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Staff Make – Harlequin Footstool

Here’s a make we’ve been keeping under wraps because it was a Christmas present for my daughter. No mean feat making such a big thing without her knowing, thank goodness for school hours and our Livingstones workshop!

I am more of a sewer than an upholsterer, so when I fell in love with these colours of corduroy and how they looked together, I knew I would have to come up with an imaginative design to make use of them. I bought half a metre of each of the four colours, which was just under 20″, and this set the size of my footstool. I wanted my footstool about 15″ high so I cut a piece 18″ wide from each of the half metres, then I cut a triangle with the height half of the width, and a long piece about 6″ tall for my pocket.

I made the pockets quite fancy by folding in gussets and dividing them into 3, but a much simpler pocket would work as well.

To put it all together, first I hemmed the top edge of the pocket with a small hem. Then I turned in the other edges and folded my pockets. Next I pinned the pockets onto the sides, after deciding how to work the colour contrasts and where to position them. I sewed the edges and the seams in between the pockets first, making sure not to trap in the fabric from the gussets. Then I sewed along the bottom edge of the pocket to close it off.

Next I stitched together the 4 triangles to make the top, then attached on the sides to the top, making sure all my edges were properly square. Finally I sewed up the corner seams. All of this worked fine on my domestic machine, which I was really pleased about.

I also made up a small bean bag about 1.5″ deep to go inside the top, then I filled the rest of the inside with foam offcuts cut to size. I used a piece of harboard as the base and stapled my fabric to the board, checking my measurements and starting at the middle of each side. I also stapled on some blackcloth to make a neat base, then I left it at that. You could add feet or casters to make it easier to move the stool around. Now my daughter has a comfy footstool which can also double as an extra seat, and the pockets are handy for phones, chargers and remotes.

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