This course has concessions available

Soft Furnishings

Learn how to source ideas, select fabric, measure, lay and cut fabric along with a range of professional sewing techniques. There are two parts in each term:- Part 1 - envelope cushions Part 2 - piped and frilled cushions.

Who is this course for

This brand new course is suitable for anyone with a basic knowledge of sewing and a love of fabric and crafts. Be inspired to learn new skills and create beautiful accessories for you and your home or as gifts for special occasions. You will be amazed at what you can achieve. The course will start by introducing you to a variety of quick and easy projects with two types of cushions for you to make each term:
Term 1 - Part 1 - Decorative envelope cushions Part 2 - Piped or Frilled zipped cushions
Term 2 - Part 1 - Applique Cushions Part 2 - Boxed cushions
Term 3 - Pleated Bolster Cushions Part 2 - Floor Cushions
A working knowledge of sewing machines and sewing basics is essential. If you have not used a sewing machine before then the one day Sewing Machine Introduction course is recommended before embarking on this course.

What does this course cover

The course will cover a range of techniques and methods for designing and making cushions. You will learn how to source ideas, play with colour, how to plan your design, how to choose fabrics, apply measurements, and work out how much fabric you will need and lay and cut fabric. You will use a sewing machine to make up and finish your designs using a range of professional sewing techniques and skills learnt on the course.
By the end of the course you should be able to do the following:
- Identify different cushion styles
- Design and create a professionally crafted cushion
- Take accurate measurements and estimates of fabric for cushions
- Select the most appropriate fabrics and colours for your project
- Discover simple sewing techniques to create beautiful accessories with a professional finish
- Cut fabric correctly and accurately avoiding waste
- Use a sewing machine with care observing health and safety rules.

What will it be like

Learning will be facilitated by individual guidance and support from the tutor as well as peer centred learning. Skills and knowledge will be learned initially through visual demonstrations and verbal descriptions then students will work independently with one to one tutor advice and assistance. This will be supported by hand-outs. Students will be encouraged to comment about each other's work (peer centred learning).
Your progress is monitored by tutor feedback and end of course self-assessment. Individual advice is always available and verbal feedback, support and encouragement is given to you throughout the course.
- Questions and answers during group discussions and one-to-one teaching.
- Practical work produced is evidence of learning.
- At the end of the course we will review and assess the work.

What else do you need to buy or do

So that you are fully prepared you will need to bring the following materials/equipment to the first class:
- Notebook
- A4 ring binder with clear plastic wallets
- Pencils and pen
- 1 metre fabric per cushion
- 10' - 12' (25 - 30cm zip) to match fabric
- Fabric shears
- Sewing thread to match fabric
- Small sharp pointed scissors
- Stitch ripper or quick-unpick
- Fine steel pins
- Metric tape measure
- Tailors chalk

What this course could lead to

This course could lead to other sewing and textile courses at the Mary Ward Centre or another further education college. The student could take a follow up short course or a longer term or year long course. It could also inspire self-initiated projects.

There is detailed information in Reception about all our courses at the Mary Ward Centre and a library of prospectuses for other London colleges to help you continue your studies. If you need more detailed advice, please ask your tutor.
Information about other learning opportunities can be obtained from Learn Direct: tel: 0800 101 901, and from the following websites:;

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I've been to many Centres to study in London and the Mary Ward Centre is one of the nicest I've studied in.

MWC student


This course has concessions available for people who meet certain criteria

Got a Question about this Course?

Contact The Departmental Administrator.

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Why come to Mary Ward Centre?

Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference. We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening or weekend to suit your timetable.

Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’