15 December 2010

oh, you fancy, huh? (an easy how-to for custom pillows)

my most recent "creations"

pillows are a great way to punch up a space with color, pattern, texture (and shine - OOH, SHINY!). they are also super easy, even if you don't know how to sew.

grab someone who has a machine and ask them (nicely - don't be so bossy, fancy!) to set it up and show you how to sew a straight line and you'll have a new pillow in no time!

here's what you need:

- a sewing machine
- fabric. 1 yard will do for most of you. throw pillows at 16x16 are pretty standard.
- thread to match your fabric
- pins
- pillow insert (i like west elm's feather/ down versions, but any poly version would work well too)
and here's your how-to...
1. measure your pillow. in this example, mine is 16"x16".

2. cut your fabric with a width equal to the shorter pillow dimension (in this case it does not matter since width and length are the same). cut the length to 2x the length of your pillow + 4 inches.

in my case, the fabric i need is 16"x36".
3. with the backside of the fabric facing up, fold over one inch on each edge of the fabric's length. pin and sew. your fabric will now be 2 inches shorter in length.
4. now, with the backside of the fabric still facing out, fold your fabric into a little envelope.

the length should be 1 inch smaller than the length of your pillow - in this case 15".

the width will remain the same as those sides remain "unfinished".

pin the unfinished sides and sew 1/2-inch in from each. this will give you a finished size 1 inch smaller than your pillow in each measured dimension.
5. turn your pillow cover finished side out and insert your pillow form. your pillow should be nice and full because the cover is just a tad tight.

now sit back and enjoy your handiwork!

maybe you even have time to make some festive pillows for the holidays. throw 'em on the sofa for a refresher before the family arrives, toss a couple on the guest bed for an update, or make one for your room to FANCY it up!

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