Thursday, 22 October 2015

Easy Throw Pillow Covers | Tutorial

Hi there!

I am no seamstress, other than grade 9 Home Ec (a kabilliion years ago), I have no training in sewing.  So as you can imagine my sewing skills are very minimal - read straight lines only people!  That said, I always like to sew something for my homes, I like the personal touch it gives, and I like to be able to say hey, I made that!

Our main floor colour palette is going to be grey, oatmeal, and green. We knew we would be keeping all of our furnishings neutral (grey and oatmeal) and the walls are currently a very soft oatmeal colour.  The green comes from the dining room china cabinet and kitchen walls (an inherited colour we enjoy).  Since these are open concept areas, we wanted to carry the green into the living room as well, both for continuity and a splash of colour.  We thought throw pillows might be the way to go.

So we headed off to the fabric store, Ian decided to wait in the car while I perused the store (for 2 hours - whoops).  Bear in mind, this trip was about the 5th time I looked for fabric while out shopping, however it was only the second time that fabric was my sole purpose for shopping.  I scoured the store, and nothing was jumping out at me.  I choose a few fabrics but ended up putting them back - they didn't speak to me for one reason or another.  Either the colour was off, or there was an extra colour in the fabric that I didn't want to introduce (blue is so often on fabric with green).

As I was about to give up, I walked past a row of draperies, and found this one lonely single panel.

It had the green and oatmeal that we wanted, unfortunately no grey or black, but most important was the green.  So despite the $50. price point it came home with us.  I am hoping to buy / make more throw pillows to help add more colour to the room down the road.

A couple of days later I got down to the business of creating the throw pillow covers.  I always make them the same no fuss / no fail way and today I would like to share my process with you.  This time, however, I am using a different fabric for the back of the pillows, mainly because I thought the price of the fabric (panel) was a little more expensive than what I was hoping to spend on two pillows, so I wanted my fabric to go a little farther and maybe get another project or two out of it.

Remember the Home Depot painters drop cloth I told you about in my Drop Cloth Pumpkins post?  Well, we are using some more of that again, for the backs of the pillow covers!  The drop cloth is a perfect oatmeal colour, all cotton and super soft.  It has been prewashed, so I didn't bother to rewash it, but you can if you like.

My throw pillow inserts are down filled and measure 18 inches square.  Te general rule of thumb for down pillows is to make the covers the same size or even an inch smaller if you want them a little firmer. depending on how tidy or slouchy you want them to be.  (For polyester inserts, you'll want to make your covers a little larger as the inserts do not squish into the covers as easily.)  I opted to make mine the same size as my pillows.

Before beginning, you will want to ensure all your fabrics are ironed.  Knowing that I needed a half inch seam allowance, I added one inch to both the length and width, and proceeded to cut my pillow top fabric into a 19 inch square.  I cut these two panels, one for each pillow, from the bottom of my fabric panel.

We are making an envelope style cover with two different fabrics so you will need two pieces of fabric for the back, they should measure the same width as the front.  However the length should be half the width of the front plus about 4 inches for your overlap and seam.  This way your opening with sit horizontally across the back of the pillow.

You will need to add a hem to the envelop opening edge of both pieces of the back fabric.  Use your iron to pres a 1/2 inch seam edge, then roll that edge and press again.  The will stop any raw edges from being visible on your pillow opening.  Now use your sewing machine to stitch your hem.

I was able to use the pre-hemmed edge of the drop cloth fabric, so I could skip that step.

Lay the drop cloths on your work table so that both right sides are facing up, and so the two pieces overlap 3-4 inches in the middle.

Now lay your front panel, wrong side facing up (or right side down) and centre it onto your two other panels. Pin your pieces together.

Because I was able to skip the hemming step of the back panels, my panels were cut a little too large, as you can see in the image above.  

So I trimmed off the excess back panel fabric at this point.  Now you will go ahead do a simple straight stitch along all four sides.

Before turning your pillow cover right side out, snip the corners as shown above (be mindful not to snip your stitching .  This will ensure that you get a nice crisp corner.  Now turn your cover right side out.

You may want to iron your cover again at this point for a nice clean look.

Repeat for second cover!

Once filled with down inserts, these pillows are pretty and comfy!  We will share some more of our living room soon!

I am linking up to:
 Home Stories A to Z link party 230
 DIY Show Link Up Party
Work it Wednesday Link Party

Thanks for visiting!
Ian and Laura

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