Make your own garden kneeler


  • Two 31cm (12in) lengths of 25mm (1in) wide twill tape
  • Two 40x54cm (16x21in) rectangles of oilcloth fabric
  • Matching sewing thread
  • 250g (9oz) of 100 percent polyester high-loft fiberfill toy filling
  • Paperclips

Step 1: Pin one length of twill tape to the right side of one oilcloth rectangle, as shown, so that the ends of the tape are even with one short edge of the oilcloth and are equal distances from the long edges. Make sure that the pins are no more than 1cm (3/8in) from the edge. Repeat to pin the other length of tape to the other short edge of the same piece. Stitch each handle in place 1cm (3/8in) from the edge.

Step 2: Place the other oilcloth rectangle on top of the first one, with right sides together, sandwiching the handles between the two layers. Paperclip in place around the edges, rather than pinning.

Step 3: Using a Teflon foot on your machine and starting and finishing at one of the shorter sides, stitch a 1cm (3/8in) seam, pivoting the fabric at the corners and leaving an opening between the starting and finishing points. Snip off the corners of the seam allowances.

Step 4: Turn the kneeler right side out through the opening. Using a blunt-ended tool, such as the rounded end of a chopstick, carefully push out the corners. Take a generous handful of filling and gently pull it to loosen it, repeating the process two or three times. Insert it into the cover, starting in one of the corners farthest from the opening. Gently, but firmly, push the filling into the corner. Repeat with the other corner farthest from the opening, then fill the remaining two corners. Insert small amounts of additional filling, gradually working toward the opening, until it is firm and plump. Fold in the seam allowances of the opening, and paperclip the opening closed, then stitch it using a Teflon foot.

  • Yours tip: The hardest part of sewing oilcloth is that the foot grips the oilcloth and can stop you from sewing evenly. A Telfon foot on the sewing machine will offset this. Keeping your stitches large also helps.
  • Project from Stylish Home Sewing by Torie Jayne, published by Cico Books (£14.99) Photos by Sussie Bell