Wednesday 11 February 2015

Rocket cushions with crinkly flames!

I was recently asked by the lovely Sarah at Lingotastic if I could make some custom rocket cushions for her super toddler foreign language classes. The little ones 'blast off' with these rocket cushions to a different country each term, and are exposed to foreign language learning through music, puppets, stories and crafts. I am really impressed by Sarah's venture and was delighted to be asked, and made 10 of these smart little cushions, here's how:

I began by recreating the Lingotastic rocket logo in Illustrator to reshape it suitably for a 3Dimensional use (as the shape of the flat rocket changes significantly once it is stuffed), adjust the colours to make suitable for digital fabric printing, and added some 'bleed colour' for the seams. I ordered a colour swatch from Woven Monkey and was sure to match their RGB values - you can get some nasty surprises with fabric printing if you don't prepare properly! I uploaded the digital file and waited with anticipation for the fabric to arrive in the post! The fabric cost around £25 for a 1000mm x 1500mm on cotton drill, and I was really happy with the final result. (If you want to make your own plain rocket cushions you can just cut the rocket shapes from your own fabric)

 I cut out the rockets and carefully laid a pair together, facing sides in to each other. I stitched around the rocket with a 10mm seam allowance, leaving a gap at the bottom for turning right side out.

I then trimmed the seam, firstly by shortening it all over to 3-5mm and then cutting diagonal darts every 15mm or so, in order to allow a good shape when turned inside out. This stage is VERY IMPORTANT! Your cushion shape will look puckered and rough if you skip this.

I carefully pulled the rocket inside out (the right way out!) and ironed out the creases, ironing gently into the corners to give a nice shape. I stuffed the fins first, by pushing stuffing into the fin and then stitching it up down the edge. This part is fiddly, and it may help to do a loose running stitch by hand first to hold the sides in place if you have the time.
*TIP: When stuffing, try to always use a continuous handful of stuffing, rather than tear off bits to push in. This will avoid unnecessary lumpiness!

Once the fins were both suitably stuffed and stitched, I stuffed the main section and sewed up along the bottom, leaving the flames area at the bottom.

I found this excellent crinkle paper on ebay, it was about a fiver for a half metre. This is regulation grade crinkle paper suitable for toys, and I thought it would make an excellent 'blast-off' detail! I cut 2 pieces, the shape of the flamed area, and inserted them carefully through the opening. I folded the last open piece of seam in on itself and stitched on the top to finish off and secure the crinkle paper in one go.

3, 2, 1 Blast Off! Why not have a go at some custom rocket cushions yourself?

You can find out more about Lingotastic on their blog at


  1. Emily, they look brilliant. Looking forward to using them in class today.

  2. Wow!!! This rocket is looking so good..
    Awesome idea...

    click here: