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Make a Sophie Conran handkerchief cushion: free sewing pattern

Floral cushion made from handkerchiefs by Sophie Conran

Recently I’ve become a little bit cushion obsessed! I love them, especially the big squishy ones that you can sink into on the sofa or lounge around on in the garden at the end of the day. They’re great for adding colour, pattern or texture to beds, chairs and sofas. Car boot sales, fleamarkets and antiques stalls are good sources of inexpensive fabrics: look out for vintage silk scarves, linen grain sacks, or old curtains or shirts.

There are all sorts of pads available (visit for a selection or for good quality, wool-filled pads). Some will hold their shape and always look tidy, but I prefer feather pads – though they do need lots of plumping. But whatever filling, shape, size or fabric you choose, making your own cushion covers is easy and very rewarding.

Handkerchief cushion

These large handkerchiefs were already the right size for a cushion so needed no cutting; the pretty edges create a delicate frill.

How it’s done
As these handkerchiefs are quite delicate we added a cotton lining. Start by placing the two handkerchiefs wrong sides together and machine the edges on three sides, leaving a 1cm edge depending on the pattern.

Make the cotton lining to fit and insert between the handkerchiefs. Pin along the stitching line and machine both handkerchiefs to the lining separately on either side of the opening. Leave the same amount of edging as on the other three sides.

Finally, close up the opening with press studs.

Tip: Choose different coloured handkerchiefs for each side so your cushion is reversible.

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