In the run up to Christmas I noticed that many of the shops were stocking animal shaped cushions.
I especially liked the owl and fox cushions, but as is increasingly the case with my now I looked at them and went 'hum ... I could make that.'
So, needing a present for my boyfriend's sister I decided to make her an animal cushion, and as all the family are keen on pandas, this seemed an obvious choice.
Not being wonderful at drawing, I took a cartoon of a panda of the internet and expanded it to A2 size using a photocopier, and added an outline of the face.
For the front pattern piece I traced the outline and added seam allowance. For the back I drew a line across the middle, added seam allowance round the edge and an extra 5cm to cover the join. The side piece is just a long piece 6cm wide, plus seam allowance.
To make the face, I traced the ears, eyes, nose and mouth from the pattern, with no seam allowance, and cut the piece out from some of the left over fabric from my brother's bag. I made full use of my smart new sewing machine to attach the features to the front, using the close zig-zag stitch.
I made the back out of two pieces, so that the cover could be taken off and washed if needed. (The eagle eyed may notice that I managed to prick my finger while making the front, and bleed on it, luckily just in the seem allowance. I always seem to prick my finger when working with white fabric!) Anyway, back to the cushion construction.
I folded the extra 5cm at the bottom on the top half of the back down, sewed in place and added zelcro. I then did the same for the back, folding the excess in half so that 2.5cm over lap with the top half, again adding zelcro.
Having made the front and back, I attached them to the side piece, sewed two buttons on for eyes, and there was a panda.
One problem, he was a flat panda! And were would I find a panda shaped cushion? No where, but I could make one.
The inner panda is made out of lining material, but with a solid front and back. I left a small gap in the side seams to stuff it, and then sewed it all up.
I'm really pleased with this little chap. If I was to make it again, which I might I was sorry to give him away, I would probably make the black ear pieces a bit bigger, but this is a minor changes. Half-way through my boyfriend suggested it would make a good bag, and I think it would - but that will have to be a challenge for another day!