Making lovely summer pouffe

Luxurious cushions are perfect for making yourself comfortable at home or away. Pouffes, sometimes also known as ottomans, make a stunning home furnishing accessory and give great character to any room in your house. Here we will show you one of many ways the pouffes can be made and look like. This project is relatively easy, but you need a basic sewing skills.

Material you need:

For small pouffe

patterned fabric (75 x 140 cm);

plain fabric (75 x 140 cm);

25 cm contrasting fabric for piping;

2.25 m thick piping cord;

self-covering buttons (38mm x 2);

curved upholstery needle;

25 cm mattress needle;

2 x 3 cm metal washers;

upholstery thread or strong (button) thread;

sewing machine with piping foot;


threads to match fabrics;

fibrefill – buy cheap pillows from the supermarkets and use their stuffing; this size uses the contents of eight pillows

How to make it?

1 Cut 12 segments using the template (picture below) in the patterned fabric. The enlarged pattern have to measure 40 cm long after photocopying using enlargement. Make sure you cut a seam allowance of 1 cm all around the pieces – a seam allowance is not included in the template. Sew two pieces together with a 1 cm seam along one of the longer edges, right sides facing with a sewing machine. continue joining the segments together until you have created a semicircle of six (image 1).

2 Repeat step 1 with the remaining six patterned segments. Place the two semicircles right sides together and join them with a 1 cm seam along the two long edges. Press all the seams to one side with an iron (image 2).

3 Repeat steps 1 and 2 with your plain fabric.

4 Cut three strips of your contrasting fabric 6 cm wide x width of your fabric. Join them together using 1 cm seams. Press this open with an iron. Measure the circumference  of your patterned fabric circle and cut your cord and strip of fabric to this length plus 20 cm. Using a piping foot on your machine, stitch as close as you can to the piping cord to encase it in the fabric, starting and finishing 15 cm from each end of the cord. Trim the excess raw edge of the fabric to 1.5 cm.

5 Pin your piping around the outer perimeter of your patterned fabric, aligning the raw outer edge of the circle with the raw edges of the piping covering. Cut the piping so that both ends meet exactly. Cut the covering fabric an extra 1.5 cm longer than each end of the piping cord. Machine stitch the two ends of the fabric together, press the seam open and fold over, tacking the piping cord into place. Machine stitch the piping to the circle of fabric, still using the piping foot (image 3).

6 Now place the plain fabric circle on the top of the patterned one, right sides facing and pin into position, aligning the segment seams of both circles thus sandwiching the piping (image 4)

7 Still using a piping foot, machine the two circles together, as closely as you can to the piping, around 11 segments, i.e. leaving an opening one segment long  for turning out and stuffing. Turn right sides out through the opening and press.

8 Remove the stuffing from the pillows and push through the opening little by little, doing your best to keep the density even in the pouffe.

9 Fold the raw edges of the stuffing opening in and stitch closed by hand, using your thread doubled for strength.

10 Using a 2 m length of the upholstery thread doubled, loop it round one of the metal washers. Being extremely careful (mattress needles are very sharp) push a long needle through the centre of the pouffe to the centre of the opposite side. Loop the thread through the second washer and push the needle back through to the other side, pulling the thread taught to create a dimple in the centre of your pouffe. Carry on back and forth in this way four or five times, then tie off the thread (image 5).

11 Following the instructions on the packaging, cover your two buttons with your patterned fabric. Using a curved upholstery needle, attach a covered button on either side of the pouffe to cover the washers (image 6).

Here is some more inspirational pictures of similar pouffes:

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