So here's my take on the gathered cushion I spotted last week at a posh homewares store.
Mine is above....
...theirs is below....
Mine was based on the same method you'd use to make a Suffolk Puff or as some of us know them...a Yo-Yo puff.
There are many tutorials online for making those. Google is your friend there.
So I just made a gigantic Suffolk Puff. That's all that red cushion looked like to me.
I used that lovely soft green-grey damask, as I had a huge remnant of it in my fabric stash. I think I paid about $4 for it, and it's yielded three lovely gathered ball cushions, thankyou very much.
I used my daughters Hula Hoop as a guide for cutting, but again, there are trillions of 'how to cut a circle' methods online. Bear in mind that you need the circle to be at least three times the size of your desired completed cushion. This also means you need as much width in your fabric as possible.
I machine stitched all the way around the edge of the circle, and then ever so carefully and gently, pulled on the thread to gather it, regularly coaxing the gathers along the line, so they were even. In hindsight, hand sewing with embroidery thread would have possibly been easier, but I'm yet to test that method.
Once I had the gathers about right, but still had a wide enough opening, I filled my cushion with Hobbyfill to the extent of puffiness desired. As I won't be sitting or leaning on my cushion, but rather using it for decorating purposes, I didn't go overboard, but I still used about a quarter of a bag of Hobbyfill for mine.
Then, going gently again, so the threads didn't break, I coaxed my circle edge closer into the middle, to form the ball. Once I had it about as small as it could go (like a Suffolk Puff remember), I tucked the edges in and stitched the opening closed.
I then pinned a vintage brooch to the centre, and voila!
I think I like my cushion better to be honest. It certainly suits my décor more than red velvet would have. I love that the damask has a sumptuous sheen, and the vintage brooch really adds to the Victoriana feel.
I have two pastel pink velvet ones on the go for my daughter now. I'll post a photo of those when done. They look completely different to my grey-green ones, but just as lovely. In preference to vintage brooches, I've used proper rhinestone buttons for hers. These added to the cost, but again, as I was using remnants, my cushions still aren't nearly as expensive.
All up, I've made five gathered ball cushions, for $54. Each one has taken me no more than an hour to complete. Probably more like around 40 minutes.
The red one, had I succumbed to temptation, would have set me back $59.
I'm happy :)