Home furnishings: table runner and cushions from a duvet set

Home furnishings: make a table runner and cushions from a duvet set

Those of you who watch the Knitting and Sewing podcasts over on my YouTube channel will know that I bought a duvet set from B&M stores with the intention of using it for living room furnishings. I had a particular idea in my mind of a leaf printed table runner and sofa cushions which I couldn't find in the shops. What I did find instead was a double duvet set which did match my idea. Looking at it as a set of fabrics, I could see over 2m square of leaf print and co-ordinating plain, matching piping and two rectangular pillowcases which only needed a small amount of work to become squares. All for £18, so decided to use this instead.

Home furnishings: table runner and cushions from a duvet set


I started with turning the pillowcases into sofa cushions. I buy my cushion pads from amazon and found a pair that matched the width of the cases for about £11. I was aiming for a 18" square and used the pattern that I was given in my first ever dressmaking class to create an envelope cushion (there's a link to the pdf and some videos on her site here). It wasn't as simple as chopping off surplus length to go from rectangle to square because I wanted to use the piping. What I did instead was separate out all the layers - print, piping and plain. Then I used these as pattern pieces. Also, not simple. everything was overlocked together and stitched in multiple layers, so once I had made it through one set of stitches, I found more. I had to use a stitch ripper instead of simply cutting through because I was trying to preserve the piping which was sparsely applied. Some time later, longer than I anticipated, I did have the pieces I wanted and could whizz it all through the machine.

Home furnishings: make a table runner and cushions from a duvet set

Then I moved on to the runner. I braced myself for the stitch ripping and went about separating out the layers. In theory once this was achieved, all I was doing was stitching two long rectangles together with piping. In the store I had assumed 2m would be long enough. I had forgotten to account for the ends which hang down, so 2m was't enough. Instead of pattern matching pieces, I made the ends as contrast panels, reversible. It is accidental in design but I quite like the feature. It also means that I have 2 different looks available because I can just flip the runner over. I did also have to join together piping fabric so that would be long enough as well. Again, the final stages of sewing together should have been simple but the piping casing was meanly cut and I didn't always catch it in the seams despite the use of a million pins. It took a few times of turning through to the right side, seeing the piping was loose in parts, unpicking and restitching until it was presentable.

Home furnishings: make a table runner and cushions from a duvet set


I also have enough fabric left over to make a set of quilted placemats...but for those I think I'll miss out the piping!!!

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Named Sloane Sweater from 1m of fabric

Named Sloane Sweater from 1m of fabric

I'll admit, 1 metre of fabric does not give you a whole lot of options. When I bought this I couldn't really stretch to another half metre and had my fingers crossed I could get something out of it. I know for sure that I can get a longline Seamwork Astoria sweater out of 1m, but I have a hundred of these and was hoping I could get something a bit more cosy to wear. The Named Sloane Sweatshirt was top of the list of patterns to start trying to arrange on my little metre. I enjoy wearing my first Atelier Brunette version in the winter because it has a high neck and is fairly close fitting. Unusual features that I like about this pattern are the fact that it has set in sleeves rather than the raglan style usually found in sweatshirts and the french darts that make the sweatshirt steer away from the baggy look. 
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Beatrice Hat in Rowan Sultano Fine

Beatrice Hat in Rowan Sultano Fine


The very first time that I came across Rowan Sultano Fine yarn was at a Knitting and Stitching Show. I was so tempted at the time to buy some because it feels so soft, but it was a little out of my budget so I reluctantly put it aside. Skip forward a couple of years and I was looking at it again and stumbled across a much reduced skein, due to it being discontinued. I have to say, I had planned on this being a Christmas gift, but when it was finished I tried it on for sizing and it suited so well I decided to keep it! It feels amazing to wear and the variation on the rib adds an unusual texture that looks good too. The fact that it's a free pattern and that the yarn was reduced makes it even better. 
(FYI - I did manage a replacement gift of a matching hat and mitts set for the original recipient that suited their colouring better, so didn't feel too bad about keeping it for myself). 
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Upcycling for home furnishings: recovering an ottoman

recovering an ottoman


Lately dressmaking has taken a back seat and I've been putting my machine to use for home furnishings. Mostly these projects came about whilst looking for specific items and uttering those words that many of you are probably familiar with...."I'm sure I can make that". In this case, it was sort of an experiment that I wouldn't be too upset about going wrong. I have to say the stitching skills required were minimal, but I did have to use a bit of my knowledge of working with fabric and cutting to get to a finished point.
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Kaare hat - free pattern

This is the first hat I knit...I knit it years ago and never blogged it, which is awful because it is a great FREE pattern that is brilliant for beginners and enjoyable for more experienced knitters who want a quick and satisfying project.


Kaare hat free knitting pattern for beginners


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Sew Liberated Matcha top with modified long sleeves

Sew Liberated Matcha top with modified long sleeves

I've had this top on my make list for years....perhaps all the way back from the #wardrobebuilderproject! The paper pattern has been cut and ready for use with a number of fabrics that would work well, I've just never got round to it. So there it was, languishing in the pattern stash when I came across a lovely geometric polyester from Minerva and it felt like the right time to go for it. It was a gamble as I've always thought that cotton or rayon would be best, but it's worked out great. I've surprised myself with this pattern because I've always thought of it as a summer top, but in a lightweight fabric, could even find its way to New Years Eve!

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Welcome to Sewing and Other Stories; my journeys with sewing and knitting; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm also the designer behind West Beach Knits knitting patterns and I host a Knitting and Sewing channel on YouTube where you can see all of this in person. Come have a look!

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