Saturday, October 28, 2017

Sew Practical - Peekaboo Heart Upcycle Pillow

Last week I talked about the haul I bought at Goodwill on a half-price Saturday.  This is one of the pillows I made.  I call it the "Peekaboo Heart" because the grey fabric in the center is "peeking" out from under the heart ribbon and the two side fabrics.  I found the idea from this pin on Pinterest from France.  However, because I don't read French and I don't recall seeing a pattern, I came up with my own.

I started out with this fabric I found at Goodwill.  While I bought it as a piece of fabric, it might have been a curtain someone cut up before donating it.

I also had a couple of fabrics I upcycled - a steel grey valance and cream curtains - both from my bedroom set.  These made the center piece on the front, as well as the back of the pillow.  Finally, I've had this pretty ribbon for a long time, probably because it is so wide and with the hearts, it's not easy to tie.

I also upcycled one of the pillows I bought at Goodwill by carefully cutting the cover and using the 18x18" form.  If you're following this as a pattern - here's what you need:

Front of Pillow:
Main Fabric "A" 2 pieces 7" x 18" 
Contrasting center Fabric "B" 6" x 18" 
Ribbon 2 pieces 18" each
Back of Pillow:
2 pieces Fabric "C" 13.5" x 18"
Pillow form

I like to make envelope pillows because I can easily remove the cover from the pillow and wash it.  In this case, based on the fabrics I used, this will certainly be a dry clean only pillow cover.  If you noticed, I also like pillow covers to fit more snugly.  That means that if I am making a pillow cover for an 18 x 18" pillow, my fabrics will generally add up on the front and back to 18" square (no extra fabric for seam allowance).

Because these fabrics are all dry clean acetate type fabrics, I used a needle for fine fabrics and zigzag stitches to prevent puckering and fraying on the seam allowances.  I also cut them with a pinking shears.  You might consider putting the zigzag in before you even start using the fabric if the risk of fraying or running is high.  You can also serge it for a finished look.   

Match up the 18" edges of one of the Fabric A pieces and the Fabric B center piece together, right sides facing, and sandwich the ribbon between them.  You can also use lace or another fabric instead of the ribbon.  If you do, you will want it somewhere between 2-4" wide (depending on how much of your center fabric you want to see on the finished pillow).  Sew the three down the 18" side, using a 1/4" seam allowance.  Next, repeat the process on the other 18" side of Fabric B - the other Fabric A piece right sides facing with the other ribbon sandwiched in between. When you finish sewing the two seams, this is your front (approximately) 18 x 18" piece:

For the back of the pillow, I cut up one of the curtains that came with my bedroom set.  Like the valance, the curtains didn't fit my window, so they made great fabric for a fancy back.  On each piece of fabric, I turned under one of the 18" sides by folding over 1/2" and then folding over another inch again to make a hem.  Using a zigzag stitch in a contrasting grey thread, I sewed over the top of the fold to make a hem.  When you're done with this step, you should have two pieces of Fabric "C" each with one of its 18" sides sewed under in a hem.

Now for the final assembly.  Take the finished front of the pillow, right side up, and lay the two back pieces on top of it, right side down, matching the raw 18" sides of the front and back.  You will see the back pieces overlap.  The wrong side is up so you should see the folded side of the "hems".  Those hems will be parallel to the front center fabric, so this is your view from the last picture after laying the back pieces on top:

Using a zigzag stitch, sew a 1/4" seam all the way around.  Clip the corners and turn right side out.  Ease the pillow form into the finished cover, taking care to push the form all the way into the corners. You're done!

I'm in a real pillow-making mood, so watch for more designs.


Saturday, October 21, 2017

Upcycling Goodwill Challenge - Pillows!

I have been in a serious pillow-making mood lately.  I have a pillow obsession going on my Pinterest page - check it out.  While I don't sell pillows or pillow covers in my Etsy store, Pretty Pretty Cindy, I might someday.  I am starting to sell on Sundays on my Instagram Pretty Pretty Cindy account, so follow me there.  In the meantime, I need some pillows at my house!

I have been working on our master bedroom for a while and wanted to work in some pillows on our blue/green-gray bedding.  The bedding set came with two European shams, but I wanted throw pillows for color too.  But have you seen the prices of home decorating fabric, and worse yet, pillow forms? My pillow fetish could easily break the bank.  Goodwill to the rescue!

Last month I visited our local Goodwill store on a half-price Saturday.  For only $22, I brought home the following stash:

2 26x26" European pillows
2 18x18" pillows
2 14" round pillows
2 large pieces of fabric
Large scarf (it's that pink silk in the corner)
Minky baby blanket (not shown)

Obviously I bought the pillows for the forms, but not everyone is comfortable buying used pillows.  I pick pretty carefully.  Once you get them home and remove the fabric covers, you can always spray them with a diluted bleach solution and put them in the sun.  I was lucky these pillows (while ugly) were very clean.  I think the two pieces of fabric were originally a table cloth and maybe some curtains.  By looking in slightly different places for fabric and pillow forms, I was able to engage my pillow obsession without breaking the bank!  Here's the result:

For the two big pillows in the back I used the forms from the Goodwill pillows and the shams that came with the bedding.  Buying ONE pillow form alone in a 26x26" size could cost more than $22.  I made the pillow covers on the other four pillows.  Two of the pillows came from forms I bought at Goodwill and the fabric mostly came from Goodwill.  I didn't buy any new fabric or trim for these pillows.  Isn't that awesome?  These are also all "envelope" style pillow covers, so I can remove them to dry clean or just change for a different design.  

I'll post how I made these pillows, but I will admit that I shamelessly copied designs I found on Pinterest.  

The best part - this isn't even using the whole Goodwill haul!  I still have other pillows and was able to recycle some of fabric from the Goodwill pillow covers.  Upcycle!

More pillows to come.


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Sew Practical: Drawstring Backpack

This pattern can now be found in my Etsy store, Pretty Home Threads.  Just click Drawstring Bag Sewing Pattern to go directly to the post.

Be sure to check out all kinds of items for home and baby at Pretty Home Threads on Etsy!  Thanks for your support of small handmade businesses!