Upcycled jeans and floral print patchwork

I love the combination of aged denim with floral print cotton. The prints from The Kaffe Fassett Collective are absolutely gorgeous and I enjoyed selecting nine, predominantly pink and red pieces, for this cushion design.

I wouldn’t usually recommend combining different weights of fabric into the same patchwork project but sometimes it’s fun to break the rules. Backing each piece of printed cotton with a piece of calico gives adds a little more weight to it.

I’ve used jeans given to me by a loved one, the weight is really nice, it’s lighter than denim used for, say, Levi 501s. If you haven’t any old jeans suitable to cut into strips, then your local charity shop is sure to have some of the right weight. The technique I used to make the gorgeous printed cotton squares a little heavier, was to baste each one onto a 12cm square of calico. I actually really like that there’s a slight difference between the weight of the denim and the cotton print, I think it adds to the charm.

The finished cushion size is approximately 49cm square.

I numbered each piece and here’s a list of the cut size of each one.

Pieces 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9: 12cm x 12cm

Pieces 10,11,12,13,14,15: 5cm x 12cm

Pieces 16,17,18,19: 5cm x 42.4cm

Pieces 20 and 21: 5cm x 50.6cm

Envelope back: 2 pieces 50.6cm x 38cm each

Patchwork cutting guide

If you’d like to see me demonstrate a similar cushion cover on Sewing Quarter, here’s the link…

Patchwork cushion demo on Sewing Quarter

The denim and pink cushion cover was sewn right sides together with the two pieces that form an envelope back, therefore not needing to be bound, as I did with the one I demonstrated on Sewing Quarter.

It’s also worth noting that fabric often lays in a way that tells you which way it wants to be pressed and this is definitely the case with the denim. I’ve included a photo of the back of the patchwork to show you which way I pressed the pieces.

Pieces laid out
All the pieces, laid out in position. The squares have been basted to 12 x 12 cm squares of calico.
Rows laid out
Each row sewn and pressed.
Back of patchwork
The wrong side of the cushion front.  I overlocked all around the edge to neaten it and reduce fraying. I think this makes the cushion cover not only more tidy but longer lasting too. 6mm seam allowances were sewn throughout, with the exception of the seam sewn all around the outer edge when attaching the envelope back pieces to the front. Here I stitched 8mm from the edge.
Hemming of envelope back
To create the envelope back, I cut two pieces, each measuring 50.6 cm x 38 cm. I overlocked the 38cm edge and folded back a 3cm hem. The reason for overlocking was to reduce the number of layers of denim when you come to sew the front to the envelope back.
Back cushion cover
Using one of the machine embroidery stitches on my sewing machine, I added a row of decorative stitching using pink thread. If you use this technique, remember to have this side of the envelope back visible when you fold them over each other and sew them right sides together onto the front cushion cover. It’s really easy to forget this!
Machine embroidery
Close up of machine embroidery stitch.

I thoroughly enjoyed making this, and all the other ones I’ve made using these beautiful prints.

Any questions? Fancy sharing a picture of one you’ve made? Drop me a line via either social media or my contact page.

Happy sewing!

Jennifer x

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