Good morning, friends! Hope your week is going well. It is a rainy morning here in Georgia, so I thought I would share the tutorial I said I would from the last post. A few years ago, I got a good, basic Singer sewing machine with the good intentions of taking sewing lessons. I saw so many great tutorials and bought slipcover e-books, hoping I was going to learn all that and much, much more. Well, as many tried and true DIYers know, those sewing lessons haven't happened (kinda like the photography classes haven't either! ) because I am a strong-willed girl who thinks she can figure it out on her own (wink,wink!) I have learned over the 18 years of being a stay-at-home-mom that in order to have a beautiful home with custom looking touches, you may have to learn to do alot of that yourself, if it is to be. And because I wanted to have all the beauty without the high cost, I taught myself how to sew easy, basic things. The world of blogging has made it possible for anyone who has the desire to learn decorating, design, and DIY easy and right at your fingertips!!
WARNING: this tutorial took longer to write than it did to make the actual pillow!
So let's talk envelope-style pillows today. WHY, envelope-style, you ask? Well, I love them because they are beautiful, easy, and have clean, finished edges. You can customize them with buttons, or tassels, or whatever makes you happy. Here are the supplies you will need:
- Tape measure
- Pillow form ( I like 20 x 20 IKEA goose down forms )
- Stitch Witchery ( I think this was 5/8" )
- Iron/ironing board
- Fabric- I started with 2 yds. total, but you only need 3/4 yd. for (1) 20X20 pillow, 1 1/2 yds for (2) 20x20 pillows. Cut the fabric a width of 22" and a length of 48" for this size pillow; make adjustments for smaller or larger pillows.
- Buttons, tassels,etc.
- Coordinating thread
- Sewing machine with top thread and bobbin loaded and ready to go!
Of course, there are tools to sew a perfect hem, but I started a few years ago making entire pillows out of various types of Stitch Witchery! That was pre-sewing machine, and when I was desperate to learn how to make pretty pillows!
Follow the instructions on the package, but basically you fold the fabric over the hem tape, then iron until it adheres together. Different types of hem tape have different instructions, so read carefully. The one I showed requires a dry iron with no steam, but others call for steam.
This is what both ends should look like when you are finished ironing on the Stitch Witchery.
I like a 1/4 to 3/4 fold for the envelope-style pillow. It seems most pleasing to the eye, in my opinion. Fold the fabric 3/4 of the way up the pillow, then lay the 1/4 top of fabric down over it. The sides will be sewn, so don't fret about that right now. ( I just now remembered that word from my childhood...My Southern Momma says that!) OH, and try and line up the pattern if your fabric has one. That way, it gives a much nicer, more custom looking pillow when you're finished.
When you fold the fabric, it should be about 20" long. It is fine that this is the exact pillow length, because this will be your finished length, as well.
Turn your fabric on the wrong side, and make sure you fold and pin it the way I showed in this picture. Most of my early mistakes making pillows were because I got hasty and wanted to see my end result too quickly. There is alot to be said for that, because what could have taken you 5 minutes sewing, can end up taking you WAY longer because you end up ripping seams from your mistakes! Live and learn, but I hope I can save you some time and trouble in saying this!! Remembering your measurements, fold the 1/4 inch piece of fabric, then fold the 3/4 fold piece of fabric up over it. Now, pin the sides with the pins facing up. ( if you get confused and are new at sewing, just peek under the edge at the front to make sure the 1/4 fold is how it should be when finished- hanging over the top 3/4 fold )
I don't have a picture of the next step (sorry:( ) but you simply turn your fabric inside out with right side of fabric showing, and insert the pillow form into the opening. Fluff the heck out of the pillow, and then do a karate chop in the center, if that's the way you roll. I sewed a large button onto this one, because I thought it gave it a classic, masculine look.
Here's the un-karateed chop version. The choice is yours! The thing I love about the goose down pillows is that they fluff so well, and always look full and gorgeous. Not that my 13 year old son cares, because he doesn't. Ok, the boy doesn't even make his bed, let alone put a decorative pillow on the bed. But the dream was fun while it lasted, and while I took photos. :)
I think learning how your sewing machine works and troubleshooting are the most challenging parts of learning to sew. I have found it is really not that hard after that...just learning terms and techniques. I still have a long way to go and alot to learn, but I'm happy that I can make things for my home now. I love beautiful fabric, and now I see things in a whole new light, because I know I can make a pillow, a curtain panel, a shower curtain, bedskirt, etc. I still buy pillows if I see something I absolutely love. I think you have to weigh the cost of the fabric and your precious time to see if it's a case of "buy it or make it." With some designer fabrics being upwards of $50-100 yard, sometimes the "buy it" wins, but not always. Remember, anything that is fabric can become a pillow, curtain, etc. so always check clearance areas, curtain panels with beautiful fabrics, even tablecloths.
Disclaimer: All information and opinions on this blog about Stitch Witchery are my own, and I am not advertising, promoting, or being compensated for this product. But oh, how I love it and think it's amazing!
I hope you found this post helpful, if you are a novice seamstress. Let me know if you did, and if it inspired you to make something beautiful! I would love to know!!
Happy sewing and designing!