January 9, 2013 by thepolishedbutton
As we’ve all hit our 30’s, it’s no surprise to learn that marriage and babies have popped up with alarmed regularity amongst my group of friends. And with weddings and babies comes parties and gifts, and being as skint creative as I am, I like to use the opportunity to make unique and personal gifts. From baby shoes to framed pictures, it gives me, and hopefully the recipients, pleasure to have something handmade and totally individual.
It occured to me recently that our best man and his wife, now proud parents to two gorgeous girls, haven’t have the honour of a me-made gift yet (I’m pretty sure they have wept about this oversight many times) so their time has come!
As you may remember I still have a single ball of wool from Christmas to find a use for, and it was perfect for a small cushion back. I knitted a square 25 stitches wide on 5 1/2 needles as it was quite chunky, and used a simple stocking stitch. This made a panel approx. 25x25cm.
I originally planned to make a patchwork front, but then found this and it seemed a much more personal touch, plus their oldest daughter has a birthday coming up so I thought it would make a cute gift for her room. (She’ll be 3 so hopefully will like the reference to her initial so can always claim ownership over her little sister!)
I raided the fabric stash and found these cute and cheerful scraps, and I also grabbed some white pom pom trim (available in my etsy shop here: pom pom trim)
I cut the front panel out using the knit panel as a template. Using the contrasting fabric, I traced out the letter (via photoshop on my laptop) and ironed on some bondaweb.
The backing of the bondaweb peels off and once positioned onto the front panel, I ironed it down to secure it.
Using a simple zig zag stitch in a similar turquoise to the knit, I stitched around the edge of the letter to secure it and give a contrasting effect. (I don’t have a machine with any embroidery stitches, otherwise I’d have used a satin stitch for a proper appliqued effect).
So far so simple!
Next I pinned the back to the front, right sides facing each other, and using a longer stitch I machined them together, leaving a gap so I could stuff it. It’s worth noting here that my novice knitting technique meant the cast off edge of the back panel was smaller/tighter than the others, so it took some easing to get the cushion corners even! I must find out how to avoid that!)
Edges trimmed, I turned the cushion inside out and prepared for the task of stuffing.
As usual at Christmas between us we had lots of new socks. I’m not complaining, one of my festive highlights is new slippers, socks and pj’s! However, this meant I could raid the sock drawer for old, holey, odd (and clean, obviously) socks to repurpose as stuffing.
Initially I just bunged them in, but this made for a lumpy bumpy cushion, so out they came again and 10 minutes later it looked like Edward Scissorhands had run amok in a school lost property basket. Lo and behold, shredded socks make perfect cushion stuffing!
I then stitched up the hole and gave it a plump up, and my daughter can verify it is very comfy indeed. (She’s going to be gutted when I give it away, as she has been carrying it around as a portable bed, flinging it and herself onto the floor at any given moment declaring ‘I liedy down mummy’…)
I realised at this point I had sewn the knitted panel on back to front, so the stocking stitch isn’t visible, but no matter.
I then hand stitched the pom pom trim round the edge (I could probably have done this on the machine when I attached the panels together, but to be honest it was a bit faffy.)