This week, I have taken on a new sewing project to improve the comfort of our apartment: pillows!! We like to lay around on our carpet on the floor to watch movies, eat, chat, color (yep! that trend made it here!), and relax. Life happens on our floor. We had a couple of thin foam mats, but we wanted something more plush so I made a few new pillows. I made a couple of different varieties.
*lots more photos below!*
The first one I made was very simple, basically a square full of stuffing. To make this kind of pillow, I pinned the 2 pieces of fabric together with the right sides facing in (later I turned it inside out). I stitched around all of the sides, leaving a hole about 6 inches long one side to put the stuffing in later. To make nice sharp corners on a sewing machine, when I got to the end, I put the needle down through the fabric and picked up the presser foot while I turned the fabric so the presser foot faced the next side. Once I finished sewing around the edges, I turned the pillow right-side-out. I used the eraser side of a pencil to push the fabric in the corners out to a “sharp” edge. I filled my pillow with stuffing, being sure to push it into the corners as well. Then (womp, womp), I had to hand-stitch the pillow closed. If you will use your pillow a great deal, it would be better to have a zipper so that the case and a little pillow inside with a casing around the stuffing (so you can easily wash the case). Or use the same idea of a slit in the back as the standard pillow case below. We won’t have our pillows beyond this school year though so I want them to be cozy, but that’s about it!
Pillow case for a standard bed pillow
My boyfriend was rather attached to one of the extra bed sized pillows we had so I made it a case to match the other pillows. First, I cut the front fabric to size– about 30 inches by 22 (including seam allowance). Then for the back, I used 2 pieces of fabric with the same height as the front, but when combined, a few inches longer in width (about 2 inches for the seam on each side—smaller might fold back). I folded over a small seam on the vertical side of each of the 2 pieces of fabric (about inches) and sewed the seam to keep it in place. Then I put the 2 pieces of fabric so they overlapped (with the seams facing out) on top of the right side of the front piece. In this way, all of the right sides of the fabric are facing in. I stitched all around every edge of the pillow case then turned it right-side out. There’s a slit to put the pillow in, but the front is a nice smooth pillow!
Pillows with piping
The next pillow was the biggest challenge. I think piping looks quite nice on pillows so I wanted to try to make some of my very own. I cut 2 squares of fabric for the pillow. I laid the fabrics on top of each other so I could trim them to be exactly the same (usually a little bit doesn’t matter because it will be in the seam, but for I wanted to be a little bit more precise). I made a long strip of fabric to be the casing for the piping. It needs to be as long as the perimeter edge of your pillow so you will have piping all the way around. My fabric wasn’t actually long enough so I sewed a couple of pieces together. If you have a presser foot for a zipper—with one side pressing into the sewing machine and the other side open right up to the needle, you can put your piping inside the fabric and sew right along its edge. I do not have one so I made a long tube and threaded the piping (in my case rope) through afterward. I put tape on the end of the rope to make the rope harder and make it easier to pull through. Once I had the rope pulled through both ends of the casing, I was ready for the next step. I sewed a small section (about 6 inches) of the piping casing to one side of one piece of the pillow fabric—I will leave the hole there for the stuffing to go in and hand stitch the other side to it later. Then I sewed all 3 pieces together- the 2 outer edges of the squares of fabric should be on opposite sides of the casing. I sewed around the remaining 3 sides of the pillow, finishing at the start where the casing is connected to one side of the fabric. Then I flipped the pillow right-side-out and stuffed it. Once I was satisfied that it was full enough to be semi-supportive and cozy, I sealed the final hole by hand.
I was very pleased with
my collection of pillows—all from 2 longyis which cost a combined total of 5500 kyats, about $5, and stuffing from discarded pillows. Win. When I finished, my boyfriend said, “Great! Now we just need like 5 more.” Aiyou! 🙂
I had another post about sewing: buying a sewing machine and making a little boxy dress.