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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Throw Pillows with Accent Stripes {Semi-Tutorial}

While my sister, Allison, was still in Costa Rica, she sent me a Facebook message that informed me that she would continue being our personal photographer if I would start sewing her stuff (since I now had a barter-worthy ability). She then proceeded to send me links to all these cute tutorials so I would be "inspired" to start making her something.

Since I thoroughly enjoy having our own (free!) family photographer, I naturally obliged. Plus, I like sewing, and this gives me a way to keep up the hobby without having to actually buy materials, haha!

My first project for Allison was actually for her and her soon-to-be-roommate-but-friend-since-high-school, Emily (whom I just adore!). They wanted pillows for their couch.

Pillows are easy. Cut, sew, flip, stuff, and close up.

But then they decided while we were out fabric shopping that they didn't want them to just be plain. No. They needed an accent stripe with coordinating fabric.

Still an easy project. Only now I had to think and calculate measurements. Ugh. This is why I like to follow tutorials and patterns; someone else has already done the thinking for me!

Once I sat down and sketched out the patterns and crunched the numbers, it really wasn't so bad. And the best part was that it worked. I didn't screw it up!! Woohoo!!

I love the way they turned out; I might even have to make some for our living room! (And since I'm so nice [and had a little bit of extra fabric], I was even able to make them a set of matching coasters.)

I didn't go through and take pictures for an actual tutorial, but if you're interested in recreating these, here are the measurements for a 16" square pillow:
  • 17" x 17" of fabric #1
  • 17" x 5" of fabric #1
  • 17" x 5" of fabric #2
  • 17" x 9" of fabric #2
I used 1/2 inch seam allowances and a basic poly stuffing. (Oh, and the fabric on the back of the pillow is the same as the stripe on the front.)

Sew the 17" sides of the 17" x 5" strips right sides together and then sew the 17" x 9" strip to the other 17" side of the fabric #1 to make one 17" x 17" panel.

Place your new panel on top of the solid 17" x 17" panel (right sides together) and stitch around the edges (still using the 1/2 inch allowance), leaving a gap for flipping purposes. (I used the width of the stripe strip [confusing much?], which ended up being about 4".)

After I flipped the pillow to be right sides out (after trimming corners, of course!), folded down and ironed the opening, and stuffed the pillow, I cheated on closing up the hole. I actually just (very carefully) machine stitched it really close to the edge. It looks better than it would if I were to have hand-stitched it, and since I had four pillows to close up, I was lazy. Plus, since I made the gap on the pillow's stripe, having top-stitching there didn't look out of place at all.

I played around with the fabric and did two pillows with one combination and two with the other (I also had to play with the stripe direction since it was a directional fabric and I had to make the measurements work), so there's a lot of flexibility with how these turn out.

Hope y'all like these, Al and Em!

p.s. I seriously need to catch up on my sewing posts. If I don't do them soon, someone remind me that I still need to post about Kindle cases (with velcro closures this time) and hooded towels. :)

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