Saturday, March 26, 2011

Starter Pillow

I'm calling this tutorial the "Starter Pillow" because it was the first sewing project I ever made and it is perfect for beginners. So I present to you:

Let me start off by saying the second I saw the new Melody Miller collection, I was smitten. My first love was the viewfinders in multicolor:

But apparently, I wasn't alone in my sentiment and I couldn't find any of this fabric available for purchase anywhere!!!

So I hate to say I had to "settle" for the Transistor Radios in orange because I love this pattern as well and it turns out, this color scheme goes much better with our living room decor. 

The pillow I made was 18 x 18, but this same tutorial will work for any size pillow, but obviously the fabric pieces have to be adjusted depending on the size of the pillow. 

I started by cutting three pieces of fabric. Piece #1 was 19 x 19, Piece #2 was 19 x 10 and piece #3 was 19 x 10. 

You may be wondering about the math here. Shouldn't piece 2 and piece 3 add up to 19 instead of 20? But since this is an envelope pillow, you want there to be enough room so the pillow doesn't bulge out the back. In fact, if your pillow is super can even make that third piece 19 x 11. 

Be careful how you cut piece 2 and 3. Visualize which way the fabric needs to be cut so that the pattern will be the same on the front of the pillow and on the back. I.e. if you have dogs sitting up on one side of the fabric, make sure that when you cut pieces 2 and 3, those dogs still look like they're sitting up and not lying down! The 19 inch side of all three pieces should showcase your fabric in the same direction. (Does that make sense? I'm over thinking know what I mean and if you don''ll learn when you do it wrong...ha!)

I am not one to wax poetic on the benefits or ironing. I am quite lazy and don't iron unless it's imperative (I also don't pre-wash fabric, which is a big no-no....) But I will say, that for these pillows, I always iron the seams down on piece #2 and piece #3 (the 19 inch side or long side) about 1/4 of an inch:

And then 1/4 of an inch more. 

Once you've done that to piece #2 and piece #3 it's time to sew these seams down as close to the edge as possible. 

For this pattern, instead of picking a neutral color, I went with the orange thread so it would pop. 

 Now it's time to assemble all three pieces. Lay your pieces down. Piece #1, right side facing up and then Pieces #2 and #3, right side facing down. 

Pin around the perimeter of the entire pillow and sew! (I always default to a 1/2 inch allowance.) 

Once you've finished sewing, trim your corners.

Turn the pillow right side out...admire and then stick your pillow inside and enjoy!!!

A very easy way to give a face lift to any room! 


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