A couple of things to note before you start: Our bolster is 50 cm wide, has a diameter of 15 cm and is made from foam. You can, of course, use polyester wadding or down-filled bolsters for this project. To calculate the size of your bolster, you can work with the number Pi (∏) or simply measure the size with a measuring tape. So you won't run the risk of cutting it too fine. Please allow a little extra fabric (1 to 2 cm) over and above the figure you have calculated so that the cover is not pulled taut and you have easier access to the bolster. Also, please don't forget the 1 cm seam allowance. A hint re the side panels of the bolster: they are cut twice as long as the finished product, and the crease is entirely worked into the inside of the bolster. Since you look at a specific side of the bolster, it's more elegant if the finished side, rather than the reverse side, of the pretty country motif is visible.
To make a bolster that is 50 cm wide and 15 cm (⌀) (measurements provided are inclusive of seam allowances), we need:
•a "Pied de Coq 1" middle section: 52 cm wide and 52 cm long
•2 "Toile Courtisane 4" side panels: 2 x 52 cm wide and 52 cm long
•2 lengths of bobbin lace, each 52 cm long
•choose one or several "Pied de Coq Rose" appliqués as desired. Using the shears, cut closely along the outlines of the flower.
•Vliesofix: cut precisely along the outlines of the flower(s).
Iron Vliesofix onto the reverse side of the flower(s). Use the paper side when ironing. The Vliesofix will help you sew the appliqué on neatly and securely, as you will have already used it on the middle section of the bolster, thus preventing the appliqué from slipping. Any residual Vliesofix edging must be neatly cut off; thereafter, remove the paper from the reverse panel. Place this panel roughly in the centre of the lilac houndstooth fabric so that the embellishment does not later coincide with the seam. Once you have decided where you wish to place the appliqué(s), iron it/them on. You should also iron a thin Vlieseline onto the reverse side of the lilac middle section – where you intend to position the appliqué – so that the appliqué adheres well. Cut the Vlieseline to size in a kinked rather than rectangular fashion so that it does not pierce the finished bolster. Now set your sewing machine to zigzag stitching with a short but wide stitch. First sew a few trial stitches so that you are sure which stitch you want to use for the appliqué. Make sure the stitch length is not overly small, as the "Pied de Coq" can pucker.
3. Connecting the middle section to the side panels
Iron the longitudinal crease of the side panels on the finished side of the fabric. This is the end of the bolster. Then iron a 1 cm seam allowance into the reverse of the fabric on the outer sides of the side panels. This will be sewn onto the seam allowance on the inside by hand later (in Step 5). Then use straight stitch to sew the side panels to the middle section. Ensure that the country motif is uni-directional on either side. First prise the two sides apart by ironing them such that the seam comes right out; then iron them together into the side panels. Now position the bobbin lace on the section where the two fabrics come together so that the lace is in the centre and only the teeth protrude slightly into the side panels. This is the best way to conceal the seam. Sew the bobbin lace securely to the left and right of the teeth using white thread.
4. Closing the long seam
Place the piece cross-wise in the crease and close the entire seam. Then fold the side panels inwards to the crease and place the ironed seam allowance symmetrically upon the seam allowances to the middle section. Pin the piece and then secure the hem by stitching by hand. To do this, you can either use a herringbone stitch or a hem stitch.
The bolster is ready!
Turn. Cover your bolster. Finally, tie the side pieces into a bow using the satin ribbon.