Pretty Ribbon-Embellished Pillows

Save your trim scraps and other fun findings to use as bands or fringe on playful silk pillows.


What You Need
  • 2/3 yard burgundy silk doupioni (rectangular pillow)
  • 2 1/4 yards lightweight fusible knit interfacing (such as Sew Sheer or Fusi-Knit)
  • 6 to 9 10-inch pieces of assorted pink and burgundy ribbons
  • 1 yard purple silk doupioni (square pillow)
  • 26 to 32 pieces of purple ribbon in assorted lengths (ours were 4 to 8 inches long), widths, and colors
  • Monofilament thread
  • 8-x-24-inch pillow form
  • 16-inch-square pillow form
  • Polyester fiberfill
Finished Pillows
  • 8 x 24 inches and 16 inches square
  • Quantities are for 44/45-inch-wide, 100% cotton fabrics.
  • Measurements include 1/4-inch seam allowances.
  • Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.
Cut and Assemble Rectangular Pillow

Before cutting silk, preshrink it by lightly steam-pressing the wrong side.

From burgundy silk, cut:
  2  10-x-26-inch rectangles

From interfacing, cut:
  2  9-1/2-x-25-1/2-inch rectangles

1. Following manufacturer's instructions, center and fuse an interfacing 9-1/2-x-25-1/2-inch rectangle on wrong side of each burgundy silk 10-x-26-inch rectangle. (Cutting oversize silk pieces prevents fusible residue from getting on your ironing board.)

2. Referring to illustration (Diagram), arrange the 10-inch-long pink and burgundy ribbons as desired on half of a fused burgundy silk rectangle. Place them right next to each other, abutting the edges, or space them up to 1/2 inch apart. When you're pleased with the arrangement, gently pin in place.

3. Using monofilament thread, sew each ribbon in place. For wide ribbons, use a machine blind-hem stitch or a straight stitch to sew along each edge. When ribbons are right next to each other, use a small zigzag stitch to sew over edges of both ribbons with one stitch. Attach narrow ribbons and other trims with a straight stitch down the center. After each addition, measure to be sure ribbons are evenly spaced and straight.

4. Lightly press embellished silk rectangle from wrong side. Trim to 9 x 25 inches, including seam allowances, to make pillow front.

5. Trim remaining fused burgundy silk rectangle to 9 x 25 inches including seam allowances to make pillow back.

6. Layer pillow front and back; pin. Sew around all edges, leaving a 5-inch opening along one long edge, to make a rectangular pillow cover.

7. Turn pillow cover right side out through opening. Stuff firmly with fiberfill; handstitch opening closed.

Cut and Assemble Square Pillow

To make the best use of your fabrics, cut pieces in the following order. Before cutting silk, preshrink it by lightly steam-pressing the wrong side.

From purple silk, cut:
  2  18-x-22-inch rectangles
  1  18-inch square

From interfacing, cut:
  2  17-1/2-x-21-1/2-inch rectangles
  1  17-1/2-inch square

1. Following manufacturer's instructions, center and fuse an interfacing 17-1/2-x-21-1/2-inch rectangle to wrong side of each purple silk 18-x-22-inch rectangle; let cool. Trim each fused rectangle to 17 x 21 inches including seam allowances. Set aside to use for pillow back.

2. Center and fuse interfacing 17-1/2-inch square to wrong side of purple silk 18-inch square; let cool. Trim to 17  inches square, including seam allowances.

3. Fold each purple ribbon in half and pin ends together. On the right side of the fused purple square, evenly space 13 to 16 folded ribbons along opposite edges with raw edges aligned (Diagram 2). The first and last ribbons should start just beyond the 1/2-inch seam allowance, and the loops should point toward the center. Adjust the amount of the loop extending toward center as desired. When you're pleased with the arrangement, pin each ribbon in place.

4. Sew 1/4 inch from raw edges to baste ribbons in place. Trim excess ribbon ends even with silk square to complete pillow front.

Finish Purple Pillow

1. With wrong side inside, fold each fused purple silk rectangle in half to form two double-thick 10-1/2-x-17-inch rectangles. (The double thickness makes the pillow back more stable.) Overlap folded edges of double-thick rectangles by about 4 inches to make a 17-inch square (Diagram 3). Baste 1/4 inch from edges to make pillow back.

2. On pillow front, pin top and bottom ribbon loops away from seam allowance. Layer pillow front and back. Sew around all edges to make a purple pillow cover.

3. Turn pillow cover right side out through opening and insert pillow form.


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