Sunday, April 25, 2010

Polly's pillow sewing tutorial

Welcome to the Workshop Series brought to you by

 Funky Junk Interiors and Mustard Seed Creations!

 Today Miss Mustard Seed is discussing photography! I hope you enjoy the few tips I've also left there. But before you head out, check out what's in store in this neck'o the woods. :)
This week at FJI, I have a special treat for you. :)

Please welcome Polly, from Make Mine Beautiful!

Polly is the Workshop Series sponsor  for 5 weeks, which means something extra special for you! A giveaway!

Polly is the creator of the original DIY work aprons you've seen around blogland lately. This baby is her current fulltime passion and the quality of these aprons reflect that. There are even a few beautiful styles to choose from!

What this means is, after 5 sessions of random topic workshop posts, Polly is offering a

The Farmer's Market Apron

as a giveaway!

"This apron has two large pockets for toting your necessities, a zippered pocket for storing your valuables, and a business card pocket to have your own cards at the ready or to keep new ones that you collect during your shopping ventures. This style apron is flattering to any shape."

And for the rest of this week only, Polly has a special price for those wishing to purchase!

The Farmer's Market apron and
the Workroom apron
are on for only
from this Wednesday thru Saturday!

There will also be similar discounts on other styles too.

Having an apron of Polly's myself, I will fully give my approval on this item. My first impression of the apron was how high the quality was. Heavy duty fabrics, an easy clip closure, pockets galore, and so comfy you forget it's on, I know you will ADORE this item.

Check Polly's Etsy Shop for the specials. 
 ~ This week's How To segment ~
Pillow Tutorial

Polly is a professional seamstress. For many years, she worked as an interior decorator, creating her own curtains, as well as a tv designer, doing interior/exterior decorating as well as sewing specialties. This week we are so fortunate to have Polly share with us a pillow tutorial . I can't wait to see this one as I have some of Polly's special fabrics begging me to do something with them. Take it away, Polly!

About Polly

Thank you Donna!  Well, as Donna said, I've been an Interior Designer for about 16 years. A large portion of my business has been custom soft furnishings that we fabricate in my own professional workroom. I love to sew, and even more than that, I love to teach others to sew.

I've laid that part of my business aside to pursue building a business based on the working needs of women.
I create work aprons for women. Aprons that if you sew or create in any way, will make your time in your work space much more productive.

Pillow Tutorial

Donna was kind enough to ask me to come over and teach her readers how to make an easy decorator pillow. Then I mentioned something about zippers to her, and I think she got a little scared! I'm going to show you how to make this:

(Donna says, "Gulp!!")

You can do it! I know you can. We're going to make one pillow with two different looks. I do this often for my clients because you can get two looks for the price of one.

At the end of this post you'll know how to make fabric cording, insert a zipper, add tassels, apply a trim, and make a pillow. That word "zipper" sounds intimidating, huh?, Don't worry, I'm going to make it pain free for you.

Let's gather some supplies.

Decide on the size pillow you want to make. I've decided on 18" for this project, so I only needed 1/2 yard per fabric.

-1 fabric for the front
-1 fabric for the back
-1 fabric for the cording
-2 tassels
-a zipper
-2 1/4 yards of cotton cord per pillow.

1. Add trim to one side of the pillow

First, lay out your fabric against a straight edge. Mark the lines on your pillow where your trim will go, and then add a tiny bead of glue on that line. Note "tiny".

After the glue dries, sew the trim down on each edge.

When you're finished with that, your fabric should look like this. (I did two pillows)

2. Make the cording.

 A little tip about making fabric cording - you so not have to be exact with your cuts because you can trim it in the end. For teaching purposes here, I did measure it though.

Lay your fabric out face down. Take a straight edge and mark your first line. You'll want to have some degree of bias, but if your fabric is fairly flexible, a true bias is not necessary. In this picture, you'll see my bias is very lenient. My cord is 3/8" of an inch, so I'm cutting my fabric at 3".

After you've marked your lines, you're going to stagger them and sew them together. The reason for staggering the lines is so that you can create one continuous strip. This keeps you from having to sew several pieces together.

Once you've sewn your seam, press it out, and then cut along the lines.

Now, put your regular sewing foot (not your cording foot) on your machine, set your stitch width at about 4-5, and sew the fabric around the cord. Do NOT try to sew it too tight against the cord. I'll explain why in a bit, but for now, just sew loosely. Notice my needle placement against the cord.

After you've done that, cut the excess fabric off about 1/4" from the stitch line. Leave a little empty cord.

For those of you with a serger, just wrap the fabric around the cord and zip it through to trim off the excess. Your finished cord should look like this. (I ran mine through the serger which is why my edge looks different from what you'll be making.)

3. Sewing all the parts together

Because this is a reversible pillow, you need to decide which side you'll be using the most, and we'll call that the front.
Sew the cord to the front first

First, let's sew the cord to the front. This is a good tip for beginners. There is no need to pin the pillow together and try to sew the cord into the seam. This way will make sure that your cord is tight and professional looking. No need to pin your cord down too much. Every few inches will be fine. Be sure NOT to pull your cord too tight when sewing it on.

When you sew it to the front side, I'm going to have you sew it at a stitch length of 5, and do NOT ride too close to the cord. You simply want to get the cord attached right now. We'll tighten it up once we put the layers together. Doing it this way will keep you from having to try to cover your first stitch when you're finishing the pillow. Start in the center of the bottom, and leave about 2" of the cord unattached at the beginning.

Nick the corners - lots!

When you get to the corners, put a few little nicks in the cord with your scissors so that you can round the corners perfectly.  (A lot of people just put one snip in the corner and turn the fabric, but that creates puckering in the cord.) You'll be surprised how perfect your corner is going to look by doing it this way.

Here's the easy way to join the cord at the end. It's easier to show you the pictures than to describe it, so if you look closely, you'll get it. Stop about an inch an a half short of your beginning.

Tuck the beginning of the cord into the end of the cord, and cut the white cord so that it joins the other. You'll need to take out a few stitches at the end so that you can wrap your fabric around the first part you sewed on.

Hold it down really tight and then sew it all down until it's all attached.

Now, remember that zipper I told you you were going to insert? It goes on this side.  Because of that, you'll need to tighten the cord down on this side right now.

Put your zipper foot on the machine now. You'll use it to finish the pillow out. To get it tight, sew to the inside of the first stitch line on the cord. Get it as close to the foot as you can. Notice my needle placement.


4. Zipper time!

Ok ladies, pull out that zipper. Follow my pictures closely to see how to insert the zipper properly. You'll sew it to the front side of your fabric first.

On your back fabric, go ahead and iron the edge over about a half inch and set it aside. Pin only the ends of the zipper, like this:

One the side you turned over, be sure to sew it about 1/8" from the edge.

On the cording side, sew it about the same length from the edge.

This will give you a tight fit on the closure.

Sew both sides of the zipper down. Stop about 1 1/2" short of the ends.

5. Sew the pillow sides together

Tassels down first

It's time to sew it together. Grab your tassels. Before you sew the sides together, you need to sew the tassels down in the corners. Clip a couple of stitches where you sewed down the cord to the top corners. Push the tassel cord UNDER the fabric cord and sew over it.

Now zip the zipper and flip the pillow so that you have the face of each fabric together. Pin the corners down, and put a pin in the center of the sides without the zipper.

You'll sew the corners on the zipper side first. This will set your fabrics straight and give you a guide to go by when sewing the rest of the pillow together.

Start sewing about 2" down from the edge that wraps around to the zipper side.

Now, remember when I had you fold the edge of your back fabric over a half inch? You'll use that as your guide for your stitch line.

Follow these couple of pictures closely.

See where you turn the corner? As you turn it, you'll run right into the fold line. Stitch directly in it. This will make your seam even with the zipper you sewed in.Then, be sure as you sew that the zipper is on the outside of your foot. You can tell by feel.
Finish it off like this:

This locks your zipper into place, Just wait till you see how perfect this will look on the finished side.

When you sew the other end, do the same. You'll need to flip the pillow over and sew it from the other side. As long as you're sewing in that crease line, your zipper will be perfect.

Let's flip that corner right now and take a peek. Notice how the zipper just goes away in to the corner? Notice how smooth that cord is on the turn?

These are little tricks you learn with experience, so I just put you ahead of the beginner's game.

Ok, flip it back over and finish sewing the pillow together.

IMPORTANT: UNZIP your pillow right now. You've got the corners sewn down on that side, so now it's safe to open it.

Alright, remember a few steps back when you were sewing on the cording loosely? Here's where you'll  tighten it up, and where you'll thank me for not having you sew it tight the first go around.

Start sewing where you left off sewing the zipper on. Try to get the needle as close as you can to the cord. Do NOT pull your fabric too tight. Your machine has feed dogs on it for a reason. It pulls the fabric through at the rate the machine was designed to pull it. If you tug at it too much, you'll bend your needle.

When you're done, clip the corners like this:

This is the exciting part. Turn your pillow right side out and see what you've created! Pop a pillow insert in it and put it somewhere that you can see it everyday.

Congratulate yourself. I bet it's beautiful! Two looks in one pillow....

I've enjoyed being here today, and I hope I've taught you something you can put to use right away.
If you're interested in learning more about sewing home decor, head over to my blog. I'm starting a new Home Decor Series next week where I'll be teaching how to sew all phases of soft home furnishings. I'll be glad to have you join along!

~ Polly ~

That pillow is a brilliant design! Two for the price of one. I wouldn't have thought of that. Thanks for the tute Polly! The pictures were wonderful. I'll admit, some of the info was abit over my own head, but when you read slowly, each step makes perfect sense. I like how you gave the reasons for each step. A good follow me article to come back to should you want to try this.

How about you?

 Are you much of a sewer? I have to admit, my sewing machine is currently upside down inside a pile of junk. Shameful! (sorry Polly!) But it tipped over and when I saw how it landed, it made me laugh, because it was the perfect example of how I've been running away from it. So when Polly came on board for this one, I felt a tweak of hope on the horizon. I totally need encouragement at this point. :)

Perhaps you have some basic sewing tip kind of questions? Fire away, we have a pro in our midst. :)
Next week the topic will be something off your wish list you've been HEAVILY voting on. I think you're gonna love it. It's about fooling nature with paint. So stay tuned. :)

Funky Junk's Workshop Series

Join the button club! All the sewers are doing it. :)


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