If your home needs to be updated and you either don’t have the time or budget to do a full make-over, try changing some of the smaller elements of your space. Interior accessories can be created easily and make all the difference if done right. Playing with colors, textures and patterns within a space can be a fun way to change the atmosphere of a room. It is important to enjoy the surroundings that you come home to.
For my opening blog I will lead you through the steps and material requirements to create a professionally finished pillow complete with piping. I suggest the timeless and non-evasive trellis pattern that evokes sophistication while still retaining a sense of comfort. Before you gather your materials you will need to take a look at the color palette of the room the pillow is for. I suggest selecting colors within the room that already have been repeated within the space. If there is a piece of décor in the room that you want to be highlighted, use a color or two from it and if possible, bring it to the fabric/trim store for an accurate match. Try to stick with either all cool shades or all warm shades. It is also a good idea to mix dark and light so the pattern does not get lost.
I chose a warm chocolate brown cotton linen fabric for the front, lighter kaki/off white blend cotton linen for the back, harvest gold twill tape ribbon for the pattern and a natural white 28mm cordege for the piping. You can see in the images that mixing light and dark really makes the pattern pop. For the green people out there, you will be happy to know that cotton linen and cotton twill tape are both all-natural earth friendly materials.
You will need:
- ½ yard of cotton linen fabric (all the same color or ¼ yd of two different colors)
- 150 inches of 1-inch twill tape
- 62 inches of 28mm twill tape cordege
- Sharp scissors
- Ruler/straight edge and fabric marking chalk
- Straight pins
- 1 16-20 ounce bag of stuffing
- Sewing machine, needle and thread to match the twill tape ribbon
Making the Pillow:
- Measure out two 17×17 inch squares of cotton linen (remember to iron your fabric before you cut to ensure a more perfect square)
- Cut strips of twill tape ribbon in the following sizes: two 23-inch strips, four 17-inch strips, and four 9-inch strips.
- Lay out the fabric that will be the front of the pillow.
- Lay the longest pieces of twill tape ribbon from corner to corner across the fabric. They should form an X.
- Lay out the four 17-inch pieces parallel and 3 inches from the longest strips and repeat with the 9-inch strips another 3 inches. Now that the pattern is arranged you can choose to do some minor adjusting and make it so the ribbons weave over and under each other (optional). Just be sure to keep them straight.
- Once you are satisfied pin the ribbon onto the fabric with straight pins to secure the design.
- Sew along every edge of ribbon, going over the criss-crosses as they come. This is the trickiest part since you need to keep your hem about a centimeter from the edge of the ribbon. Don’t get frustrated if this is difficult. If your thread matches the twill tape it won’t be too noticeable. Also twill tape is a more forgiving material to stitch through than some other ribbon material so if you need to redo any of the hems the holes from the needle will be fairly self-healing.
- Once you have finished with the twill tape, quickly trim off any extra lengths that go beyond the boundary of your square of fabric. Now it is time to begin pinning down the cordege. You will be sewing this on to the front piece first and then sewing the back onto that. It’s much easier to break this in to stages rather than pinning and sewing all three layers.
- Lay twill tape embellished layer design side up on a table. Pin down your cordege along the edge of the pillow. You will want the tape edge (not the puffy tube) to line up with the edge of the pillow. The two ends will need to overlap a little as you can see in the image.
- Set your sewing machine needle to be at the far left position and sew the cordege onto the front piece. Try to trace the inner seam that is already a part of the cordege, it serves as a pretty good guide. Sew completely around and remember to back stitch at the end.
- Lay the back piece of the pillow on top so that both sides of the pillow are outside facing in. Pin the back piece on, sandwiching the cordege inside. When you hem this together have the front piece facing up so that you can trace the hem you already created. Otherwise you are only making things hard for yourself.
- Start your stitch just past the overlapped cordege. Once you come around stop just before it. You should be leaving yourself a gap, which should be about six or seven inches wide. This will allow you to turn the pillow right side out and later serve as an entrance for stuffing.
- Turn the pillow right side out and begin stuffing. Take extra care on the corners so that the full form of the pillow is expanded. Once you are satisfied with the fullness of the pillow pin the opening shut and do a quick hand stitch to seal it.
- And Serve!