Monday, December 7, 2009

Make It Myself Monday: Decorative Pillow

I did it!  I made a pillow for my little girl for Christmas!  I was quite proud of myself...even though this would be considered preschool education amongst sewing scholars.  But us newbies gotta start somewhere, right?

I changed my reference tutorial, and utilized the tutorial and style from Angela at Cottage Magpie as my how-to guide.  It was well written, had lots of pictures (which us pre-school level novices really like!) and the tutorial worked well for me...thanks Angela!

So here is my how-to guide, based on the guide referenced above, but with pictures from my own experience...

We had a small 14" pillow form around the house that I had gotten from IKEA about 2 years ago for about $2.  We don't really use it for fact it has been in the closet with the blankets for months.  So I decided this would be my pillow insert.  As indicated in last week's post, the fabric was leftover from the bulletin board project.  The only thing I purchased to complete this project was the trim...and I even got that for 50% off.

This was literally one of the first times I've actually used a measuring tape in conjunction with my sewing projects since junior high Home Ec.  Granted, my only sewing projects since then have been Halloween costumes for kids and a bed canopy...all of which are very forgiving!

I cut one square shape from the material, measuring it one inch larger than the pillow form (so 15" square).  Then I cut two rectangular shapes from the material, each measuring 10x15.

As you can see, the material was pretty wrinkled from being stored for so many months.  So I fired up the iron and ironed each piece.  This is another step for sewing that I haven't done since Junior High home ec too!  Glad I did though - it makes the finished project that much more put together.

After the pieces were ironed, I got my sewing area set up.  My sewing area is at the end of our dining room table, which means I can't just leave it set up from day to day.  Here shows my very basic entry-level model sewing machine (which works really well for me), and my computer nearby - I referenced that tutorial ever 2 minutes it seemed!  :)

Cottage Magpie recommended to use a glass to round the edges of the pillow on the wrong side of the fabric.  This was to reduce bulk inside the pillowcase and to make sewing easier overall.


I started out sewing by doing a zig-zag stitch on all sides of each piece (except the straight overlap edges of the rectangular pieces).  This was fun - the first time I've ever done a zig-zag stitch that I remember.  This step was done to reduce the chance of fraying with the material.


Once the zig-zag stitch was done, I took each of the rectangular pieces and folded over the overlapping edges two times by about 1/8 of an inch each time.  I used the side of my chalk pencil to smooth down the fabric so it would stay in place.  I then sewed each of these folds with a straight stitch to give it a smooth finish.

Then it was time to pin on the trim.  I pinned it on the right side of the square piece of material, with the part of the trim that I wanted to show on the pillow pointing inwards, and the sewing band pointing outside.  It was recommended to pin this often, so I did, about every third pom pom!

Next I pinned the two rectangular pieces to the square piece, right side of fabric facing the right side of the square...wrong side facing out.  As I pinned these pieces, I removed the pins holding the trim to the square, allowing my new pins to go through all 3 pieces.  This way no pins would be lost or hidden within the pillow case...which could potentially cause significant damage to the sewing machine.


Once it was all pinned together, time for the final sewing step!  I worked about 2 inches at a time, sewing all the fabric and trim together in a straight stitch, removing 2-3 needles at a time as I worked along.  I ran into a snag when my bobbin ran out of after a quick pitstop to reload it, I was back in the saddle!  This step went by quickly.  When it was down, I turned the pillow right side out, holding my breath as I did, afraid I may have unwittingly stitched crooked or something like that.

BUT...hallelujah!  It was all even and the trim was perfect.  YAY!  I Made it Myself...a decorative pillow, which will be given to my daughter as one of her Christmas gifts.  Here's the final project:



I was happy with the turnout of my first real Made It Myself Monday.  This from Chocolate on My Cranium is what I've got lined up for next week...creating to be a stocking stuffer for each of the three kiddos.  So far I've got the fabric for each one cut out and's a sneak peek:

PS - Don't forget to leave a comment and a link back to your own made-it-myself creations.  I'd love to see them and be inspired!

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