I went to Bangladesh a month or so ago, to visit a friend, L, who works out there. (And I loved it, beautiful green and crazy country.)
Anyway, whilst I was there, L had a dress dropped off by Mr Ali the dressmaker. You pay for the fabric and the labour, so the offcuts of fabric get dropped off too as part of the parcel, and L offered the shiny gold and red silk leftovers to me (god I wish people in London would dress as brightly as they do in Bangladesh; it would cheer things up so much!).
Previously I'd been using a cushion cover which my older sister K had made in a school textiles class, back in about 1993. Now, whilst this was obviously a superb example of scatter dye and machine-sewed patchwork, I must admit to a hankering to replace it. Still, I really couldn't bring myself to spend money on a new cushion cover when this one did the job perfectly well.
But with my shiny silk being just about the perfect size, it seemed time to indulge in a little house vanity and set off on an afternoon craft project.
I cut out a square and folded it in half to make a rectangle, which I pinned in to a smaller square, big enough to fit the cushion (double strength as it was really quite thin. This helped with edges as well.)
Not owning a sewing machine, I took up needle and thread and did my neatest backstitch all the way round two of the open edges.
I turned it inside out, and magically enough, it looked like a cushion cover!
At the moment I just tuck the open edge in like this, though I'm going to scout around for a spare button to fix in the middle.
And here it is in all its glory.
PS - fear not, the old cushion cover wasn't just chucked in the bin. It's in the fabric box, where it can be back-up lest the silky one fails, or from where it may be taken to be used in another craft project or as a cleaning cloth.
PPS - I was yarn shopping in Liberty the other day and happened across these super cushions whilst waiting for the lift - they don't have a picture on their website but they had an embroidered cityscape of the city of London on. And I was thinking, 'I could do that', which is probably nonsense as I've never really embroidered, not since 4th year juniors when Mrs Allen let us sew pictures of Victorian houses whilst she read the afternoon story, but still, it's another idea I'll file under possible projects I think...