Posted by pamela on Thursday, December 13th, 2012

Woo hoo!  Do not adjust your tv set, this is actually happening right here, right now.  I am actually Gettin' 'Er Done. I'm bloggin'.

This here is a Tutorial on how to make the perfect gift to amaze and awe your friends and family, which will totally annoy your sister who always has to be the center of attention, and win you many many bonus points leading to a large inheritance or perhaps, a new car. I love the Holidays!  And you can too!  In less than one hour.

Let's make a pillow cover! 

Here are pictures of the pillows we made, but of course the possibilities are endless.  All you need is a piece of background fabric (we used a nice loose weave linen), some fusible fleece, a ruler, a marker, a sewing machine and some thread.  You can use the same fabric from the front for your backing, or pick another suitable fabric.



For today's tutorial, we are making a Christmas pillow that can also be used year round if you like that sort of thing.  Many people do.  Let's begin.  It might be nice to play some Christmas music now, or just hum "Oh Holy Night".  The choice is yours.

After you have selected your fabric(s) and ribbons, pick a pillow form that is either 16" square, 14" square, 12" square or 12" x 16". Of course you can go bigger or smaller if you like.

Cut of square (or rectangle) from your pillow front fabric that is the exact same measurement as the pillow form.  Do not add any seam allowance.  This will make the pillow form fill out the pillow better.

Choose the placement of your ribbons.  Use your imagination - use the design pictured - whatever you like.  Lay the ribbon on top of the front fabric (facing up).  Play around until you find a layout that you like.

It's fine to let the ribbon hang off the ends for now. 

Next, use a ruler to make the placement of the bottom and top ribbons.  We used a Hera Marker but any fabric marker will do.  If you have never tried a Hera marker, you really should.  It makes a crease in the fabric that's easily visible without having to mark it with chalk or ink.  You can get one at JoAnns.

Using thread to match your ribbon, sew the ribbon to the linen using an edge stitching foot (if you have one) or you can use your straight stitch foot and stitch along the edge of the ribbon 1/8" from the edge.  Your presser foot should have a mark showing this width.  That helps.

Sew straight off the edge.  There is no need to backstitch.  Sew down the other side of the ribbon in the same manner.

Now, line up the next ribbon under your presser foot using the outer right edge of your presser foot as a guide.  There is no need to pin your ribbon down.  Just use the edge of your presser foot running along the edge of the previously sewn ribbon as your guide for even spacing.


If you want to vary the distances between the ribbons, or stitch a ribbon using a wider spacing, you will need to mark it again with a ruler.  But no need for that!  Make it easy on yourself.  Sew down the other side of the ribbon.

Continue stitching down the ribbons until all of the ribbons are sewn down both sides.

Trim the ribbons to be even with the edge of the backing.

Admire your work.  You are good!

Set the pillow top aside for now.

Now we'll make the envelope back.

To figure out the size you need to cut your backing fabric, divide the measurement for the length of the pillow top in half.  For example, here we are using a 14" square for our top, so that measurement is 7".  Now add 3" to that measurement for the overlap and the hem.  Cut TWO pieces of the background fabric to the correct measurement ( ours is 14" wide by 10" long).

Next - this step is optional, but highly recommended for a professional finish.  Cut 3 pieces of Fusible Fleece (we use Pellon 987F fusible fleece): one piece that is the same size as the pillow top, and 2 pieces the same size as your 2 backing pieces. 

Following the manufacturer's directions (and Lord knows what they are, I always wing it) fuse the fleece to the wrong side of your three pillow pieces. 

Now, it's time to hem the bottom edges of the two pillow back pieces.  A great way to get an even hem is to use something called a bridge stitch.  Using a regular stitch length, sew a line of stitching 1/2" in from the edge of the fabric along the width of the backing. 

This line of stitching gives you a nice crisp edge to turn under.  Just fold the fabric back to the line of stitching, and press.

Now turn the hem under another 1/2" inch and press.  Edge stitch the hem in place.  Do the same for both of the backing pieces.

Next, lay the pillow top face up on your table and place one of the pillow back pieces face down on top of it, lining up the top raw edges.


Then lay the second pillow back piece on top of the first, lining up the bottom raw edges.  Pin all the layers together.

That's Cindy's new shoe (one of two) in the picture. Cute!

Sew completely around the outer edges using a 1/2" seam allowance.

Trim the corners and turn the pillow cover inside out.

 Stuff that pillow form inside.  Push out the corners of your pillow form up into the corners of the cover to really fill it out. 

 You are done!

Wow!  That is amazing!  Did you really make that yourself?

I'd love to see what combinations you guys come up with.  If you'd like to make one like any of ours, we have kits available here.  Kits include everything you need to make the pillows pictured except for the pillow form.  Well, and a sewing machine, of course.  They're $25 and quantities are limited!

 That's it.  Stay tuned for our next episode.

Pam and Cindy