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Sew Fabulous
I love bolster cushions – they work in so many rooms. They’re great on the bed as a neck roll, in the garden to add comfort to sunbathing, and in the lounge they make seating look significantly smarter. This cushion has piped edges and a neat zip and adds a sleek and sophisticated look to either end of any sofa. Use 1cm (½in) seam allowances throughout.


• Add a covered button or tassel to either end of the bolster.
• For a patchwork version, make the main panel from a series of strips, pieced together to form a panel of 65x48cm (26x19in).

Posted by Orion Books Published See Orion Books's 81 projects » © 2024 Stuart Hillard · Reproduced with permission. · © Sew Fabulous by Stuart Hillard, published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in hardback on 28 August 2014, price £20 / eBook £10.99
  • Step 1

    From the main fabric cut a panel that is 65x48cm (26x19in). Then cut two 25cm (10in) diameter circles for the bolster ends. If your bolster ends are not the correct size then you can use dressmaker’s tissue paper to create templates.

  • Step 2

    From the fabric for the piping, cut enough 5cm (2in) strips on the bias to cover 150cm (60in) of piping cord. Join the strips and cover the piping cord (see Making and Applying Piping, page 37). Clip into the seam allowance of the piping cord at regular intervals so it is easier to shape.

  • Step 3

    Take the main fabric panel, fold it in half, right sides together and long edge to long edge. Sew along the 48cm (19in) side with long basting stitches and a 1cm (½in) seam allowance.

  • Step 4

    Press the seam open then re-fold it and machine stitch (with a regular stitch length this time) the first and last 9cm (3½in), leaving a 30cm (12in) gap in the centre. Remove the basting stitches and centre the zip over the gap. Baste the zip in position and then topstitch into place. Undo the zip.

  • Step 5

    Cut the piping into two equal lengths and baste around both circular end pieces, joining the ends neatly. With right sides together, pin the piped end pieces to the ends of the main panel. Using a piping foot or zipper foot on your machine, sew the bolster ends onto the main panel as close to the piping as you can get. Clip seam allowances where necessary to get a smooth curve.

  • Step 6

    Turn the bolster cover through to the right side and insert the bolster pad. Close the zip.

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