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  • Writer's pictureMadeleina Kay

"That is hysterical" - my job here is done.

Updated: May 2

At the request of my friend, I have created a “MANTRUM” cushion. It was also an opportunity for me to learn how to sew a zip – which I have been nervous to attempt.


I had plenty of fabric left over from the wall-hanging which I made a few weeks ago – enough to make three cushions. I had a pile of old cushions in my attic with manky covers on, which were perfect to be up-cycled. All I had to buy was the zips and some red felt to create the forbidden sign.


I started by taking all the measurements and figuring out how much space to allocate for the lettering. I then drew the letters out on paper with a ruler and pencil, before cutting them out in felt. I had to make the letters quite thin to fit within the forbidden sign – which made the cutting and sewing process very fiddly. For the red circle I used a dinner plate which was the right size (for the outer edge) and compass for the inner edge.

After I had cut out all the felt, I had to get the placement on the Pinocchio fabric in the right place so it would be straight but also central on the cushion cover design. This was a rather tiresome process which involved multiple rulers and tape measures. I realised I had run out of pritt stick and it was too late (5pm) by this point to buy any more so I was forced to pin the letters in place. I prefer sticking because it’s less fiddly – so, I will remember to get some glue before I start the second design.

Stitching the felt required a lot of concentration and patience as the lettering was so thin – it was also challenging to sew the circle in place. I did a reasonable job, but it’s not as neat as I would have liked.

Once all the felt was sewn in place it was time to attempt the zip. I should probably have watched a tutorial on YouTube but I am too lazy / arrogant (I don't really learn well listening to people explain things to me, i'm usually better off taking a trial and error approach until I figure it out). So, I just read the “zipper foot” instructions in my sewing machine manual – which weren’t too helpful. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t do it perfectly, the end of the zip is poking out between the two pieces of fabric, but it’s at least functional. Hopefully I will do it better next time. Afterwards I sewed the remaining seams with a zigzag stitch.

I sent this photo of the finished cushion to my friend and she replied instantly, ‘That is hysterical. That is so so funny’. My job here is done. (Well not quite done, I still have two more to make - but I have achieved my primary objective to make at least one person laugh).


There’s a massive crease in the remaining pieces of fabric, so I think I am going to have to relent and (somewhat resentfully) buy an iron* -SIGH- I guess I’ll give the crumpled wall-hanging and the clothes I've been avoiding wearing an iron whilst I am at it -GRUMBLE GRUMBLE-

(*it's my least favourite chore - so, I've been avoiding buying an iron as an excuse not to have to do it.)

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