Sunday, October 26, 2008

Everything I Know About Pillowing In One Pillow

I had enough curtain fabric left over to make a pillow sham. (And I think I'm going to make some kind of circle pillow or neck roll too - - but I need to get some pillow stuffing first.)

I'm going to show you what I know about pillow making (which isn't much)

I called on everything I've learned in the past few weeks of pillow making and put it all together. The pillow shams I bought for my master bedroom had batting in the front - so I thought that sounded like a good idea - and then I thought having a lining behind the batting would be a good idea as well.

So here is front fabric (face down), batting, and a layer of simple tan fabric that you won't see on the finished product.

I noticed on my other sham that they "quilted" a line about an inch from the edge of the sham - so I decided to do that as well.

After that it was time to put on the backing. For an envelope back you want a piece of fabric that is about 1 1/3 times the length of your front fabric - and then cut that in half. Place each pieces so that it is even with one side of the pillow and they overlap in the middle. Hem the "overlap" edge on each piece.

Now it's time to add the piping and pin it all together!\
Make sure the right sides are together (so the design on the front and the smooth edges of the hems for the backing) - then work around the edges and pin in the piping so that the rope part is facing the center of the fabric and the excess fabric is coming out towards you. Like so:

At corners - snip the fabric part of the piping so that it turns easier.

My least favorite part is joining together two ends of piping. I suggest you avoid doing this on a corner at all costs. But this is what I do. I pull out some of the rope and snip it off and then rip out the seam in that part of the fabric so that it's open.

Then I lay the other end of the piping inside the new "open" piping and wrap the fabric around. I make sure when I pin all the fabric in place I pin right where the two join together.

When it's all pinned it will look something like this. Notice that you cannot see the piping from the outside - but it's under there!

Sew. Carefully. I put the piping under the left edge of the foot of the sewing machine so that I can keep it lined up - you have to sew very close to the actual rope for this to work. Go slow - especially on corners.

So it's all sewn together and it looks like this (Yes, I skipped the "iron the lining" step as you won't see it anyway and I hate ironing.Besides - the nice creases helped ;-)) It was washed (IMPORTANT!) - it had just been refolded for a while.

Then you flip it inside out and it looks like this

Then you stuff a pillow in it, realize you made it too big, stuff another pillow in it, realize you were suppose to do the "quilt" edge through the backing too to keep the pillow in place -it's not too big, and decide you'll do that later because you just want to put it on the bed for now.

Maybe I'll sleep in the guest room tonight...that looks comfy....


  1. You are braver than I am with that piping. I've never used it on pillows. Although your photo description here does inspire me to attempt it sometime. Your sham turned out beautifully just as I knew it would.