My DIY pin-up girl cushion sewing project

Since the end of The Great British Sewing Bee I’ve stepped away from my sewing machine and for some reason have struggled to think up ideas for creative projects. I think I was just SO inspired by the Sewing Bee that when I no longer had that regular reminder to get sewing nor that weekly prompt for a sewing challenge that I completely forgot to get on with it. So my sewing machine has been neglected and has gathered a thin layer of dust since last month and I keep glancing at it with a guilty look in my eye. I didn’t mean to dump it, it just kind of happened – we drifted apart and I’m just as sad about it as the machine is…

Anyway, the good news is that I’ve finally broken my sewing drought and have made a cushion. It might not be the most challenging of projects but at least I’m sewing again and that can only be a good thing. It only took me about an hour because I was trying to do it in super-fast time before hubby came home from work one evening. I needed to get the cushion completed in secret because it was going to be a gift for hubby’s birthday. Not kind of gift you’d expect a very manly concrete-handling man like my husband would want for his birthday, but he’d spotted a similar cushion online and really took a shine to it for his ‘man cave’ office chair. Ok, maybe it was the fabric that he took a shine to – it IS a pattern that includes pin-up girls, nude, in foliage. Maybe that was it.

diy alexander henry mirage pin up girl fabric

So I searched out the exact fabric online – it was Alexander Henry MIRAGE Fabric in navy and I ordered two fat quarters of it – enough to make a pair of cushions. I chose a navy velvet for the back of the cushion and for the piping around the edge. When the fabric arrived I realised that most of the pattern was across the centre of the fat quarter so I decided to make a rectangular cushion rather than square, to get more of the pin-up girls on the cushion! I bought a couple of last season’s cushion designs reduced to £1 in Dunelm that were this rectangular shape and removed the covers so that I just had cushion pads left – this is probably the cheapest way to get cushion fillings; just buy any cushions that are reduced or secondhand from a charity shop or carboot sale then discard (or reuse elsewhere) the covers!


I first inserted a zip along the bottom of both fabric pieces and zipped it together before making a thin line of piping by wrapping a strip of the velvet around the cord. I layered the piping in-between the pin-up fabric front and the velvet back with the right sides facing and straight stitched all the way round the cushion. At this point, I realised that I’d completely zipped up the zip so I couldn’t turn the cushion the right side out! Luckily I could feel whether the zipper head was and eased it back a little while it was still inside the cushion and managed to make enough of a gap to reach in and unzip it completely – phew!

diy pin up girl cushion sewing tutorial

I popped the new pin-up girl cushion cover onto the cushion pad and done! One gift (that hubby loved) all sewn up!

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Cassie Fairy
Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

8 Responses

  1. Haha it’s a great pattern for man cave, just need the fireman print version for my own workshop cushions! 😉

  2. Thanks Holly! You should have a go, I bet you could make a cushion too! 🙂

  3. Ooh thank you, I need to make a matching one now – and the same fabric range has a bare-chested fireman print version, so I might get that for me 😉

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