Saturday, May 5, 2012

I Made a Pillow!

So you all know, that I'm trying to make friends with my sewing machine right?  It's a rocky friendship at best. However, I am very good friends with my seam ripper!!  I tried so hard to make a pillow in time for Pillowpalooza, but it was not meant to be.  I did finally get one made:
Be's my first pillow.

Okay, it's not my first pillow.  My first pillow is laying in my craft room.....recovering....from surgery with my seam ripper.  I'm not sure who will recover first...her or me.  I may get back to it when I have the heart!  There are a million instructions on "How to Make a Simple Envelope Pillow" online.  I am here to tell you....not all of them are that simple.  In fact, many of them are downright confusing to me.  So, this is a conglomeration of all of those failed instructions into one good one!
First, let me say that I have had these pillow forms for at least 12 years!!  That's how long I've been meaning to make a pillow!
  I got all three pillow forms for $12.99!  I'll be making the 16X16 one here. 

The fabric, is  some kind of lightweight canvas or maybe even like the drop cloth fabric I've been seeing everywhere.  Whatever it is, I have lots of it, because my good friend Judy made me a very large curtain out of it many years ago!
It's about twice the size you see above because it goes over the back of the couch!

So basically for me this is a no cost project.  The first thing I did was cut that curtain down to a manageable size and then wash and iron the fabrics.  Since this is a 16x16 pillow, I cut three pieces of fabric.  The first one (the front) I cut 16 1/2" square.  For the back I cut 2 pieces 16.5" x 11" each.  I also cut the colored stripe I would be using for the front 16 1/2" long by whatever width you want your stripe.

Then, on the two back pieces (the oblong ones) I ironed 1/4" on one long side, folded it over again to encase the raw hem and pressed it again.  
Then I pinned it in place.
Then I sewed it down.
(Remember, I did this to both of the oblong back pieces.)

Next, I  pinned and top stitched my stripe on to the front of my pillow.
Now I am going to assemble this pillow and I have to tell you that I thought about this waaaaay too long and had to call my friend Judy in Arizona and she had to talk me down from my state of confusion.  (Thank you Judy!)  All I had to do was lay the top piece down, right side up, then put the first back piece right side down on top of it with the finished seam heading down towards the middle.  Then place the second back piece on top of that with the finished seam heading up toward the middle.
Then pin all three pieces together all the way around. 
Use a 1/4" seam to sew all three layers together.  Stop when you get 1/4" away from each corner.  While your needle is down in the fabric, pivot the pillow cover 90 degrees and continue sewing all the way around.  (My friend Judy told me to back up when I sewed over the exposed center seam a couple of times to reinforce that area since I would be stuffing the pillow in from there.)  Trim off the excess bulk in the corners and if you want, add some extra stitching to strengthen the corners. (I did....I couldn't have stood another failure!)
Remove all of the pins, turn the pillow cover right side out and stuff your pillow in! (I can't tell you how excited I was to get to this part finally!!!)
Yay.....I made a pillow!!  In retrospect, I probably would have used a 1/2" seam instead of a 1/4" seam when sewing it all together so my pillow cover would have fit a little tighter, but hey, it's my first second one.  Now I have to go check on the recovery process of my first pillow.  Maybe it's ready for another attempt.  Maybe I'm ready too.  Maybe it's going to be a runner or something else.
Have a great weekend!
Linking Up:
it all started with paint


  1. Lol! Well done dear Danni! I can so relate to that, especially to thinking very long about how to put it together (also spent far to much time with the seam ripper :-) ).
    hugs to you, your pillow is gorgeous!

  2. It's lovely. You did a great tutorial too so that if i ever decide to try a pillow, I'll be following your directions! And table runners are beautiful, lol.

  3. Danni,

    I am laughing so hard I am crying over here, be ause you have just described ME! I can't sew, or understand those "easy" envelope pillow tutorials either, in fact, I could barely follow yours. . . LOL! Don't try another just now, let your loos pressure return to normal first.

    The pillow looks really nice though , I am impressed. I doubt mine would be square, or hold a form, or look remotely like a pillow!

    Good job, and if you keep at the sewing thing, I am signing up for lessons.


  4. Nice job! I love that pink!!!

  5. Pillow looks great, Danni, and you not only made it but wrote a very nice tutorial also. I am impressed! The way you did the back of your pillow is called a sham closing because that is the way that pillow shams for beds are made. I love that type of closing because you do not have to put in a zipper, and there is no hand sewing. It makes it so easy to take the pillow form out to wash or change the cover. Pillows forms are some of those things that have really gone up in price. I think a 16-inch one costs almost $12.99 by itself now unless they are on sale. Hope your weekend is going great.

  6. Great job! New follower here~ come see me when you can - hope you will follow, too!

  7. Yay! You made a pillow ... and aren't you glad that Pillowpalooza wasn't a one time deal?

    Thanks so much for sharing and for sharing my button too!



  8. Danni, you are adorable. Believe me, my seam ripper and I spend a lot of time together. I think you provided a very easy to understand tutorial and a beautiful pillow. I adore it and you :)

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