Creating A Keepsake Cushion

I was very pleased to receive an unusual commission from a family friend recently. She asked me to upcycle her daughter’s old Beavers jumper into a keepsake cushion for her 9th birthday. For those of you outside the UK, Beavers is a mixed national youth organisation for 6-8 year olds (a precursor to Cubs and Scouts, if you will) where kids can get involved in a number of outdoor and creative activities, as well as helping in their community, earning badges and awards as they go. As someone whose old Brownie’s sash was hidden away in a cupboard at my Mum’s house for years on end, I love the idea of J having her achievements and happy memories on display!

Here’s the jumper before I got my crafty hands on it!

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As you can see J earned lots and lots of badges which she is understandably very proud of, so I really wanted to carefully consider their placement on the cushion in order to best show them off!

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I spent a long time in Dunelm-Mill considering which inner cushion would be best and finally settled on a 30cm x 50cm White Piped Cushion Pad for just £6.99. The plush filling seemed to be a really good quality and shouldn’t lose too much shape over time. Perfect!

I then snipped open all of the seams until I was left with a front and back piece, two arm pieces and collar/cuff pieces. I played around with them until I came up with this idea… (the grain of the fabric is portrayed by the arrows).

I liked the way the front design followed the diagonal lines of the arm pieces, and that I was able to incorporate the collar piece in a stylised way. Plus, by rotating the front and back pieces on the back design, I was able to use their hems and save myself a job! Plus, overlapping them by 2.5″ meant I didn’t need to worry about zips or buttons. Unfortunately using all the pieces this way meant I had to remove some badges and resew them on later, but never mind!

After sewing and overlocking all the seams, and hand sewing the badges in place, here it is in all its’ glory!

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Luckily I got to watch J as she opened this present from her Mum and Dad, and I can confidently say she loved it! This was such a fun commission, and a really great idea- one I’ll keep in the memory bank for my own kids one day.

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