I am always astounded by the power of the automatic buttonhole feature on my sewing machine. If you get the settings right, you can make use of the delightful treasures from your button tin with a minimum of fuss.
When I first laid eyes on the Townhouses print from Cath Kidston I knew I needed to feature it somewhere in my home; and my daughter’s nursery offered the perfect solution. Unfortunately you can’t pick it up online anymore, but I bet there’s some lurking in their outlet stores. The buttons I used are vintage ones from my stash – they are rather glorious. The cushion pad shown is approximately 58 x 40, but this tutorial works for any size: you just need to adjust the measurements. For a nice plump cushion cut your front fabric to the same size as the pad, and work with a 1cm seam allowance to help keep your calculations simple. I’ve put my measurements in brackets in case you happen to have a cushion pad the exact same size; I work in centimetres.
You will need:
- Cushion Pad
- Fabric of your choice
- Buttons and button hole foot
- General sewing paraphernalia
To make it:
1. Cut your front piece of fabric, this should measure the same size as your cushion pad. (58 x 40)
2. Cut your back piece to the same height but add 12cm to the width, this will give you space to create your button placket. ( 70 x 40)
3. Decide where you want your cushion to overlap and cut your back pieces accordingly ( 50 x 40 and 20 x 40)
4. To make your button plackets: turn over your widest back piece by 1 cm, press and then again by 4cm and press again. Stitch close to the seam. Turn over your narrowest back piece by 1cm, press and then again by 2.5cm and press again. Stitch close to the seam.
5. Work out where you want your buttons to go, mark on the narrowest piece where the holes should be made. If you’re not sure how to use the buttonhole feature on your machine, now is the time to consult the manual. If you have no idea where this is, the magic of the internet should help you.
6. Test the buttonhole is working before sewing into the real thing. If it is playing up, check all the settings – trust me here, you do not want to have to unpick a badly sewn buttonhole! When you’re confident it is all going swimmingly, sew your buttonholes.
7. Now you can assemble your cushion. Place the front piece on the table right side facing you. Then put the widest back piece on top, right side facing down and then finally the narrow piece with your buttonholes in. Make sure all your corners line up, pin and then stitch all the way around. Clip your corners and turn it out, ideally use a bamboo point turner to ease out your corners.
8. Mark where your buttons need to go and stitch them in place. Insert your cushion pad, do up the buttons and admire.