18 February 2011

Friday Feature: Pillows

Like I mentioned in my first post, I plan to blog about some places that I have found inspiration for projects... In keeping with that, I am going to feature a website each Friday that I am inspired by, and if I have actually completed the project, I will share photos too!

This week, I thought I would start with pillows, since they are a great way to develop sewing skills if you're just starting out... There are TONS of ways to make pillows, from simple to extravagant, so here are a few good places to start...The most basic way to sew a pillow is to cut two identical squares, sew up three sides, fill with a pillow form or stuffing, and then sew up the forth side... The problem with this method is that you can't take the cover off, which is very helpful if you have kids, a spouse, a pet, or are generally clumsy like I am...

Instead, I have sewn a few throw cushions based on this tutorial - it shows how to create an envelope back that allows you to have a removable (and thus washable!) pillow cover without having to tackle things like velcro or zippers...

After I did this a couple of times, I wanted to try something a bit more complicated... So, I used this tutorial to create a box pleat for the chair in my daughter's room... It turned out alright, but I think it would sit nicer if the pillow wasn't so bulky (I made it by cutting an old bed pillow into a square - the rectangle that was left was used for the pink pillow above), and if I'd had the guts to try a zipper to hold the pillow in better... This was also my first attempt at piping, which I learned how to do here... It was pretty tricky - something I definitely need to work on :)

Then, we moved the old couch into the basement (finally finished - yay!), but it didn't have any throw cushions, so I took a (very) deep breath, and attempted zippers using this tutorial... I was really pleased with the result, and the nice part about zippers is that they don't use as much fabric as envelope backs, so you can use your extra fabric to make something else!

If you're looking to make some pillows yourself, here are some handy tips (for my area):
-Len's Mill is a great place to find things like fabric, zippers, piping, etc.
-you can buy pillow forms at WalMart, but you can also find them at Len's Mill (for a bit less $) - or, if you have extra bed pillows lying around, sew two parallel lines to divide it into a square and a small rectangle, and then cut to get two pillow forms!
-if you want to order fabric online, two small Ontario businesses that I've bought from are: Tonic Living and Pink Panda Fabric (gotta love supporting local!)

Thanks for reading - feel free to send me a message if you have questions!

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