Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What a difference a pillow (or two) makes - tutorial

As a designer (turned painter) one of the first things I told my clients was to change out your pillows. It's easy, cheap, and boy what a difference a pillow makes. Especially if you have neutral sofas. I [mistakenly] had someone make some pillows for me a couple of months ago.....NOW.... I have been sewing since I was 9 thats a looooooooong time. I just didn't feel like making them myself so I hired someone to make them. After shoveling out 50.00 a piece (not including the fabric) I kicked myself really hard. First of all, when making a pillow, you really should always put some type of edging on it. Whether it be cording, (self or otherwise) or fringe of some type. It just finishes your pillow off and looks more professional. This lady did neither (even though I asked her to) and I was not feeling confrontational so I just took them like they were. DUH. Also, when making a feather pillow ALWAYS, and I mean ALWAYS splurge for a GOOD feather pillow. Trust me on this, you will regret it if you don't. You will pull feathers out of the pillow til the cows come home and the stem of the feather will stick in your head when you lie on it. SO, I changed my pillows from this.....
to this...
I know, I like the first one, but they were just so darn uncomfortable.....and,,,,I wanted a little more color for the summer.
At any rate, this is how to make a pillow.
First, these are 22" square. Any larger, you get a little too large however I have been known to go 24"...trust me though, men hate them. I've never met a man who likes a lot of pillows. never. Smaller? NO.
First tip....you must use a zipper foot......
Start by cutting a square of the fabric 1" (all around) larger than the pillow form.
I cut the back side of the pillow slightly larger.
Pin the cording around the right side of the fabric edge of the pillow making sure that the edge of the bias tape (on the cording) and the edge of the fabric meet. Be sure to clip the corners for a smoother edge when turning.

When you get to the point where the cording meets, overlap them. This will get tricky when you actually sew it, but I'll cover that.
Be sure to get as close to the cording as possible
After sewing the cording on to the front fabric, lay the back and front right sides together and pin. Be sure to pin on top of the fabric that shows the stitching. That way you will have a guide line when you sew.
Hope that makes sense????
Now, follow your previous stitching when sewing right sides together. Actually, use your finger to press up against the cording for a closer stitch. Leave about a 12" opening on one side for the pillow to be inserted.
Remember when I said "I'll get to the cording overlap place? You just have to really be careful going over that area (very slowly) or you will break a needle.

Now turn your fabric...notice the opening that I left.
and stuff that pillow right in there
turn under the opening and pin
then sew!
and there ya have it!!!


  1. oh my gosh that looks so good!! I just might be hiring you instead!! :)

  2. though that sounded easy...i am pretty sure i would butcher that pillow! :)

  3. Great way to add a summer punch of color to a room!

  4. You are something else...Your talents are endless....What can you not do?? Great looking pillows..

  5. Hi-- I'm a friend of Jordan's--- I THOUGHT I was getting good feather pillows when I re-covered a sofa 5 years agoo it's a wonder any of the pillows still have feathers in them....we just pull them out and throw them over the back of the sofa, where I can vacuum them up all at once----otherwise, I'd be vacuuming 24/7---they are the worst decision of my life!!