Experiments in shibori dying lead me to contemplate treating dark jeans with bleach. My rather large denim stash was due an overhaul. The inspiration came to bleach shibori style patterns into the denim to make a large floor cushion. The DIY denim floor cushion is filled with the offcuts of the denim trousers plus old pillows.
My children love this large denim floor cushion, I suspect my life would be easier if I made two – one each! The side panels highlight the different jeans you start with. I am fortunate in that my friends nowadays pass on their old ripped jeans to me ready for my next creative project. If you are not so lucky I find the cheapest place to pick them up is at car boot sales.
Denim Floor Cushion
Prepare your old jeans by cutting into panels, cut down the seams and across at the top close to the pockets. Cut lengths of jean 30cm long (the width of your jean panel), you will need approximately 26 in total. 12 pieces for each side plus an extra two for bleaching just in case.
To gain the bleached effects create some resists where the fabric will remain darker. The three effects are created by:
Tie circles of the fabric with elastic bands.
Crumple and tie with elastic bands.
Hand stitching, use running stitch and gather, repeat every 10 cm’s down your piece of denim, tie in place with rubber bands.
Place your pieces into a bucket of bleach and stir. Gradually you will see the fabric change colour. I left mine for approximately an hour.
Remove, untie and wash in the machine to remove the remainder of the bleach. Press.
Place a pencil on a string. Hold the end of the string in the middle and draw a circle round 27 cm from your middle (where you are holding it). Use an old piece of wallpaper or lining paper for your template.
Cut your 30cm lengths of denim into triangular shapes. I suggest cutting from the edge of one short side to the middle of the opposite short side.
Place on your template overlapping the central point and edges by a centimetre. Play with the different pieces of denim until you are satisfied with the design. Don’t worry about the circular edge at this point.
Sew your triangles together using a 1 centimetre seam allowance, being careful at the central point. As you reach completion of the circle iron the seams. This makes it easier for you to work out the correct seam allowance on your final piece, you may need to widen or shorten your seam allowance to create the flat circle.
Repeat this process to create the other side of the cushion. Using your template as a guide trim both pieces to a circle shape, ensure the template is laid so the central point of the template is on top of the central point of fabric.
Create the side of the cushion by sewing together strips of denim 35 cm long. You will need a finished side piece measures 162cm.
Cut pieces of denim 3cm wide for the piping, you will need two pieces 162cm long. If need be sew pieces together to create the length. Wrap around the piping and pin round the edge of the cushion top, piping facing inwards. Stitch in place using the zipper foot on your sewing machine. Repeat for the base of the cushion.
Place cushion side piece along the edge of the cushion top, pin and then machine round as close to the piping as you can manage. Start 1 cm in and stop 1cm off. Stitch 5-6cm of your final side seam. Finish the seam along the top. Repeat for the bottom of the cushion. Your side seam will have an opening to allow you to stuff the cushion.
Stuff your cushion. I used the remainder of the jeans cut into fragments, other fabric scraps plus an old flat bean bag. Hand stitch the gap closed.
Add a button to the centre of the top, adding a touch of class.
I love how you can fill the cushion with anything soft, perfect for using up scraps of fabric, old pillows, duvets and so on.