Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Easy pillow

I'm always making pillows. It's a fast easy way to change the look of a room.  For me, the hardest part is getting the fit over the pillow form just right.  The awning stripe pillows that I made in my last post are so easy because there is only one seam, not four, and you can get a very accurate fit.   It's great for a beginner.
Here's the photo of the striped pillows from my last post.

After you select your fabric and before you start measuring and cutting, you must make sure that your fabric is straight.  Cut a few inches below the fabric store cut beyond the selvage (that white border that sometimes has stamped on writing and colors ).  Grab each side of the cut and pull in opposite directions.  The fabric should tear in a straight line.  You must have a straight line before you begin or the design will be crooked.

See how crooked the fabric store cut is. 

The next thing you want to do is take measurements of your pillow form.  I decided to use these travel pillows as my form because I wanted an oblong shape.  You can buy pillow forms at any fabric store.
You must have a horizontal measurement and a vertical one.
For the vertical measurement, measure the whole way around the pillow, then add at least 2 " to that measurement for a seam allowance.

For the horizontal measurement, just measure the diameter, not the whole way around.  To that horizontal diameter, add an allowance for the "flaps" on either side.
 If you notice on the pillow  from the post there are two "flaps" on either side.  Decide how wide you want the flaps and double that for each side.
Then use your measurements to cut your fabric.

Next, lay the fabric, right side down, fold over the flaps to the width you decided. Mine had a final measurement of 4" wide each. You could iron the seams so they'll lay straight.  I folded and pressed the torn edges under and pinned in place.

Sew the pinned seams down.

After sewing the flaps, place the fabric right side up, lay the pillow form on it,
fold over and pin across the top.
This is your only seam.

Remove the pillow form once you're sure of the size of the seam.  Sew the seam shut.

Turn the fabric right side out and slide the pillow form back in.  You're done. 
Notice, I added buttons to close the flaps.    I just sewed them onto the fabric, through both layers.

Give it a try.  Once you measure and sew the side flaps over, it's just a matter of folding in half and sewing a top seam.

Easy peasy for a custom look.

Here's a variation of the pillow.  If you have a button hole attachment on your machine you can add button holes and buttons instead of just stitching on the buttons.  You can remove the cover easily to clean and it does look more professional.   This pillow says Maison, but you just as easily could have it monogrammed, or stencil on a monogram before you sew it together.

Once you've mastered this, you're ready for the challenge round.  Look at the images below.  You'll notice that the flaps are stitched on in a contrasting fabric and not sewn down. They're only attached on one side and tucked in so that one of the unattached flaps can tuck over and cover the pillow form edge.  Some cording is also added to tie it shut. You'll need top and bottom seams to make this work.

Please let me know how your pillows turn out.


If you live in the DC area and are interested in some home styling, please contact me.
I'd love to work with you.

1 comment:

  1. That's awesome Kathy! I sew but just can't seem to get any pillows made lately. I want to do the envelope type but not sure to do them. One of the first things I did when crafting was make patchwork pillows!