When I teach people to sew I always start with pillows. Pillows are super-easy, just 4 seams really. The creative options are endless and they’re always on display (for bragging rights)
Here how to make a great pillow–
Start with fabric that makes a statement. Yes, you can go to the fabric store, but thrift stores and flea markets are also great fabric sources. There’s also lots of great vintage fabrics on the internet (check out etsy.com for a great selection) And don’t forget to shop your own closet. If you loved it enough to wear it out, you’d probably love it as a pillow.
For the pillow I’m making today, I’m using my friends daughter’s dress. It will go on the little girl’s bed, reminding her of fun vacations with family especially the grandfather who chucked down all the $$s for this Lilly Pulitzer shift.
Make two squares. You fabric and vision with often dictate the size , but don’t go to small. Try to cut your squares at least 13x 13 inches which will give you a 12 inch pillow. But bigger makes a bigger statement, of course. Just remember to add an inch to your finished pillow size for seam allowances (that’s 1/2 in on each side)
To get the most fabric out of the size 3 T dress, I ripped out the hem and side seams using my handy seam ripper. This is a fun thing to do in front of the TV. I usually have a pile of ripping that I can sit down and work through.
Your squares need to be square. I have a nice cutting mat and rotary cutter for this, but if you are just starting out and don’t have the tools, use a yard stick or ruler and a large book to square the corners. Mark your cutting lines on the fabric. (They make lots of fabric marking pens and pencils– After trying most of them, I still prefer school teacher chalk and/or a good pencil to mark fabric)
Pin RIGHT SIDES Together, leaving an opening and sew. Make sure the opening is large enough to get your hand or a pillow form though. And if you haven’t done a lot of sewing, here’s a video I made with my friend Melissa about sewing a straight seam. It’s quick and helpful (over 4 thousand views and lots of good feed back) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2snSTLSznA
When you come to a corner,stop, raise the presser foot, pivot, lower and sew the next seam. Continue back to the far edge of your opening. Use some big pins here as stopping points so you won’t forget and sew on around.
Press. Yes, press. The iron is your friend.
Clip corners closely, but not through stitching and turn your pillow. right side out.
Now stuff with a pillow form, or lose poly stuffing. Then whip stitch (our next video, I hope) the opening closed.
You’re done. Start bragging. And planning your next pillow.
I like to make pillows and other creations out of vintage, found and inherited fabrics. To see more of my work check out my ETSY shop, www.kikisrewinddesigns.etsy.com or go to my web site www.kikisrewinddesigns.com