We love these gorgeous cushions from Handmade Interiors (DK, £20; out 1st August), and they're so easy to make too. Either side of this smart cushion can be used as the front, thanks to an invisible zip fitted into the bottom seam. Make it using two fabrics in different colours or textures to create a clever 2-in-1 cushion or to showcase an extra special fabric by pairing it with a plain backing.
You will need:
• 1m (40in) medium-weight furnishing fabric for the cushion front
• 1m (40in) medium-weight furnishing fabric for the cushion back
• 50cm (20in) invisible zip
• Matching thread
• 60 x 60cm (24 x 24in) cushion pad
• Tailor’s chalk
• Sewing machine
• Zip foot
CUTTING THE PIECES
1 Decide which part of the pattern you would like to show on the front of the cushion. Then, using tailor’s chalk and a ruler, measure and mark the exact dimensions of the square cushion pad on the wrong side of the fabric. Cut out the cushion front. Repeat to cut out the cushion back. Neaten all four sides of each square.
INSERTING THE ZIP
2 To make a neater job of attaching the concealed zip, lay the open zip face down on the ironing board. Using the tip of the iron and a synthetic setting, press the zip tape flat. Avoid leaving the iron on the teeth too long.
3 Along the bottom edge of the cushion front, turn back then press a 1.5cm (5⁄8in) seam allowance towards the wrong side of the fabric. Repeat on the cushion back. Turn the front face up and unfold the seam allowance. With the zip face down and open, centre one side of the zip along the bottom edge, as shown, aligning the teeth with the fold.
4 Pin the zip in place along the fold. When you reach the end of the zip, fold back and pin the excess zip tape as shown.
5 Using a zip foot and adjusting the needle so it is as close to the teeth of the zip as possible, stitch the zip in place. Stitch as close to the closed end of the zip as you can and backstitch at the start and end of the zip to secure it. Do not sew over the pins but remove them as you go. If you prefer, you can tack the zip in position, then machine it in place.
6 With the cushion back right side up, unfold the seam allowance. Place the cushion front on top, right side down. Align the teeth of the unattached side of the zip with the fold in the cushion back. Check that the front and back of the cushion are aligned, then pin and machine the zip to the cushion back as before.
JOINING THE FRONT AND BACK
7 With the zip open and the right sides of the front and back of the cushion cover facing, pin the corners together. Then pin around the edges, placing a pin as close to the beginning and end of the zip as possible.
8 Using the balance wheel on your sewing machine, lower the needle into the cushion cover at the pin marking the start of the zip and 1.5cm (5⁄8in) from the fabric edge. You will be sewing away from the zip, so make sure the zip lies behind the presser foot. Check that the needle is as close as possible to the zip but not on top of the teeth. Backstitch to secure.
9 Sew to the corner, with a 1.5cm (5⁄8in) seam allowance. At the corner, with the needle down, lift.
10 As you approach the end of the zip, remove the pin and pull the end of the zip towards the seam allowance. Sew as close as possible to the end of the zip, again using the balance wheel for accuracy. Backstitch to finish.
11 Trim off the corners of the cushion cover to reduce bulk but make sure you do not cut through your stitches. Turn the cover to the right side and push the corners out. Press to finish and insert a cushion pad.
Project from Handmade Interiors (DK, £20; out 1st August)