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Easy Decorative Pillows


Decorative throw pillows and pillow covers on couches, chairs, benches or beds can readily announce the change of seasons. They are surprisingly easy to sew up in very little time. The following are a few ideas to consider.

Flower shape pillow: Decide on the finished size of the pillow. Create a triangle template with the short side of the triangle rounded. Using the template, cut out 6 or more triangle shapes from fabric adding a 1/4" seam allowance all around. Each triangle shape length will be approximately 1/2 the diameter of the finished pillow. Before stitching, lay out the triangles to see if they together will form the flower shape desired. Stitch right sides together one long side of each triangle to the next one until all are connected. Press seams open. Cut out a circle shape of fabric and use to stitch over and cover all the center points of all the triangles on the pillow front.

Using the now sewn front as one template, cut one solid fabric piece for a backing. Stitch the front to the back right sides together leaving an opening for stuffing lightly then hand stitch opening closed. For flower definition, stitch by hand using a running stitch around the center circle edges pushing the needle from front through the back and continuing around the circle shape.

Envelope style pillow cover: Cut out front fabric piece the same size as your pillow form. For example if using a 14"x14" square pillow form, fabric would be cut out 14″x14″. Cut out two separate pieces for what will be the back side of the pillow. The fabric width will be the same size as the pillow form, and the length will be half the size of pillow form plus 4″. Using a 14" by 14" as an example once again, fabric width will be 14″ and fabric length will be 7″ plus an additional 4″.

Fold under one cut edge of each back piece 1/2″ and then fold again 1/2″ to form a small hem for what will be the back envelope style opening. Sew the hem using a straight or decorative stitch.

Pin the front and back sides right sides together Ė overlapping the two back pieces to form the opening. Sew around all four sides of the pillow cover using a 1/2″ seam allowance. Trim corners, turn right sides out pushing corners out neatly. Press, then insert the pillow form. The cover should fit snugly.

Textured pillow covers: For a pillow cover with 3-D wave texture, make the pillow front with fabric that has been folded into many pleats or tucks, pressed, and then stitched on the side edges to secure. To create the wavy like effect, begin by stitching one inch or more perpendicular to the pleated edge by lifting up each pleat or tuck row to then stitch down securely against each uplifted folded edge as you come to it. Once the end is reached turn then stitch down the folded pleats parallel to the first stitched row continuing to the beginning edge then back up and down until the front cover is covered with parallel rows of stitching. One row of stitching will be going against the folded edge and the next one with the folded edge stitch down.

Other dimensional textured effects would be to cover the front of the pillow cover with many fabric yo-yos; cut out several leaf shapes from felt, arrange on the pillow cover front as desired, then straight stitch in a line only the center of each leaf shape leaving the edges to curl slightly inward; hand stitch a lace doily to the pillow front or add fabric flowers; make the pillow cover front in a gathered rosette Anthropologie style by cutting the pillow fabric front piece much larger than the back, then using a basting stitch, stitch around all four sides of the front - gathering slightly as you go. Pin front to back right sides together matching all four sides and stitch 1/2" from edges leaving an opening in one side to slide in pillow form, then turn right sides out, add pillow form, hand stitch opening closed. To make the rosette - twist excess fabric on pillow front into a center pouf and hand tack down to secure.

Decorative DIY accent pillows are easy to make and can herald in a new season by adding simple comfort, color and style to our living spaces.

Decorative Pillow Patterns from AllFreeSewing.com

Pillow Projects from Martha Stewart

Sew happy, sew inspired.


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Content copyright © 2015 by Cheryl Ellex. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Cheryl Ellex. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Cheryl Ellex for details.

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