Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Tutorial: How to sew a pillow

Even if you are a true beginner sewer, you CAN sew a pillow!

If you know how to thread your machine and bobbin and sew a straight stitch you have all the skills you need to sew a pillow! In fact, when I started sewing my very first projects were making pillows for my couch. My husband and I lived in a tiny apartment and were on an even tinier budget. But the wonderful thing about making pillows is it does not take much fabric but makes a huge impact on your home decor. You can take a very bland couch and spruce it up with some throw pillows in a day! It takes about 30 minutes max to make one pillow if you are a true beginner and after making a few you can whip them up in no time!

Ready to learn?

Tutorial: How to sew a pillow

1. Gather materials: a 12 x 18 inch pillow insert, scissors, straight edge/ruler, pins, 5/8 a yard fabric
Helpful Hints:
*Since home decor fabric is 60 inches wide you can actually make 3 pillows this size with the fabric.
*You can also use poly fill. Get 1 bag to make one pillow this size.
*If you are on a budget start by looking in the clearance section for fabric. Usually at Hancock's fabric I can find a yard of home decor fabric for $5 or LESS when it's on sale! Think if you are only using 5/8 of a yard and the yard of fabric is $5.00 then you will only spend around $3.25 for the fabric for 3 pillows!! Score!
*If you want to cover a pillow form you can also check the clearance section at a store such as TJ Maxx, Marshalls or Homegoods for throw pillows. Your measurements will be specific to those pillows, but no worries! Just figure out the pillow's size and add 1 inch around all sides to get your measurements. Cut your fabric and begin!


2. Cut 2 pieces of fabric 14 inches x 20 inches. One piece is for the front and one piece is for the back.
 This leaves you a one inch seam allowance on all sides.

3. Lay them right sides together and pin around all 4 sides. 

4. Starting at the top right corner, measure 4 inches to the left and place 2 pins.
Repeat for the left corner.
(*You will leave the space between the 2 sets of pins unsewn. This leaves an opening for turning it right side out and for inserting your pillow form later.)

5. Using a 1 inch seam allowance start sewing at the 2 pins on the top right. Sew towards the nearest corner, down the short edge, across the bottom, up the opposite side and across the top but STOP sewing when you reach the other set of 2 pins.
*Remove pins as you sew.

6. Clip your corners. I cut off the corner of the pillow and clip up to the sewn line, but not through it. This will ease the tension in the fabric to allow for neater corners when you turn it inside out. It will reduce the bulk of the fabric which will also make it easier for turning.

7. Turn inside out. Press with an iron.
Use a turning tool for the corners if needed.

8. Insert your pillow form (or fill with poly fill).

9. Pin the opening closed. Turn the fabric down with your fingers carefully so the edges match up nicely.

10. Hand-sew the opening closed.
You're DONE!!

Toss that pillow on a couch, bed or chair and be proud of what you made!

Then make another one with the leftover fabric! And you will smile everytime you walk into the room and see the pillows that YOU made!!

*Coming soon: Envelope Pillow Tutorial
(I love these because there isn't any hand sewing!)

Happy Sewing!
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