Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Pillows are actually a girls best friend!

       It is no secret that I am a fan of textiles, textiles in any form really soften up a room and add a pop of colour or pattern when some is needed. We live in a rental and so changing things like wall colour is a really big deal- not only would we have to get approval for the colour change from the building manager before painting we would obviously have to change the walls back to white before we leave. Truth be told I really like having white walls as all our furniture is fun and pops on the white, our last place had a putty colour on the walls that just made everything look dirty, white is clean and modern allowing our furniture and art to really stand out.

     I thought I would share one of the easiest sewing projects that you will ever try and succeed at- behold the custom throw pillow. These can cost big bucks in designer stores- think pillows that cost more than shoes. Of course these pillows are amazing and beautifully made however when one lives with children under the age of clean hands $200 accent pillows may not be the way to go.  A visit to your local fabric store will yield a plethora of fantastic fabrics at a comparativly low cost- for example I scored this sassy hot pink zebra remenant at Fabricanna for $3.98- at a half yard of fabric it was the perfect size for a pillow cover.

     For this project you will need:

- about a half yard of fabric- about 18" by about 42"
- a pillow form- these can be purchased at most fabric stores
- buttons, ribbon or other embelishments
- matching thread

      Lay pillow on the length of fabric, basically you will be making an envelope for the pillow form, use the form as a guide, making sure you have enough yardage but not too much- I like to leave an extra 1/2" as a seam allowance on each side. For example if your pillow form is 16" add a 1/2" on either side- your fabric should measure 17"wide by 42" long.

    Hem the short ends of the fabric by folding the fabric over about half an inch and ironing, fold over again and iron, straight stitch on your machine. Take the finished ends and fold the fabric so that they overlap in the middle by about 2 inches on each side- this creates the envelope and forms the closure of the pillow cover.

         Pin the edges of the pillow on the two open sides( the folded sides do not need to be sewn)

    Straight stitch the two sides together- in the middle of the cover you will be sewing through three pieces of fabric where everything overlaps. Snip off the corners- this is the only time anyone will tell you it's OK to cut corners! Take out pins, flip pillow cover right side out and push out corners with something sharpish- like a pencil or knitting needle. Give your new pillow case a good iron and make sure everything is nice and crisp before slipping in the pillow form.

       To finish the pink pillow I added buttons which are purely decorative. You can use any manner of closures, such as ribbons for ties or just leave the back plain as I did with the smaller pillow.

    I now have a very happy little girl with a freshened up bed, the slip covers can come off and be washed as needed which makes for a happy Mamma! Or changed  out when her tastes change- although quite frankly who would ever grow out of pink skulls? I also have requests from The Boy for a pillow covered in anchors- these affordable throw pillows means everyone is happy and I still have money left to buy shoes. A win- win situation I say!

p.s. remember what you learned in Sewing 8- always sew your seams on the inside of your item- this means when you are working you will be looking at the back of the fabric that no one will ever see!

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