Pillow Persuasion

Think pillows, and you think pillow form, fabric, and thread, right? The difference between a run-of-the-mill pillow and one that beckons you to come and sit for a while is in the details.


What You Need

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  • 3/4 yard of yellow fabric
  • 3 22-inch-square white linen napkins with hemstitched borders
  • 24-inch-square pillow form
  • Dressmaker's chalk, colored; or disappearing-ink fabric-marking pen

Instructions

Quantities specified are for 52/54-inch fabrics. All measurements include 1/2-inch seam allowances unless otherwise noted. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

From yellow fabric, cut:

  • 2 25-inch squares

Assemble the Pillow

  1. Sew the yellow fabric squares together, leaving a 14-inch opening along one side. Turn the pillow right side out through the opening. Insert the pillow form through the opening and hand-stitch the opening closed.
  2. Using colored dressmaker's chalk or a disappearing-ink fabric-marking pen, lightly mark two rows 1 1/2 inches apart along each side of two napkins. The outside row should be 4 inches from the finished edge of the napkin. Fold the napkins along the marked lines toward the outside of the napkin to make two rows of 1/4-inch-deep tucks; press. Topstitch each fold in place.
  3. Cut eight 1-1/2-x-18-inch strips from the second napkin. Fold each strip in half lengthwise with right sides together and raw edges aligned. Sew along the long side and one short side of each strip, leaving one short side open; trim the corners. Turn the strips right side out through the opening; press. Zigzag-stitch the opening closed.
  4. Hand-stitch the zigzag end of each tie to the back edge of each pin-tucked napkin, centering one tie between each of the tucks.
  5. Use your sewing machine's embroidery capabilities or a monogramming service to add a 5-inch-tall monogram to the center of one pin-tucked panel.
  6. Tie the pin-tucked napkins to each side of the yellow pillow.

What You Need

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  • 3/4 yard of embroidered silk
  • 3/4 yard of red-stripe silk
  • 2 3/8 yards of braid cording
  • 4 6-inch-long tassels
  • 18-inch-square pillow form
  • Pencil or disappearing-ink fabric-marking pen

Instructions

Download the free diagrams for this project. (Downloading requires Adobe Acrobat software.)

Pillow diagrams

Adobe Acrobat

Quantities specified are for 52/54-inch fabrics. All measurements include 1/2-inch seam allowances unless otherwise noted. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

To make the best use of your fabrics, cut the pieces in the order that follows.

From embroidered silk, cut:

  • 1 19-inch square for pillow center

From red-stripe silk, cut:

  • 1 27-x-21-inch rectangle for pillow back
  • 1 27-x-7-inch rectangle for pillow back
  • 4 4-x-24-inch strips for flanges

Assemble the Pillow

  1. With raw edges aligned and using a zipper foot, sew the braid cording to the right side of the embroidered silk square. To make a neat joint where the cording ends meet, unwind the ends and wrap them together before sewing them to the silk rectangle.
  2. Pin a red-stripe silk 4-x-24-inch strip to one edge of the embroidered silk rectangle, matching the center of the strip with the center of the pillow center edge. Sew together, beginning and ending the seam 1/2 inch from the rectangle corners as shown in Diagram 1. Allow excess border fabric to extend beyond the edges. Repeat on the remaining edges.
  3. Overlap border strips at each corner as shown in Diagram 2.
  4. Align the edge of a right triangle with the raw edge of a top border strip so the long edge of the triangle intersects the seam in the corner. With a pencil or disappearing-ink fabric-marking pen, draw along the edge of the triangle from the border seam out to the raw edge. Place the bottom border strip on top; repeat the marking process.
  5. With the right sides of adjacent border strips together, match the marked seam lines and pin as shown in Diagram 3.
  6. Beginning with a backstitch at the inside corner, stitch exactly on the marked lines to the outside edges of the border strips. Check the right side of the corner to see that it lies flat. Trim the excess fabric, leaving a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Press the seam open. Mark and sew the remaining corners in the same manner to complete the pillow front.
  7. Sew the red-stripe silk 27-x-21-inch rectangle and the red-stripe 27-x-7-inch rectangle together along one long edge, leaving a 14-inch opening along the center to make the pillow back.
  8. Pin a tassel to each corner of the pillow front, positioning the tassel cords inside the raw edge.
  9. Sew the pillow front and back together along the outside edges. Turn through the back opening; press the flanges. Use a zipper foot to sew close to the cord seam. Insert the pillow form through the back panel opening and hand-stitch the opening closed.

What You Need

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  • 1 1/2 yards of satin print
  • 3/4 yard of fleece
  • 1/2 yard of leopard-print decorator fabric
  • Ruler
  • Dressmaker's chalk or disappearing-ink fabric-marking pen
  • 2 1/2 yards of 1/4-inch-diameter piping cord
  • 18-inch-square pillow form
  • Hand-sewing needle and matching thread
  • Pink beads

Instructions

Quantities specified are for 52/54-inch fabrics. All measurements include 1/2-inch seam allowances unless otherwise noted. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

To make the best use of your fabrics, cut the pieces in the order that follows.

From satin print, cut:

  • 2 20-inch squares
  • 2 4-x-52-inch strips for ruffle

From fleece, cut:

  • 1 20-inch square

From leopard-print decorator fabric, cut:

  • 1 11-inch square, cut into 1-1/2-inch-wide bias strips

Make the Knife-Pleated Ruffle

  1. Sew the satin print 4-x-52-inch strips together along one short side. Fold the strip in half lengthwise with right sides out; press.
  2. Using a ruler and dressmaker's chalk or a disappearing-ink fabric-marking pen, mark the strips at 1/2-inch increments. Fold the strip at the markings to make pleats; pin as you work your way along the length of the strip.
  3. Baste the pleats in place using two lines of basting stitches approximately 1/4-inch apart; press (use a pressing cloth for delicate fabrics).

Assemble the Pillow

  1. Baste the fleece square to the back of one satin 20-inch square. Machine-stitch around selected motifs on the satin fabric for a quilted look.
  2. Cover the piping cord with 1-1/2-inch-wide bias strips. (For more information on how to make piping, go to www.bhg.com/sippiping.) Aligning raw edges, baste the covered piping cord along the outer edges of the quilted pillow front.
  3. Aligning raw edges, pin the knife-pleated ruffle to the pillow front and baste in place. Sew the pillow front to the pillow back, leaving a 10-inch opening along one side. Insert the pillow form through the opening and hand-stitch the opening closed.
  4. Hand-stitch beads to the pillow front as desired or in selected motifs on the fabric.

What You Need

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  • 1 yard of striped silk
  • 5/8 yard of linen
  • 2 yards of knotted fringe trim
  • 28-x-14-inch pillow form
  • Leather belt with metal buckle

Instructions

Quantities specified are for 52/54-inch fabrics. All measurements include 1/2-inch seam allowances unless otherwise noted. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

To make the best use of your fabrics, cut the pieces in the order that follows.

From stripe silk, cut:

  • 2 29-x-15-inch rectangles

From linen, cut:

  • 1 14-x-29-inch rectangle

From knotted fringe trim, cut:

  • 2 30-inch lengths

Assemble the Pillow

  1. Sew the stripe silk 29-x-15-inch rectangles together, leaving an 18-inch opening along one long side; turn. Insert the pillow form through the opening; hand-stitch the opening closed.
  2. Turn each long edge of the linen rectangle under 1 inch; press. Sew the short ends together to make a tube and turn right side out.
  3. Stitch one length of knotted fringe trim to each edge of the linen tube. Slip the tube over the striped silk pillow.
  4. Wrap the belt around the pillow; buckle. If necessary, punch additional holes in the leather for a tight fit and carefully trim the excess leather with a craft knife.
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