Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Yet another project I've signed up for is writing a tutorial on Easy Sew Pillows. Don't expect to see cording or a zipper, but with very basic sewing skills nearly anyone can make a pair of beautiful pillows. For those of you who have been around for awhile, yes, I've shown this project before here...but for new readers, here it is:
Begin by measuring the pillow inserts to be used. In this case the inserts measured 12" x 17", even though labeled 12" x 16"...go figure. So don't make any assumptions!
Add two inches to each measurement and make a pattern out of brown paper. Here the pattern was cut 14" x 19" inches. Using a square definitely helps, if you have one.
Because the fabric used for these pillows feature a large scale print, I had to decide where to have the pattern fall on the pillows. Before cutting, I played around with the potential placement of the pattern (seen above) until I liked what I saw.
Determine the layout that will work for the specific fabric you have selected, then position the pattern on the fabric appropriately, checking to make sure it is on grain. Next cut around the pattern edges.
Before proceeding, can I pause for a moment and talk about this fabric?! The colors are just so happy, the large scale print is fun and the fabric looks great paired with the pink shantung selected for the pillow backs.
Next, using the same pattern used to cut the pillow fronts, cut the fabric chosen for the pillow backs.
(The pink is looking gorgeous with my new kitchen island paint color! Perhaps I need to figure out how to bring some pink into my kitchen.)
After cutting the pillow pieces, lay the front piece on top of the back, with the fabrics facing right side together. Then pin the edges.
Sew the pieces together using a one inch seam allowance. Leave an opening approximately six inches long on one side of the pillow. I typically sew the seam twice, just to make sure they don't come apart. I don't know what I'm expecting, major pillow fights?
After sewing, trim the seams, the first layer slightly more than the second. This will help make the seams less noticeable through the fabric on the completed pillow. Also, don't be afraid to trim the fabric fairly close at the corners, particularly if there are double stitch lines. This will enable clean corners.
Next turn the pillow...
...and press the seams.
Then push the pillow insert through the opening and adjust until it is in place.
The final step is to hand stitch the opening closed. It is also possible to accomplish this step using a sewing machine, though the closure will be quite noticeable. The simple hand stitch is easy, and if small stitches are used you'll not be able to see where the pillow was inserted.
The best part of making your own pillows is that they can cost very little! I purchased the pillow inserts at JoAnn Fabrics using 40% off coupons, and pillows take so little fabric that often remnants or left over fabrics from another project can be used. And really, can you have too many pillows? Look for a few "beauty shots" tomorrow...