Thursday, November 14, 2013

Professional Looking Pillows- Easier that you think! (Part 2)

It is almost the weekend...a good time to think about making a new pillow!  Last time we talked about using the DritzHome Pillow Corner Template to avoid those baggy corners.  Today, let's think about some easy and decorative ways to make the opening for the pillow form.  I like to be able to remove the form because it is much easier to store the pillow case without the bulky form.  Also, I like to reuse my forms and save some $$$.
The quickest and easiest method is to make a two piece back for the pillow and overlap them.  It is important to make the overlap deep enough so that it doesn't pull open once the puffy form is inserted.  I usually allow for a 6-7" overlap so if I am covering a 16" pillow form, I will cut my two back panel pieces
16"x 13".  I then fold under 1/4" along the 16" edge and then again 1/2" so there is a nice finished edge.  Stitch along this edge close to the folded edge.

Next, overlap these two pieces with the right sides up and adjust to measure 16"x 16".

  Lay your pillow front, which should also measure 16"x 16" right side down on top of the two back pieces.  Mark the corners using the DritzHome Pillow Corner Template (See part 1 of this pillow post!), trim, pin and stitch around the entire outer edge taking a 1/2" seam.  Trim the corners, turn right side out and insert your pillow form.  Simple and quick!

A variation of this method involves using buttons and buttonholes on the overlapping panels.  I usually use 3 buttons.  Make the button holes near the edge of one of the panels.  I usually put a piece of fusible midweight interfacing on the wrong side of the fabric to give my button holes a bit more stability.

  Center one button hole on one of the panels and then measure out equal distances on each side.  For this 16" pillow, I measured down 1/2" and centered the first button hole at the 8" mark.  I then measured out 4" to each side and marked for the other two holes.

  Overlap the panels and mark on the other panel so that you know where to sew the buttons.  Sew the buttons and button the two panels together, leaving the center button unbuttoned. Place this right side up and position the pillow front right side down on top.  Finish the pillow as described above.

You can also insert a zipper as a closure for the back of your pillow.  For a 16" pillow, cut 2 pieces:
one 16"x 3 1/2" and one 16"x 13 1/2".  Fold under one of the 16" edges of each piece by 1/2" and press well. Choose a zipper that is at least 2" longer than the width of your pillow.  Place the zipper right side up on your work surface.  With the fabric pieces right sides up place the folds of the back pieces along the zipper teeth.  The zipper should extend beyond the fabric on both sides.

Stitch close to the fold along both edges.  A zipper foot is very useful here.  Check to make sure that your back measures 16" x 16" and trim if needed.
This next step is important!  Before you place your pillow front right side down on top of the back, be sure to open the zipper half way.  There is nothing more frustrating than sewing all the way around your pillow and realizing that you cannot turn it!
Well, that about wraps up pillow backs.  In part three of our pillow post, we will talk about adding piping, decorative stitches and other neat elements.  See you then!


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