Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Quick Throw Pillow

Sometimes I get bored of my living room. Rather than move furniture around or paint the room a new color, I just change the accessories. A quick way to do this is by making new throw pillows.

This is not a complicated sewing project. Just pick your pillow insert (above is 16 x 16) and fabric.

I usually use a front fabric (pattern) and a back fabric (a solid that matches the pattern). 
The first thing I do is iron whatever fabric I'm using. This particular fabric is 100% cotton, quilting fabric. 

It's usually ideal to use home decor fabric (sturdier) but these pillows will just be for "show" and not handled too much.

Next, I cut both pieces (the fabric I'm using for the front and back). Measurements are personal preference. I used to take into account the seam amount and add a 1/2 inch to my measurements. Example: If I had a 16 x 16 pillow form I would cut the fabric 16 1/2 x 16 1/2 because I would be sewing with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Because this particular fabric had a lot of stretch and because I like a pillow to be "full" I stuck with 2 squares measuring 16 x 16 inches. 

~ Here are my front (left) and back (right) fabric ~

Next I placed fabric "right sides" together.

I usually start sewing about 1/3 of the way down, not at a corner. I have to keep in mind that I need to keep a space open to fit the pillow form in.

Again, I use a 1/4 inch seam, all the way around while I'm sewing. This particular foot has a guide attached to help me stay in that 1/4 inch but most sewing machines have measurements etched onto the plates.

When I was about a 1/4 an inch away from a corner I stopped.  

Leaving my needle down, I lifted my lever to pivot and position myself to sew up the next side.

Tip: stitch and backstitch when you start and finish sewing. This way the area around the opening is stitched tightly for when you are stuffing the pillow insert.

Next I turned the sewn pieces right side out.

Then inserted my pillow form.

Once the pillow form was inserted, I folded over the edges of the opening about a 1/4 inch and ironed them.
Next I pinned the opening closed.

The benefit of a "ladder" stitch is that, if done correctly, you don't see the stitch itself. I come in underneath the folded hem that I ironed and cross over underneath the opposite folded hem. I keep the stitching a bit loose as I go and slowly tighten up at the end. I found this video helpful when I first began to use a ladder stitch.

Here is the finished product:

You don't have to buy new furniture or paint to change up your living area. Finding a fabric you like and making your own throw pillows is an easy and inexpensive way to add something different.

~ B

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