Luxurious and modern, these wool backed leather cushions, decorated with a large tropical leaf motif, will add a touch of style to any living space. Working with leather may sound intimidating, but sheep skin is so soft and thin that a standard sewing machine with a blue needle will have no trouble stitching through it. And if you’d prefer to hand sew the cushions, a leather needle makes easy work of it.
- Fabric: sheepskin, in desired shades
- Wool coating, 50cm per cushion, in matching shade
- Thread, polyester, strong, matching or contrasting Stuffing, polyester
- Needles: leather; sewing Awl
- Cutting board or smooth piece of wood
- Tape, low tack, fabric weights or clips
- 40cm square
Create a leather cushion
Cut out two 40cm squares; one from sheepskin leather, and one from wool. Cut out one of the leaf templates provided and place upside down on the back of more leather. Trace around the shape with a fine-tipped felt pen, then cut it out as smoothly as possible using sharp scissors.
Place the leather square onto a cutting board or piece of wood, and position the leaf on top. On a scrap of leather, test whether low tack tape is safe to use on it (if the type you have chosen has a slight sheen to the finish, it should be fine). If it doesn’t damage the surface on removal, use the tape to secure the leaf to the front of the cushion. Otherwise use clips or fabric weights.
Using a hammer and awl, plus two layers of scrap leather, practise making small holes along the edge of the leather. Now make small holes close together and near to the edge, all around the leaf and stem, as well as decorative lines denoting veins. Don’t hammer too hard but make sure the awl is penetrating both the leaf and the front of the cushion.
Using a regular sewing needle (not a leather needle as it will cut the previous stitch) and your choice of matching or contrasting strong polyester thread, back stitch through the holes just made. With right sides facing, place the front and back of the cushion together. Use clips to secure, then sew around the cushion, 7mm from the edge, leaving a 15cm gap at one corner to turn right side out. Stuff the cushion to the desired plumpness, then turn under the edges using clips to secure and machine stitch the gap closed. Repeat to make a pair of cushions.