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Combining Textures in Cushions!

Hi there!

I am Sewingridd and today I'm going to show you how I made a super fancy pillow case using just a few supplies.

I think pillows are underrated by many people. They are not only nice to lean on, but in my opinion they also have a great impact on the way a living room or bedroom looks. If you're hesitant to paint your walls in a bright colour, but still want to cheer it all up a bit, pillows are the way to go! They're easy to change, so once you're done with them you just pick out another design. And if you're easily bored you could even change between pillow cases every week or so if you'd like.

Of course you could just go to the home store and buy yourself some pillows. But us crafters, we'd rather make them ourselves! This gives us all the creative freedom to choose between colour combinations, shapes, sizes, designs, and even budget. So let's get started!

First, gather your supplies. I used three different fabrics, and two 50 centimetre zippers. My fabrics are all three of different structures, that's why I like the combination. As the main fabric I used this nice red Pre Quilted Fabric. It is nice and firm, and I love the look of the quilting. The black Faux Suede Fabric I had left from a previous project and the grey fake leather fabric I found in a thrift shop but Minerva have a very similar Faux Leather Fabric.

Measure the size of the pillow(s) you will make the case for.
Based on these measurements, draw yourself a pattern. Draw it twice, one for the back and one for the front. My pillow was 50x50 cm, so I drafted two 50x50cm squares. From now on I'll use this size as an example.
Take one of the two pattern pieces. This will be the one for the front panel. Take a ruler and draw two lines to create three parts. One of the lines should be 50 cm long (equal length as the zipper; take into account that the pillow must fit through). Cut the front panel pattern over these lines. Now you have 4 pattern pieces in total. The seam allowance is not yet included in the pattern.
Figure out what fabric you want to use on what part of the pillow. Cut fabric accordingly with a 1,5 cm seam allowance on all sides. I cut my pattern pieces on a double layer of fabric, which results in two mirrored designs. If you don't like that, use a single layer while cutting.
Time to take out the sewing machine! First, sew the front panel seam without zipper. Finish the seam (either zigzag stitch or serger works perfectly!) and press seam open.
Now sew one side of the zipper to this construct. It's probably easiest to use a zipper foot if your machine has one, but a normal presser foot will also work.
Sew other side of the zipper to the third part of your front panel pattern. Finish seams on both sides and press.
The front is done already! Now open up your zipper (if you forget you won't be able to turn the case!) and line up the front and back panel of the pillow case, right sides together. Sew all around and finish this seam. Be careful to not break your sewing needle when sewing in the zipper area. If uncertain, turn the sewing wheel by hand instead of using the foot pedal just to be on the safe side.
Clip the corners, making sure to leave the stitching intact.
You are done! Turn your case outside out, insert your pillow, show your friends and enjoy the result!

Here's a few more things to keep in mind when doing this project:

  • If you skip the zipper, make another opening in your pillow case. Otherwise it'll be hard to insert your pillow. :p

  • A good press works wonders for the final look of all your garments. It looks more sophisticated and less homemade. But always be careful pressing! Especially the inside of this red fabric might melt on your iron, even on low temperature. I recommend using the settings for synthetic fabrics, but always try on a scrap piece first.  

  • When sewing (fake) leather, don't pin the pieces together. The holes of the pins will always stay visible. Try sewing/paper clips or even adhesive tape instead.

I love how my pillow cases turned out! I also like that they are mirrored. That makes them a little more interesting when they're laying next to each other.  I also love the red padded fabric I've used here. Because of the thickness, the pillow gets even softer than it already was. I could also picture this fabric as lining for a winter coat, cute baby sleeping bag, warm plaid or even a saddle pad!

I'm looking forward to seeing all the lovely pillow cases you'll make with this fabric!

Thanks for reading,

Ingrid @sewingridd

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