I may be showing my inner dork, but in my teen years I went through a serious Doris Day phase…Did you catch that in the title? <3 You can thank my mother for teaching me to love the oldies but goodies.
Also, sorry if you subscribe to us by email or RSS. Yesterday, I accidentally hit “Publish” instead of “Save” as I was writing, and many of you received an unfinished version of this! MY BAD.
I started this pillow project a few months ago and finished a few weeks after that. I had made a pillow in middle school (a dog, I think) but hadn’t attempted it since. I thought it would be a quick and easy project, so I offered to help my friend, Allison add some color to her new home with pillows! It turned out to be a fairly quick and easy process once I got the hang of it. I’m a pretty novice seamstress but had fun playing around with it.
Allison had just moved into her new home, a beautiful and spacious townhouse! She has a great sense of style and an eye for decor. That being said, she is a little color-averse and asked me for some help adding pops of color to mostly neutral space. Her new couches came with light beige pillows (a ton of them) and she handed them over to me to use for stuffing.
I made a total of eight pillows, 6 square and 2 lumbar, of varying fabric, pattern, and embellishments. The great thing about pillows is that they are all made about the same way.
The Basic Pillow
Disclaimer to my seamstress friends: I’m not sure this is the official way to make a pillow, but it was the easiest for me and not too overwhelming for a hot-glue girl, like me! Any tips or feedback is always appreciated.
After spending part of a morning picking out lots of cool and contrasting fabrics at Hobby Lobby (kid-free, I might add!), I got to work making a few basic pillows.
I first folded the ironed fabric in half so that the outside of the fabric was turned in on itself. In this picture, I was cutting and making a pillow out of upholstery fabric. You will see that the finished sides are facing in to each other.
I then cut the fabric so that I had two 19″ squares. With 1/2″ seams, the pillow will be about 18″ square.
*Some fabrics were too thin and looked a bit like cellulite when stuffed, so I added a lining with an extra layer of fabric. With the lining, I had 3 layers of 18″ fabric.
A few months ago when my grandmother lent me her sewing machine, I had no clue I would use it as much as I have. This was the biggest project yet, though. So, I busted it out and set the stitch to #4. I have no clue if this was right, but because it was such heavy fabric, I wanted to make sure and have it be secure. For thinner fabrics, I used the tightest straight stitch – #1.
I then started my stitch at the center on whichever side I wanted to be the bottom, back stitching a couple of inches at the start. I worked my way about the edge, stopping and back stitching about 4-5 inches before the starting seam – just enough for my hand to fit in to stuff the pillow. (I put Blue Painter’s Tape on the machine to mark clearly where to line up my edge)
I turned it inside outside, through the 5 inch opening.
From my pillow discard pile, I grabbed an old pillow and used it to stuff the new pillow.
Once stuffed, I used a needle and thread to sew the pillow shut.
Union Jack Pillow
The Union Jack flag is pretty popular these days in the world of decorating – serving trays, dressers, and of course pillows. My inspiration came from my friend Linda at It All Started with Paint. She makes a beautiful Union Jack pillow. Hers looks better and she probably makes it a whole lot faster, but this was a lot of fun for me and it turned out really cool. If you’re not up for putting in the time to make one, check out Linda’s Etsy Shop.
For my Union Jack Pillow I used a drop cloth type material. It was super cheap but a little scratchy so I made sure to pre-wash it.
Before sewing the pillow together, I cut 8 strips of the same cloth – 4 different widths. The center cross I made a little wider than the X. Then I sewed them on one at a time, alternating which direction I sewed.
After the Union Jack design was sewed onto one layer of the pillow, I frayed the edges of the Union Jack to give it texture and help it stand out against the pillow.
I then put the Union Jack layer face down against the other side of the pillow and sewed as I outlined above.
Stenciled and Flowered Pillow
Allison and I looked around on the web and Pinterest to find designs that would add some color and interest without being too difficult to make. I tossed around the idea of a ruffle pillow and a giant flower, but ended on this design because Ethan had just given me a stencil cutter and I wanted to try it out.
Again using the drop cloth material, I grabbed one of the two 19′ square pieces and began to add embellishments.
Using my Martha Stewart Stencil paper and stencil cutter, I traced the word LOVE from a computer print-out of the word.
I pressed the stencil to the fabric and used fabric paint and a round sponge brush to evenly apply paint to the fabric. While the paint was still wet, I removed the stencil.
Using a purple damask-esque fabric, I made six rolled fabric flowers and sewed them to the pillow surrounding the LOVE. For a tutorial on how to do this, check out my complete guide to making fabric flowers.
Fabric Appliquéd Pillow
I had not planned on doing this, but I thought the yellow chevron lumbar pillow looked kinda random on its own, so I was attempting to tie in the blue from the other pillows. For all its cuteness, it was SUPER simple.
I ironed Heat N Bond onto the back of the blue fabric, cut out a letter “S” (for Allison’s last name), and then ironed it onto the pillow before stuffing it. The Heat N Bond keeps the edges from fraying and my sewing skills are not good enough to sew on the letter.
Before and After
Allison is a DIY girl and great at taking pix too, so she was kind enough to send along some before and after pix. It’s amazing what a little color will do for a room! Although it doesn’t hurt that the space and furniture are so amazing. The pillows went into two different rooms – her living room and small sitting room.
What do you think? What should I do for my next set of pillows?
As Always, thanks for reading!
Where We Party
Sunday: Under the Table and Dreaming Homemaker on a Dime Monday: Craft-O-Maniac Setting for Four Skip to my Lou Southern Hospitality Alderberry Hill Tuesday: Mom 4 Real the diy dreamer Not Just a Housewife House on the Way Elizabeth & Co. Wednesday: We are that Family Savvy Southern Style Mom on Timeout DIY Showoff Thursday: Designed Decor House of Hepworths Bear Rabbit Bear Friday: Serenity Now Tatertots & Jello Shaken Together Design, Dining + Diapers Fox Hollow Cottage Create.Craft.Love. Saturday: Funky Junk Interiors Six Sisters' Stuff
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