I’m a Craigslist junkie. I seriously might have some kind of diagnosable FOMA related, deal finding, need-to-upgrade disorder. Someone was giving away a huge amount of down feathers and I couldn’t resist getting them to stuff my poufs with. I originally used blankets and pillows and they were fine, but would get a bit lumpy and needed to be rearranged from time to time.
I was concerned the down would shift too much if I just sewed one big stuffing cushion, so I thought I would either need to sew multiple small cushions or figure out how to sew baffles. I decided to do that latter because small cushions might shift just like one big cushion.
Disclaimer: I am NO expert. I didn’t even know what baffles were when I first got the feathers. I have no idea if this is how you sew them since I couldn’t find any clear directions online, but I thought this post might be helpful to other DIYers trying to wing it. The general idea is to do the same thing you do to make the pouf with two additional vertical pieces to create baffles to keep the feathers in place. I changed the order that I attached the pieces so that I’d have less fabric in the way while I sewed, but I think there are lots of different ways you can do this. My one big tip is to make sure you’re sewing the right seams together. I made a couple mistakes born out of overenthusiasm and had to rely on my trusty seam ripper to make it right.
I used Roc-lon Feather-Guard Ticking, which is specifically meant to keep your feathers from poking out through your fabric. Since my poufs are 26″x26″x10″, I decided to make the stuffing cushion 25.5″x25.5″x9.5″. (Please note: After I was done I realized I should have make the inner cushion slightly bigger than the outside. Sigh!)
I tried to take during pictures, but I couldn’t because I needed multiple arms to hold it in a way to show anything helpful and I’m not an octopus. Sorry! I did try to break down what I did in detail so you could follow along and I’m happy to answer questions. Also, here’s a drawing that might be helpful to visualize what you’re trying to do:
Step 1: Cut fabric pieces
For each cushion, cut (includes 1/2″ seam allowance)
- 2 – 26.5″x26.5″ – top and bottom
- 4 – 26.5″x10.5″– rectangular sides (Since the fabric I was using was 44″ wide, I cut 4 pieces to minimize waste. If you are using wider fabric or making smaller poufs, you can cut 2 longer pieces. That’s what I did for the poufs.)
- 2 – 26.5″x10.5″ – baffles that are sewn parallel to the sides and perpendicular to the top/bottom
A, B = top/bottom
C, D = sides
E, F – baffles
Step 2: Sew baffles (E, F) to top (A) and bottom (B)
Since your top and bottom are 26.5″ wide, you want to sew your baffles 9″ from each side. Measure and use a sewing marker (ink disappears) to mark where this is. Iron a 1/2″ seam on your baffles and pin them to the lines you drew on the top. Sew these. Do the same thing to sew the baffles to the bottom.
Step 3: Sew sides of sides (C, D)
Iron your seams so that your side is 25.5″ plus the 1/2″ seams. Mark 9″ from each side on two of the sides and draw a line with a sewing marker like you did in step 2. You should have drawn 4 lines total. Pin and sew the four sides together so you have a continuous loop. Make sure that you alternate the ones with the lines and the ones without.
Step 4: Sew baffles (E, F) to sides (C, D)
Sew the short sides of your baffles to the 4 lines you drew in steps 3.
Step 5: Sew sides (C, D) to top (A)
Sew the sides to the top. When you get to the end of each side, just leave your needle in, turn your fabric and keep sewing. There’s no need to do each side separately.
Step 6: Sew sides (C, D) to 3 sides of bottom (B)
Sew 3 sides of the bottom to the sides (C, D) leaving open one side where you can see into the baffles.
Step 7: Stuff and sew 4th side to bottom (B)
Feathers are hard to work with. They stick to everything and they fly everywhere. If you can do this outside, do. I did this out of the trunk of my car and it looked like I had slaughtered a chicken. Fill the 3 baffles with feathers to your desired firmness and then sew the last side shut, keeping the feathers in as best you can. You can also fill one at a time and sew each section closed before stuffing the next, which is what I did, though I’m not sure it actually made a difference in reducing the number of feathers flying around. It did help in that it’s harder to sew when more baffles are full and in the way, but you can do it!
Step 9: Stuff, fluff, and admire
Put your inner cushion inside your pouf, zip it up, fluff it up, and admire your work! (and vacuum up the stray feathers!)
As noted earlier, I realized after stuffing that I should have made the inner cushion slightly bigger than the cover so that it would be full. Oh well. I used a couple small down blankets to fill the space, so it doesn’t look that weird (and certainly not as lumpy as it was when it was filled with blankets and pillows), but it was a bit of a buzzkill.