Sunday, September 25, 2011

Perfect Throw Pillows

Ever made your own throw pillow covers? It is probably the easiest sewing project there is. Okay, maybe not the easiest, but I'm drawing a blank while trying to think of something easier. That should count for something, right?

Today I am going to reveal to you all tips I have learned for making perfect throw pillows (close enough, anyway).

Tip #1: Use a pillow form
Using a pillow form leaves you with a smoother pillow than a stuffed one. In my experience, they keep their shape better, too. Not to mention that you can then make throw pillows with removable covers so that you can change the cover when your ready for something new--or when you need to wash them, as you do when you have kids.

I have found some really great deals online for pillow forms. I highly recommend looking there first.

Tip #2: Go for a snug fit
Ever wonder how the makers of pillows at the store get them to look so plump? Yes, you have probably already guessed that they used a good pillow form. But that is only about, mmm..., 30% of what makes a plump throw pillow. The real secret is in a snug fit.

For instance, say you are making a cover for an 18"x18" pillow form. Those of you who sew naturally assume that you would cut your fabric to 19"x19" or 20"x20" to leave room for your seam allowances. Resist the urge to leave seam allowances!

If you have an 18"x18" pillow, cut your fabric to 18"x18". This forces your pillow form to fill every cubic millimeter of the cover to make room for itself; leaving you with a gorgeously plump pillow. (Trust me, it will fit and you will love yourself for doing it.)

Tip #3: Round the corners
Avoid the dog-eared look on your pillows. Round the corners before sewing.

You can use a plate or can of stew as a template for your rounded corners, but if you really want to feel like a professional, I recommend using a template like the Pillow Corner Template by Dritz® Home. I think they explain it best:
"Create perfect knife edged pillows! This template is a guide to mark and trim excess corner fabric from pillows. Square-cut corners on knife edged pillows cannot be stuffed properly: they pucker and become "dog-eared". By following the curve of the template, the excess fabric is removed. The curve is not visible when stitched and pillows appear to be perfectly square."
 I love mine. You can pick one up at your local fabric store or online for less than $10.

And there you have it. My secrets (not really) to making perfectly plump, square cornered throw pillows.


Shannon said...

Lovely - beautiful fabric! I am more of a "work of heart" seamstress than "work of art"... I go for easy pillows. To make the back, I recycle an old button down shirt. Unbutton, tuck in your pillow, and you are golden! (No button hole sewing!) At the bottom of my latest post you can see a pillow I made for Bronte. :)

Katie said...

Beautiful, as usual!