Something Old, Something New II

The final piece to completing our living room was making pillows (for those  of you just tuning in please see Something Old, Something New for DIY projects I’ve been working on).  One of the main reasons I chose a neutral/beige color for the sofa was to make the pillows “pop” with color.  Beige also goes with just about any color you can think of.  We all know changing your pillow cases is MUCH cheaper than changing the color of your sofa as your style changes through the years.  For my pillows I decided to use the same fabric as I did for the re-upholstered chair to tie the room together.

What You’ll need for Making Pillows:

  • Fabric (I got 1- yard for two pillows to be safe.  The amount you need depends on the size of your pillows!)
  • Sewing Machine
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Ruler for measuring fabric
  • Pillows

Start with ironing your fabric to remove any wrinkles or creases.  Be sure to keep your fabric folded in half.  You want to be sure your two pieces of fabric are the same exact size. Find an open space to measure and cut your fabric.  I measured the previous pillow cases from my old pillows and then added 1-inch to allow for a 1/2-inch seam allowance for sewing.  If you are buying new pillows from your local fabric store the dimensions will be on the packaging.  For example, if you bought a 20″ x 26″ pillow you would want to cut your fabric 21″ x 27″.  Be sure to measure your fabric from the top of the crease rather than the bottom.Most of the fabric is folded unevenly so if you measure from the bottom your two pieces may come out uneven.  As you can see below mine was uneven and had an ugly white trim! Once your fabric is cut for all of your pillows pull the two pieces of fabric apart.   Line your fabric pieces up so one is on top of the other.  Make sure your patterns are facing each other.  Be sure to line them up in the same direction if you are using a linear pattern like mine. Once the fabric pieces are lined up use fabric pins to pin around the edge of your pillow case to keep the pieces in place while sewing.  I usually space mine about two inches apart. Next, take your fabric pieces to the sewing machine and start sewing!  Use the seam allowance guide on your sewing machine, making sure you are keeping a 1/2 inch seam. Sew the complete perimeter of the pillow case, leaving a big enough space on one side to flip the pillow-case inside out.  Remember this also needs to be large enough to squeeze your pillow inside, so don’t make it too small! Before I flipped my pillow case inside out I ironed out the seams as seen below.   Once you are finished ironing, flip the pillow case in-side out and iron flat.Now insert the pillow into your case.  There are two different ways you can close the opening to your pillow case.  You can A. sew it up by hand or B. use your sewing machine.  I opted for “B”  because It was easier to use the sewing machine and I wanted to add a small stitch around the pillow.  I think the stitch gives the pillow a nice clean look and defined shape.  Which option you choose to do is completely up to you!

At my pillow opening I folded the fabric down to make a seam as you can see below.  I secured this with pins until I began sewing.

It can be a little tricky sewing around the edges when you are trying to maneuver a bulky pillow, so take your time and go slowly!  I recommend doing a “pivot” turn for the corners.  This means when you get to the corner and you are ready to turn the other direction leave your needle in the fabric and twist the fabric around.  Resume sewing on the new side.

You can decide how close you want your stitch to be to the outer edge.  As you can see I kept mine very close.

Once you have  finished stitching completely around the edge of your pillow be sure to trim any loose strings.

Place your gorgeous new pillow on the sofa (or chair, bed, etc) and admire your beautiful work!  What a perfect way to add color to a room.

…..and our living room is finally complete!  Happy sewing!

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