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Sew a Moroccan-style leather pouf: free sewing pattern

Moroccan-style leather pouf footstool - free sewing pattern - craft -

You will need…

● 1 or 2 large pieces of newspaper
● Leather or mock leather. We used 1.5 skins* of clothing (or lightweight) leather with a fabric backing. If you make it out of mock leather you’ll need approximately 1.5 metres (depending on width).
● 1 x 36cm zip
● Stuffing - we used old towels and a cut-up synthetic duvet
● Contrasting thread

*All leather skins vary in size.  It’s best to make your pattern pieces first and then take them along when you buy the leather so you can work out how much is needed. Leather with a stretch fabric backing works well in a domestic sewing machine, but if you are able, try to test a sample of the leather in your sewing machine to make sure it goes through without mishap.

Making the pattern

The top: Using a large piece of newspaper, draw a circle with a diameter of 42cm (use a large plate as a basic template and measure outwards to get the correct size).  

Fold your circle into quarters – this helps you find the middle – and in the centre draw a circle with a diameter of 22cm – this will be the central circle at the top of the pouf.  

Around one quarter segment of your main circle, mark a 1cm seam allowance (see image 1 if you’re confused).  Mark this segment with an A. Cut out.You will need four of these in leather.

Draw and cut out a circle with a diameter of 22cm. Mark with a B. You will need one of these in leather.

The base
Draw another circle with a diameter of 42cm. Fold in half and along the straight edge add a seam allowance of 1cm. Mark this pattern piece with a C. You will need two of these in leather.

The sides
Measure round the outside edge of pattern piece A (this should be 35.5cm).
On a piece of paper draw a rectangle measuring 35.5cm x 21cm. Mark this pattern piece D. You will need four of these in leather.

Cut out your leather/fabric.  
To recap, you’ll need…
4 x A
1 x B
2 x C
4 x D

Start sewing

First, the top
With right sides facing, pin and stitch the four pattern A’s together along their straight edges. You’ll end up with a giant ring (image 2). Working from the right side, top stitch the seams so they lie flat (image 3).

Place pattern B in the middle of your ring so it overlaps the edges of the hole. Pin into place and stitch round with a close zig zag stitch. We stitched round a number of times in order to bulk out the stitching line.  

The sides
With right sides together, pin and stitch the four side pieces (pattern D) together along the shortest edges so you end up with a big loop of joined-up rectangles.  
With right side uppermost, topstitch the seams so they lie flat.

Joining the top to the sides
With right sides together, pin the top of the pouf to the sides so that the topstitched seams match up together (image 4). Stitch into place 1cm from the edge. Topstitch so the seams lie flat on inside.

Inserting the zip
Take your two pattern piece C’s and with right sides matching, stitch up 5cm at each end of the straight edge.  
Pin the zip into place, and using a zip foot stitch with straight stitch.
With right side uppermost, topstitch around the zip (image 5).

Stitching on the pouf base
First of all – open the zip! This saves struggling later.
With right sides together, pin the bottom to the sides, matching topstitched seams and raw edges.
Straight stitch around the base 1cm from the edge.

Put your hand through the zip opening (this is why you needed to have it undone!) and turn your pouf the right way round (image 6).

Now for the stuffing 
Pack the body of the pouf with your filling keeping it as flat and smooth as possible.  Stuff the main cavity with the bulkier filling and use the softer filling around the edges – smoothing out lumps and bumps as you go. You may find you need to pack it quite tightly – it does sink down after it’s been sat on a number of times.

Do up the zip, flip it over and squish it a few times before you slip into your harem pants and lounge in style!

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