I'm telling you, even when I try to be clever with my post titles, all I do is show my age...grrr.
Pillows....LOTS of pillows. And for a reason, not just because I LIKE to sew...because honestly, I REALLY dislike sewing. I can do it...and IMO everyone should know how to do the simplest things on a sewing machine. Sew a hem, make a decorative pillow, make curtains. Simple stuff...not necessarily make a tailored jacket or Easter dress, but simple stuff. My mom had me take sewing lessons when I was a teenager. Didn't necessarily like them, but I am grateful I can use a sewing machine now. If you can't, sign up for a class at your local craft or fabric store and learn. Buy the cheapest, simplest sewing machine and learn how to use it. My machine basically sews straight stitch and zig-zag. I think it does button holes too, but I don't...
So back to WHY I had to make a bunch of pillows. First, last year I decided I didn't like the big fluffy cushions on my couch. Haven't really liked them since I bought the couch. But they were expensive and filled with down fill. If you have ever bought stuffing for pillows, you know it is expensive....not something to waste. So I bought some inexpensive white cotton material, measured out 19 x 19 and 13 x 21 squares for pillow forms ( allowing for a 1/2" seam all around), sewed them together and stuffed them with the down stuffing from the too fluffy cushions. I think they call that upcycling now....much better adjective than cheapo. I ended up with 5 oblong and 5 square ones....wow! he reason I made and stuffed forms, is because as you may know, some down feathers are "pokey." Having the form in the pillow helps protect your guests from being speared by a feather. If you are just using plain old "fill" (without feathers) no need for the forms. Just make the pillows and stuff them!
Once I had all these pillow forms, I started digging through my leftover material from past projects. Mostly upholstery projects. I found enough to make these pillows....
I had material from the dining room chair recover, the peacock chair, my wingback chair and my daughter's houndstooth chair. The white cable knit is actually a sweater I bought at Goodwill for $2, and used to make a pillow!
Depending on the amount of material I had, I cut some 19 x 19 and some 13 x 21. Two for each pillow.
I trimmed all of them (except the cable knit) with piping. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DO THIS! I just like the way it looks...start simple and forget the piping if this is your first attempt!
Now piping CAN be tricky. You can buy it already made and ready to sew into your pillow....but that is a tad expensive....they have some inexpensive premade but they also have some really nifty ones with beads and all kinds of stuff! If you have enough material, you can actually make your own piping. But most people don't understand that piping material MUST be cut on the bias....which means it has to be cut at a 45 degree angle across the material or it puckers reeeeal bad...which means you have to have A LOT of material to make the bias for your piping. Confusing, I know.
Easiest, and by far the cheapest, is buy "premade" bias tape and cover piping with it. It comes in all colors and you are sure to find one to accent any pillow you are making!
Just iron the bias tape flat, fold in 1/2 and sew in the piping with your zipper foot (seriously, learn to sew a straight line!) and then sew it onto one side of your pillow....then pin the other side of the pillow, face down, and sew again...leaving an opening to stuff the pillow form or batting. Then just "whip stitch" the opening. Seriously, NO biggy if you can do the basic stuff on a machine! (Seriously, take a lesson or have a friend teach you!)
God knew what he was doing when he decided I would not have a lot of money. He knows I am a creative person and would miss out on the joy of learning to do things like refinish furniture, painting a room, and designing and building if I had money to PAY someone to do it. And honestly, if I won the lottery tomorrow, I would still do those things because I enjoy them.
But I probably would never sew again....I just really don't enjoy it. But I do enjoy having nice thing...little treasures throughout the house...and decorative pillows are little treasures.
So I sew......