons and replacing with something more colourful and fun.

If you are cutting the pillow from an existing cushion cover, remember to leave a 2 to 3cm seam allowance. Leaving the pocket as part of the pillow can be fun especially if it is for a child.