26 November 2011

Ruffled Christmas Pillow Cover Tutorial

This is the project I didn't need to do...but really wanted to!


Since February, I've been making little decorative pillow covers that fit an 11" square pillow form.  I think I've now covered every season and some holidays, too.  Here they are in no particular order:

  1. Ruffled Christmas Pillow
  2. Easter Pillow
  3. Winter Chenille (not blogged yet, sorry!)
  4. Red, White and Blue Pillow
  5. Valentines Pillow
  6. Spring into Summer Pillow
  7. Fall Pillow

Making this pillow is actually pretty simple, but having a few tools makes it doubly so...a ruffler and pinking edged rotary cutter.  Even without those tools, this is a fun project that took me only a few hours.  Ready to make your own?  Grab your gear and let's play.


You'll need:
  • 11.5" square piece of neutral fabric for the pillow front
  • 11.5" by 9" and 11.5" by 7 inch rectangles of fabric for the pillow back
  • 11" square piece of interfacing for the pillow front
  • 23" by 2.5" strips of fabric for the ruffles, using your favorite fabrics
  • Thread
  • Your sewing tools, including sewing machine, iron and ironing board, pins, scissors, rotary cutter and mat, and anything else you might think you need.  
Step One.  Prepare your front and back pieces.  Along one long edge of the back pieces of fabric, you'll need to stitch a narrow rolled hem.  I fold my fabric in 1/4" and press, then roll that over itself and press again.  Then, I sew along the top to hold it in place.  Repeat for the second back piece, and set aside.


For the front, you'll want to apply the interfacing.  This gives it the extra stability it needs to hold all those ruffles!


Step two.  Prepare your fabric strips and ruffle them up.  I used my newly acquired rotary cutter with a pinking edge to cut each strip of fabric.  I used a total of 11 fabrics for my pillow cover.  The pinked edge eliminates the need to hem each strip.  If you want to, go for it.  Just make a narrow hem like I discussed in step one.


Ruffle each fabric strip.  You can do this with a ruffler like I did, or you can ruffle up each strip by sewing a long stitch and pulling the bobbin thread to create ruffles.  I'll refer you to some great Sewing 101 posts.  Amanda shared a great tutorial on gathering, and Jenny shared a great tutorial on ruffles.  Dana also shared a great tutorial on gathering.  Do what works for you.  


The ruffler is a fun tool, and made making a pile of ruffles a snap.


Step three.  Sew your ruffles onto the interfaced pillow front.


Sew the first row on, using a zigzag stitch to help keep any loose threads in check.


Using my clear ruler as a guide, I spaced my ruffles so that about 1/2" to 1/3" was revealed by the next row.


 Continue until you've sewn all those ruffles on.


Your seams don't need to be perfect.  The ruffles hide a lot of imperfections.


Step four.  Sew the pillow back to the front.
Before you do anything else, I recommend basting the edges of the ruffles down so they are attached just they way you want them to be.


A basting stitch is just a long stitch.  It makes it easy to remove the stitches if you need to.


Also, pin up the last ruffle so that it doesn't get caught in any seams.


Right sides together, pin your back pieces to the pillow front.  Place the larger one first.



Using a 1/4" seam sew around the entire perimeter.


Because I'm a bit obsessive, I did this twice.  If you want you can also do a zigzag stitch to finish the edges.  Trim the corners if you want them to be pointy.  Turn you pillow right side out.  I had to press the top ruffle to make it lay flat.


There you go!  I hope this helps you come up with something fun and perhaps unexpected this upcoming holiday.  Honestly, this would be a fun pillow in almost any color scheme or theme.  I  may have to make another one...


Sharing with Tatertots and Jello, Sew Many Ways, and Freckled Laundry.

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8 happy thoughts:

Melissa said...

I like your ruffling mo of ruffling the edge instead of the middle - looks like the pillow is wearing a lovely skirt...

KJ@letsgoflyakite said...

Such a fun pillow to showcase festive fabric. I love the idea of changing up pillows seasonally.
PS I was excited to see your pressure foot. I have not yet tried a ruffler foot, but I am considering investing in one. Having two girls and lots of ruffles, might be a worthwhile ! Have a lovely weekend.

Jenn said...

This is so so so cute! I love all of the fabric patterns. You should come and enter my Vanilla Bean Paste giveaway! http://eatcakefordinner.blogspot.com/2011/11/vanilla-bean-paste-giveaway.html

Michele Pacey said...

Gosh that's one cute pillow. I like how subtly festive it is as well. I believe I recently inherited a ruffler from my mother in law. I'll have to check again... I wonder if my husband would go for something with ruffles. He usually frowns on anything too girly...

Gwen @ Gwenny Penny said...

I love it, Chris! Great fabric combination. Great tutorial, too. Oh, and I did get a ruffler a couple weeks ago, thanks to you :) I haven't had a chance to try it out yet, but this pillow might be a good start :)

Caroline said...

So cute. Now I really want one of those pinking rotary blades. Thanks, Chris!

Kate said...

Ummm I love you pretty pillow{s}. Thanks for sharing!
XO, Kate of avery&anderson

Tiffany said...

La La Love the texture on the newest pillow. A ruffler is in my future, but I have to prove I deserve it. My sewing list is too long but in comes Old Man Winter to save the day!!! alas I have run out of excuses.

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