Thursday, July 5, 2012

DIY - Simple Pillow

While thinking about what I want to use, to bring color into the front room, pillows are one of the first things that popped into my mind.

I went shopping and have you looked what couch pillows cost lately? OMG!

Well at least the ones that I liked were pricey. They cost more than a steak dinner for two!

My alternative was to sew my own. I could get fabric for about 4 to 8 dollars a yard, a zipper, some thread and my time...easy enough.

While we were still in Idaho I took a paint sample to the local Joann's store and went fabric hunting. I found a nice assortment of fabrics that would fit nicely.

The ocean colors and my pop of red.
While some of you might be avid sewers, others might not be. So here is my quick way to make a simple couch pillow.

For my simple pillow I used 1/2 yard of fabric, 14" zipper and matching thread.

1) Fold the fabric, right sides together, woven edges matching. 
2) Fold the zipper in half and the fabric in half the long way. Using a piece of tailors chalk mark the middle.of each. 

3) Pin it together
4) Line up the middle mark on the zipper up with the middle mark on the fabric (as in pic above).

5) Using the zipper as a guideline now mark the space that will be the opening. I make the opening a touch smaller than the zipper

6) Now it's time to pull out the machine. I sew a 2.5cm (1") seam and start with a 2.5 stitch
Oh and yes, my sewing machine is sewing much better now, thank  you very much.

7) When I reach the first chalk mark I back stitch a few stitches (I do this to secure my seam so  that when I open the middle part for the zipper, the rest of my seam will stay closed. More about that below).

8) From this point on I lengthen my stitch to 6 (which is basically a basting stitch). When I reach the last chalk mark I back stitch again and finish off  the seam with a 2.5 stitch. Now that part is done! Bravo!

9) This is where I cut my fabric to size. By folding my fabric to a triangle and cutting away what is standing over at the top, I get a perfect 18"x18" square.

10) Next I iron the seam open. When I pull the fabric apart a bit you can see the difference in stitches.

11) Place the zipper face down so that the chalk marks line up and that teeth of the zipper line up with the seam.

12) Switch out your pressure foot for the zipper foot. I set my machine that the needle will stay down when you stop - makes turning easier.
Start sewing just behind the chalk mark, this is the start end of the zipper.  Notice I have the zipper open a bit. The reason being, the pull is so chunky and it pushes the zipper foot off to the side and it makes me sew a wavy line.
Once I'm past it I lift my zipper foot and I close the zipper. Repeat this when I pass it on the way back up.
Next I sew till I reach the bottom of the zipper where have another chalk line. Lift the pressure foot, make a quarter turn and sew across the zipper and then repeat to sew back up the other side of the zipper. Finished it off with a few back stitches when I reached my starting point.

14) Using a seam ripper I opened the part that I sewed with the long stitches.

15) Open the zipper - I forgot to do this once and basically had a closed square piece of fabric. Had to fart around with it a bit, to get the zipper open so I could turn the pillow. 

See? A nice, hidden zipper!

16) This is where I sewed all the way around - 1" seam. After that I trim off about half of the seam allowance and cut the corners on a diagonal (so that when you turn your pillow out side out you have nice pointy corners and not lumps of fabric).

17) I like to zigzag the edge so it doesn't fray easily.

18) Turn, press if needed and stuff the stuffing in there and your pillow is done!

So far I've made almost 20 pillow cases....don't know which I will wind up using, but I sure am having fun!

Aloha a Hui Hou!

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