Between Thanksgiving prep, an impromptu trip to St. George for the holiday, a wreck of a house, attempting to get a head start on Christmas presents, and a pile of shop orders to work on, I'm falling a bit behind. Who wants to come to my house and help me fold laundry? Anyone? Bueller?
So here's my attempt at a blog post for today. Maybe you remember, a few weeks back, Allison from Little Lovelies shared a super cute pillow right here. This post is my project that went up on her blog--we decided to both make pillows, and, without any planning or discussion, we happened to make a set of matching pillows from the exact same material. That is just one of the many reasons I have a bit of a girl crush on Allison--we're cut from the same cloth (get it? get it?!).
I saw this pillow on my sister-in-law's pinterest and thought it would be perfect for my living room. I've been trying to add more color to my home, and my mom, an interior designer, tells me some texture wouldn't hurt, either. Check and check!
I got to work with some beautiful mustard yellow wool felt from Joann, and created this:
I think it adds just the dose of color and texture my couch so badly needed. And in case you think the red pillow behind it looks awfully sloppy, it's because it's fake--I just folded fabric around a pillow form for the sake of getting a decent picture. Baby steps, people. Baby steps.
The pillow really was not difficult to make at all, but it was rather time-consuming, especially when you count my emergency dash back to Joann when I realized I had grossly underestimated my fabric needs. It would probably be a much quicker project if you bought enough to start with.
I'm not 100% sure how much wool felt I used to make my 16" square pillow cover, since it was divided between two separate trips. I'm going to guess something like 1 1/2 to 2 yards total--all the little felt "petals" sure used a lot of fabric!
My pillow form was 16" square, so I started by cutting a 17" square piece from my felt (to allow for 1/2" seam allowance on each side). I've read, though, that you actually shouldn't add a seam allowance when sewing pillow covers--they'll look fluffier if you have to kind of cram and stuff the form in. I wish now that I hadn't added the seam allowance, since my pillow is lacking in the fluff department, so I would recommend adding either a very small seam allowance, or just being brave and cutting your front piece to the same size as your form. But my instructions here include a 1/2" seam allowance.
Then I cut about a zillion little circles from my felt. The real circle count was something like 73, or, in diy seamstress speak, "a crapload of circles." I doubled up the fabric to make cutting easier, and used a little can as a template--it gave me roughly 2-3" circles, which was the perfect size:
I only cut about 20 at a time, and after each cutting session foolishly thought to myself, "Surely this will be enough!" No, it will not. Just cut more. Many, many, many more.
Then iron each circle in half, making a pile of little taco shells:
Head over to your sewing machine and start sewing the circles to the square of felt you already cut. I started in the center of the 17" square and worked outwards. Just sew a line straight down the crease line of each circle, then sew down another circle, close to the first one, in a different direction.
Some tips for this portion of the project: I think it looks best if the circles aren't crammed too close together--leave a little room so they can "fluff" out and the sides won't just be pressed straight up together. I also found it easier to not cut the thread after stitching each circle--I would just backstitch at each end of the circle, lift the presser foot, leave the threads alone, and move the fabric to position the next circle, and keep sewing, then cut all the threads at the end. I think that saved quite a lot of time.
Keep adding your circles, varying the directions of the stitching as you go, until you've filled the entire square, leaving at least 1/2" open around the edges:
Now head back to Joann for more felt, because you've probably run out. Come back home and cut a piece 17" high (or the size of your pillow form), but a few extra inches long. I created an envelope back so I could remove my pillow form if necessary, so you'll need to have some fabric overlap to create the opening. Cut your long piece apart into two, and fold over and sew along that cut line to create a neat little hem.
Sandwich all your pieces with the right sides together, overlapping the two back "envelope" pieces. Your sandwich should look like this:
The back "envelope" pieces are on the ground, right sides up, overlapping with the sewn seams in the middle. The outer edges of the "envelope" pieces are lined up with the pillow front piece, which is layered petal side down. Pin it all together, and sew with a 1/2" seam allowance around the edges (making sure you don't catch any of the petals in your stitching!).
Insert the pillow form through the nice envelope back:
And admire that beautiful, textured pillow front!
Searching for a pillow form to tuck inside of your beautiful new pillow? Head to Pillow Cubes and check out their selection!