18 May 2010

Boudoir Pillow Tutorial

This has to be my favorite project so far that I've done for SYTYC...mostly  because I finally accomplished something I'd wanted to do for almost two years.  The readers who voted, wanted to learn how to make this pillow, so let's get to it.

First of all, a word on fabrics.  The floral is a Moda piece by Sanae from her Panache collection.  The pink and gold are Joel Dewberry that I had in my stash, and matched as a happy coincidence.  The blue I found on Z & S fabric's sale...I think I intended it for Easter dresses that didn't get done this year.  The brown solid is a Kona Cotton piece.  This was my first foray into Kona Cotton...and I am in love.  It is thick and soft and cuts beautifully.  The white fabric came from scraps I had from making a muslin I discussed in this post.

Step One.
You'll need:
  • 1/2 yard of brown quilting fabric
  • a fat quarter of white fabric
  • (4) approximately 4" by 4" scraps for your windows
  • white and brown thread
  • 14" by 17" scrap of cotton batting
  • cutting tools, including your seam ripper
  • sewing machine, iron, and seam gauge
  • a 14" by 17" pillow form  (more on this at the end)

Step Two, cut out your pieces.
  • (4) 3.5" by 3.5" squares, one of each different fabric
  • (2) 17.5" by 1.5" white fabric strips
  • (6) 3.5" by 1.5" white fabric pieces
  • (2) 17.5" by 5.5" brown fabric strips
  • (1) 14" by 15" brown fabric piece
  • (1) 14" by 11" brown fabric piece
As a caveat, I am not a great quilter by any stretch of the imagination.  I am just learning how to quilt, so I know there are better ways to do this out there.  This is just how I did what I did.

Step Three, make your window strip.
To keep things straight, I stacked my fabric in "order", and sewed them one right after the other at my machine.
I love to find tricks to make something a tiny bit easier!

Step Four, add your long white fabric strips.
You'll now sew the white strips to your windows.  Follow the same method as above, right sides together.  Sew at just under 1/4".

Step Five, add your long brown strips.

Step Six, add the batting and prepare to quilt.

Step Seven, quilt your pillow top.
Take this step slowly and carefully.  I  kept it simple, by basically topstitching around all the windows and edges of the white strips in white first.
Be sure to trim all your threads.  Now change your top thread to brown, leaving white in your bobbin.
To quilt the brown strips, I used my seam gauge to guide my seams as I sewed.
A smarter way to be more precise would be to use a piece of tailor's chalk or washable quilting pen and measure your seams with the quilting ruler.  Hind sight is 20/20.  Be extra careful to hold your fabric taut as your guide it through your  machine, then you won't bunch anything up.  I sewed three lines on each brown section.  The first seam was 1" from the white strip, the second set was 1.5" from the first line, and the last line was also 1.5" from the second line.

Step 8, create your envelope closure back.
Take the two larger pieces of brown fabric and make a small rolled hem along one of the shorter sides.
I fold down the fabric 1/4" and iron in place.  Then, I repeat that step, and sew the seam down 1/8" from the edge of the roll.  Before you proceed, overlay your back pieces onto your pillow top and trim if you need to.  Somehow, despite how precise I cut or how carefully I sew, something gets a little wonky.  This is your chance to hide that with some trimming if you need to.

With the right side of your pillow top up, lay each piece of the envelope back on top, right sides together.  Lay the longer back piece down first.  The pillow top should be completely covered, and the back pieces should over lap.
Sew the back pieces to the front in one continuous seam, also at 1/4".
Trim your corners, and turn the pillow cover right side out.  I like to use my seam ripper.

Your completed pillow cover should look like this:

Step 9, insert your pillow form.
This can be a purchased form, or you can make your own.  The easiest way to make cheap pillow forms that I've found can be read about in this post.  I followed the same exact procedure to make my own pillow forms for this project, too.

Ready for spicing up your boudoir!

If you'd like, I'll post the measurements for the other two pillows with some simple tips.  The stripe pillow comes together almost identically as the window pillow.  The ruffle pillow was a little bit trickier, but completely do-able. 

Please don't forget to hop on over to SYTYC and vote for your favorite.  This week's theme was scientific, and there are some fun projects to choose from.  Just click on over using the button in my sidebar.

Linked to Today's Creative Blog, Someday CraftsBlue Cricket, and House of Hepworths, Somewhat Simple, and Tatertots and Jello.
Featured on One Pretty Thing and Craft Gossip.

9 happy thoughts:

Kristi said...

I love this pillow. Thanks for the tutorial. I will definitely be trying this one.

Bec said...

Such a cool idea! I HATE the pillows that came with our couch and we have some artwork above it that almost mirrors this pillow design!!! Perfect!


Andy said...

Very cute pillow - LOVE the colors! I'm a fan of Kona solids too.

Joy@Thrifty Parsonage Living said...

Thanks for the tutorial of your very CUTE pillow!

Erica said...

Great sewing project and tutorial!
-Mama E

Erin said...

REALLY cute pillow!

MamaSaya said...

Es preciosa! gracias por el tutorial!

Krista S. said...

Ok, so I made this pillow tonight and some of the measurements were off. The back pieces were too small somehow....turned out really cute though!! Thanks for the tutorial!!!

chris said...

@Krista ShafferRats! Thanks for letting me know. I'll check it soon!

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