Make the most of dramatic prints with this soft furnishing set. Constructed from simple shapes these items are easy to make and the addition of neat hand stitches highlights the bold motifs. Choose a fabric with a large motif that you can turn into your plush toy, in this case a gorgeous elephant.
- Fabric: cotton; large motif print,coordinating, 150cm of each
- Thread, embroidery
- Trim, coordinating, 150cm
- Zip, 30cm
- Fusible webbing
- Cushion pad
- Toy stuffing
- Cushion: 36cm square
- Toy: 19cm x 21cm
Create a plush toy
Select an area of fabric with a large motif and another piece with a mirror image of the pattern. If the fabric chosen doesn’t have mirror images, use a plain fabric.
Cut around the motifs, leaving a 2cm border around the print and pin right sides together, matching up the outlines of the image by holding the fabric up to the light.
Backstitch around the outlines, avoiding any areas that will be too tight to turn out and leaving a gap on a straight area. Trim the excess material to 1cm and clip any curves and corners. Turn out and stuff with fibre filling. Turn the raw edges of the gap under and ladder stitch together.
Use double stranded thread to sew running stitch around the parts of the design that were too tight to stuff, including the elephant’s legs and trunk. Sew little at a time and pull the stitches tight enough to give a quilted effect before fastening the ends of the thread.
Make a cushion
Cut out a motif from patterned fabric and press a piece of fusible webbing to the reverse. Trim around the design on the printed outlines and fuse the motif to the centre of a 30cm square of coordinating cotton. Use two strands of embroidery thread to sew a small backstitch around the motif, catching the backing fabric in the stitch to neaten the edge and secure.
Cut 24 6.5cm squares of cotton. Use the offcuts from the patterned fabric once the motifs have been cut out and remnants from the coordinating material. Place the pieces around the main square and check the arrangement before stitching them into strips, right sides together with a 6mm seam allowance. Join the strips in a square frame shape, turn under and press 6mm on the inside edge.
Lay the fabric frame over the main square, ensuring the motif is central. Pin in place and use embroidery thread to join the pieces with a regular running stitch. Choose a suitable trim and pin around the inside of the frame. With sewing thread, oversew the folded inner edge of the frame to the main square incorporating the side of the trim.
Press the finished front of the cover and measure the sides. Cut a piece of coordinating material the same width but 5cm longer. Cut the fabric in half across the width, fold under 2cm along a long edge of each piece and press. Stitch the folded edges to either side of a zip. Ensure this is central on the cushion back and one rectangle of fabric overlaps and conceals it. If the zip falls short of the width of the fabric oversew the edges together on either side. Open the zip slightly and pin the cushion back to the front with right sides together. Stitch around the edges and turn the cushion cover out through the gap in the zip and insert pad.