Ruffles add a softening touch to cushions and other furnishings, and are generally made from light, filmy fabrics or country-cottage prints. But, with imagination and a bold choice of colour, ruffles need not be restricted to the boudoir; they can be used to make a strong impact anywhere.
Attaching a ruffle to a cover
Make a ruffle twice the circumference of the required finished cushion cover. The ruffle can either have a narrow hem or be doubled over so that the raw edges of both layers are aligned. Run a running stitch around the raw edges of the length of the ruffle. Pull the thread to gather the ruffle, then pin and tack it to the right side of the front piece of the cover, aligning the raw edges. Complete the cushion cover in the usual way, catching the ruffle seam allowance in between the front and back sections of the cover.
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Covers for seating
The possibilities of covering furniture with fabric are as exciting as they are endless. Do you go for loosely draped, unstructured sheets of cloth that billow like dust covers over an old sofa? Or do you prefer smart, tailored little numbers with tucks and pleats and artfully placed buttons, which might disguise the awfulness of a battered dining chair?
The art of adding fabric to furniture opens up a wealth of decorative possibilities. Small seats can be tightly covered, whereas long, low benches look stunning when loosely dressed; deck-chair frames can be given a new lease of life covered in a different fabric, or natty little folding stools can be sharpened up with new, slung canvas.
Fine detailing adds sophistication to the disguise. Use eyelets, buttons, loops and ties, tassels and trims. Invent new ways of using old materials. However, don’t lose sight of the practicalities and the function of the piece, even if your own ingenuity takes over.
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