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Hands-on Classes

Surface Pattern Design + Cushion Making

Price £89 / $111 (approximate) + any applicable tax
Level Advanced
Format All levels, Instant access
Access until December 31, 2024
Course Tutor(s) Rachael Taylor, Simion Hawtin-Smith

Hands-on Classes

Surface Pattern Design + Cushion Making

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The Surface Pattern Design + Cushion Making Masterclass with surface pattern designer and stylist Rachael Taylor and celebrity upholsterer Simion Hawtin-Smith is a fresh and inspiring hands-on workshop, to get your patterns onto fabric and turned into a statement cushion… or five! We created this brilliant, fun and practical course for makers and interior-enthusiasts alike, as well as designers wanting new ways to showcase their designs in a standout way.

The course includes technical training for designing for fabric (repeats & placement prints), in-depth step-by-step videos for turning your fabric into gorgeous cushions, expert upholstery tips and tricks to help you sew like a pro, and downloadable cushion templates to make your life easy!

If you have a passion for pattern, interiors, and hands-on projects, then you’ll love this innovative creative course!

This collaborative online masterclass will firstly guide you in creating your own surface pattern designs, ready for application on fabric and textiles. With your gorgeous custom fabric in hand, you’ll then craft your very own bespoke cushion for your home. This course is creative, technical and hands-on, and is perfect for anyone who has dreamed of seeing their own designs in the home.

Not only that – these cushions (which show YOUR designs in a gorgeous 3D format) are a fantastic way to demonstrate the commercial appeal of your work at a trade show, for a portfolio presentation or event! Want to use fabric you already have? Then don’t worry as our courses will guide you through the making process with tips and tricks to help you really make your cushions unique and innovative.

Your sewing + interiors adventure begins here

INSTANT ACCESS CLASS (Start whenever you’re ready and enjoy full access until December 31, 2024)


  • 10 x professional filmed and beautifully shot videos that are easy to follow for all skill levels with beginner to advanced techniques, filmed on location at Simion’s studio, Reloved Works
  • 1 x screen-capture, technical video from Rachael Taylor showing you how to create a stand-alone design, also known as a ‘placement print’ design or ‘surface pattern concept’, using Adobe Illustrator
  • 1 x screen-capture, technical video from Rachael Taylor sharing how to create a seamless repeat design in Adobe Illustrator
  • Beginner to advanced upholstery and sewing techniques (this course is open to all skill levels)
  • Fun and challenging creative exercises
  • Bonus downloadable cushion templates, design support pdfs, transcripts and design resources
  • Discounts from our partners and on our other design courses


Pattern design skills

Expert pattern designer and Course Leader Rachael Taylor is your guide through the pattern design making process. Starting from your drawing and motif making, Rachael will show you how to digitally manipulate your sketches with lots of tips on creating a beautiful stand-alone print or repeating pattern in Adobe software.

Learn how to:

  • Scan in your original drawings and motifs
  • Use the Adobe Illustrator tools to digitally manipulate your motifs and drawings
  • Create colour palettes and use swatches and Pantone libraries
  • Work with layers
  • Use the geometric tools
  • Use a clipping mask effectively
  • Create a stand-alone, placement print or surface pattern concept
  • Spontaneously create a seamlessly repeating pattern design tile


MIID CUSHION MASTERCLASS COLLAGE 2 HR Surface Pattern Design + Cushion Making

Learn how to create your very own pattern designs from your original drawings with Rachael Taylor


Designing, printing and manufacturing for cushions

Rachael also sheds light on how to work with product templates and manufacturing guidelines.

Learn how to:

  • Create a design to size specifications
  • Think about scale for cushion design
  • Work with an industry standard cushion template
  • Professionally format and save your design files ready for sending to a printer or manufacturer


MIID CUSHION MASTERCLASS COLLAGE 1 HR1 Surface Pattern Design + Cushion Making

Learn how to sew your very own bespoke cushion with Simion Hawtin-Smith


Professional upholstery skills

Course Leader and expert upholsterer Simion Hawtin-Smith will then show you all of his tips and tricks on how to professionally upholster your chair by hand. Learn beginner and advanced techniques for cutting, sewing and hand-making your soft furnishings.

Learn how to:

  • Cut and choose the style of your cushion cover
  • Use a sewing machine and overlocker effectively, with Simion’s expert tips and tricks
  • Construct your cushion cover
  • Tips and tricks for tricky zip placement
  • Add a unique quality to your cushion cover with back panels, making your cushion reversible
  • Add embellishments such as buttons, fabric buttons and coloured zips
  • Add your logo or label


MIID CLASSROOM PHOTOSHOOT4 707 1200PX LR 1 Surface Pattern Design + Cushion Making

Rachael has worked as a print and pattern design innovator for many years designing for clients and products all around the world and has written for and been featured in articles for many magazines and books. She has also designed and styled for and been featured in many photoshoots and TV productions for her interior design work.


IMG 2407 EDIT 1200PX LR 1 Surface Pattern Design + Cushion Making

Simion is a talent of super proportions with a wealth of upholstery knowledge and expert design skills. You can often see him on the BBC’s hit show Money For Nothing in the UK, up-cycling unloved furniture. You can also read his inspiration column every month in Reclaim magazine and holding in-person workshops in his Stockport based studio Reloved Works.


Check out our Terms & Conditions page. We strongly encourage you to read these before registering, as registering for one or more courses or bundles acknowledges acceptance of these Terms & Conditions.


Why would I need to know how to make my own cushion?

Great question! Having skills such as digital pattern making, sewing, and upholstery can open up many doors for you creatively and professionally. Imagine how rewarding it would be to not only design your own fabric but craft your own bespoke piece to show off in your home, on a market stall / online shop or even at trade shows. This is a great way to show the commercial appeal of your design work as well as your own style! Not a designer by trade? Then you can learn all the skills you need to fill your home with furnishings made by your very own hand!

What format is this taught in? Is it easy to follow?

This exciting masterclass is taught in beautifully presented video format complete with supporting PDF downloads. Filmed by the talented Broken Physics Productions, our high-quality course videos have been shot with a 3-camera setup complete with front, side and overhead views to ensure you can follow all steps clearly and with confidence!

Do I have to know how to make patterns, sew or upholster before signing up?

Not at all! These masterclasses have been created for everyone, so you can be a complete beginner. You will learn the digital pattern making side from our co-founder and course instructor Rachael Taylor. You’ll then get the sewing and upholstery know-how from expert upholsterer Simion Hawtin-Smith.

When is the course available?

Right now! You’ll have access to April 30, 2023.

Do I need lots of equipment?

Upon starting the course we will advise you of any absolutely necessary equipment. But don’t worry if you don’t have a full ‘professional’ setup – we have designed these masterclasses to be very flexible, and we offer advice to cover various techniques. Whether you have professional equipment or prefer to do things by hand, we’ve got you covered!

Do I need to prepare anything beforehand?

Not at all! All you need will be explained upon starting the course, including where you can find any necessary materials.



Behind the scenes of our professional filming set up for the masterclass


This course is aimed at all skill levels and can be taken by complete beginners to both the technical side of the course and the hands-on, upholstery skills teaching. You will be in safe hands with our experts that make their tutorials very easy to follow. If you wish not to take part in the technical side of the course then you can choose just to watch the upholstery section of the course and vice versa.


In the course Rachael Taylor will be teaching her section of the masterclass in Adobe Illustrator. If you wish to do the technical aspect of this class then you will need to have at least Adobe Illustrator available to you. If you are new to the software, don’t worry, as Course Leader Rachael has been teaching the software for 8+ years and her tutorials are very easy to pick up and follow. Please note that the software is not included in class and it will need to be purchased separately from Adobe. We advise getting in touch with them directly for the best deals. Adobe Illustrator is a programme widely used in the design industry and is an essential investment if you are serious about a creative career or learning to apply the skills you will learn. However, we always advise our students to take the courses at their own pace so if you wish to save the technical section of the course for later when you feel you are more ready we would encourage this.


For the motif making and drawing part of the masterclass you may need access to simple drawing equipment such as pens, pencils, inks or paints depending on the media you prefer to create with. Rachael likes to use pens from Derwent, UniPin and Berol in a variety of weights. You will also need access to simple kit of sewing and upholstery tools, the full list of which is in the course classroom.


We do not have a set device requirement other than if you wish to follow the technical section of the course then your device will need to be able to run Adobe Illustrator sufficiently. The team works on Apple devices but we have had students also work on PC’s. If you have a scanner for uploading your drawings then this is great, but you can upload photography of your drawings to work on too.


If are new to Make it in Design:

You will be sent an email confirming your class registration after purchase as well as an email containing information on how to set up your student account. Our online classrooms are accessed through this account, and once registered will be accessible through your dashboard. If you have not received emails from us, please check your junk mail and set [email protected] as a safe sender. Please email us if you have still not received anything.

If you already have an account with us:

The class will appear in your dashboard after purchase. If it is a live class this will be in your dashboard but will not be accessible until it goes live (please check dates on individual classes). If you cannot see your class, please check you have signed up with the same email address. If not, please email [email protected] and we can combine the accounts for you.


Sound good? Scroll up to register, or down to see  the course curriculum

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