As you may have heard me mention, we are giving the side table I just painted to Devin’s cousin who just moved to her own place. I decided to make some throw pillows for her as a housewarming gift to go along with the table.
My sewing machine and I are still in the “getting to know each other” phase. Not even the “honeymoon” phase of a new relationship yet. No…this is more like “I’m not sure if I’m into you yet.” In fact, up until this point, I’d only made two other pillow covers, both with envelope backs. I decided to do the same for Devin’s cousin since I’m (fairly) comfortable with making them now.
Eventually I’d like to try making pillow covers with zippers, but for now…baby steps!
Don’t they compliment each other nicely?
The first thing I did was measure my pillow forms. In this case mine were 19″ square. If you like your throw pillows nice and fluffy like I do, you’ll cut your fabric to match the pillow form size exactly. Even with a 1/2″ seam allowance, there will be enough room for your pillow to fit in nice and snug.
Before you start cutting your fabric, if there are certain parts of the pattern you’d like to show or center on the front or back, make sure you account for that as you’re cutting your pieces.
You’ll initially be cutting two pieces, one for each side. I cut the front piece to match the size of my pillow form, 19″ x 19″. For the back side, you’ll need to add 6″ to the length to allow for the overlap of the envelope back, so I cut the back piece 19″ x 25″. Then cut the back piece in half. I ended up with two 19″ x 12.5″ pieces.
My rotary cutter is my new BFF4EVA in case you were wondering. Scissors work just fine too, but this makes cutting much easier and more accurate in my humble opinion.
Next, I ironed all of my fabric pieces. If you’d like to iron your fabric before you start cutting, it’s up to you. Some say that will help make your cuts as accurate as possible, but I personally find it easier to iron after I’ve already cut my pieces.
Note: You probably DON’T want to stop and take a photo while you’re holding a scalding hot iron like I did. What can I say, I’m
stupid gutsy like that.
After your fabric is all nice and flat and happy, take your two back pieces, lay them out front side up and determine which side of each piece will be the inner overlap side. Take that side and fold it under towards the back side 1/2″ and press. Then turn it under another 1/2″ and press. This will make for a clean finished edge.
At this point if you want to make sure your fabric stays put before you stitch the edge, you may want to pin it every few inches. My fabric stayed put pretty well, so I just went ahead and did a straight stitch down the length of the pressed edge.
Well actually, during my first couple attempts, I kept ending up with tangled thread until I realized I had the bobbin with the thread going the wrong direction in the bobbin case. Thank goodness for sewing machine manuals!
Anyway, after a few curse words and finally figuring that out, I stitched down the pressed edges.
In a perfect world, you’ll end up with both sides having a straight stitch. In MY world, one will be a littttle bit off. Not to worry if this happens, just make that one your inner flap so it won’t be visible.
Next I laid my front piece on the table, print facing up. Then I laid the two back pieces overlapping each other print side down on top of it. Pay attention to the direction of your pattern when you do this.
Then pin it all together so it stays in place when you begin to sew.
I was probably a little overzealous with my pinning…a pin every 4 inches would probably be sufficient.
Once you’re all pinned, start stitching! You’ll want to start about a 1/2″ in from the corner. Make sure you reverse stitch a few stitches at the start to lock the thread in place then slowly and steadily make your way down the first side. Once you get to the corner, with your needle in the fabric, left the presser foot, then turn your fabric 90 degrees, lower the presser foot back down and repeat for the remaining sides. This gives you one nice continuous stitch all the way around. Reverse stitch again at the very end to lock the thread in place.
Cut the tips off of the corners so that when you push them out, they’re nice and sharp without excess fabric in the way.
Finally, take out all your pins…unless you’re a pro and pulled them out as you stitched. I’m not quite there yet!
Turn your case inside out, push the corners out, insert pillow form, and voila!
This is what the envelope back looks like. (Note: You can of course make the envelope opening go horizontally instead of vertically like I did. Either way works. I did it vertically in this case in order to keep the bird in one piece )
Here are the two pillows together. I love how they look side by side.
They’ll go well with her side table, don’t you think?
Now go forth, and make some throw pillows!
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