Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Creating your perfect place of rest with pillows

Before I present to you today's fabulous tutorial, I would love it if you would take a minute to enter the giveaway I am hosting this week from Ali Bug Bowtique for a chance to win some amazing hair accessories!

Although I posted about my Master Bedroom Makeover several months ago, I just barely completed all of my bedding this week.  I had a very hard time spending the hefty price tags for a 27" pillow form to go inside my Euro shams, and was delighted to wait for to stock back their inventory of  feather/ pillow forms for $20 each.  I also used my 15% off coupon and with free shipping, the decision was a no- brainer for me.  They arrived this week, and instantly the fabulous polka dot euro shams my mom and I sewed adorned my bed. 

I found a tutorial for these Euro Sham pillowcases on Prudent Baby via Craft Gossip because of how simple they looked to sew.  My mom and I are both pretty talented seamstresses in the sense that we can easily figure out a fairly difficult project, but because I was on a time crunch with the contest I was entering in, I needed something quick and simple.  I love prudent baby, but these were a pain in the caboose.  My mom and I worked on them together for about 3 hours one day when she was at my house, and then she offered to take them home to finish them for me.  She cursed me later for giving her this project.  The dimensions for the trim in the tutorial were way off, so we had to unpick the whole thing several times and cut new fabric.  Fortunately, I bought the upholstery fabric at a great price from Home Fabrics so it wasn't too big of a deal.  Anyway, she ended up making them work out fantastically in the end.  I will work on creating a tutorial for how we created those soon.  Despite the heartache they gave us, I am still so glad I chose to make my own because of the price tag, and uniqueness of them.  I love the playfulness of the polka dots in a very subdued color scheme making it more grown up.  The texture of the silk works fantastically next to the other bedding.

The standard shams I made were a cinch.  For the makeover, you saw the beginnings of my ruffled shams, sans ruffles due to my lack of time for the contest.

These were just fine, but I wanted something a bit more soft and feminine, and ruffles were just the ticket I needed.  Initially, I cut varying sized strips of fabric from my polka dot material and tried to ruffle the fabric using a fairly thick thread, but it ripped every time after tugging and tugging on the material trying to get it ruffle.  This particular upholstery fabric just wasn't going to budge for that.  Instead, I opted to simply stitch little pleats as I went along.  Here's how it went down.

First, I stitched a straight line all round each strip of fabric.  You will need to hem the edges under if you don't want any fraying, but I wanted mine to fray a little bit so I gave it plenty of space to do that while keeping it semi under control with a stitch to stop the fraying at a point.  I started with super long strips of fabric, in varying widths for my pillows.  Because you can simply tuck a new strip in under a pleat, you don't need to have this measured out perfectly in advance.

Next, I pinned my first strip at the top of the pillow case towards the outside edge, near the zipper and began stitching a straight line just a few stitches. 

With the needle down, I lifted the presser foot, and created a little pleat with the upcoming fabric.  I released the presser foot and stitched over the pleat.

I repeated this process, keeping the pleats as uniform as possible in their size and distance from one another.

Once my fabric ran out (if you don't create super long strips to start with), I simply tucked in a new piece by folding the top edge down, and sticking it under the presser foot to add right on.

You can't even tell it was added on.

Once I got to the bottom of the pillow case, I pulled the needle out and did a new stitch to finish the ruffled piece at the bottom, making it extend past the bottom of the pillow case just a bit.

I trimmed off the excess fabric to use for another strip, and repeated this process 5 more times.  I used different widths of fabric on my pillows and also changed up the spacing on the pleats.  I kept each pillow the same, but had different sizes and spacing between the strips themselves. 

Onto my bed they went!

I love the way that the fabric frayed just perfectly for that shabby look I love.

With a little pop of sunburst from my $24.99 Target pillow, this bed is just what the Dr. ordered!

Are you feeling inspired to create your own fabulous look with pillows, rather than the easy "bed in a bag" options you can find at the big stores?  Don't get me wrong, they can be fabulous but not nearly as unique as you are.  I know that I didn't make this whole experience sound easy peasy because the truth is that it wasn't.  I rarely get something perfectly the first go around.  I never want to leave the impression that creating your own masterpiece is without effort or a few mistakes.  To me though, the real beauty comes from the journey and the acquisition of knowledge along the way. 

On a far more serious note, I just inhaled a sleeve of frozen thin mints and barely frozen can of Diet Dr. Pepper for lunch.  Could life possibly get any better than that?  I don't think so my friends....



I'll be sharing this little tid bit with these fine folks:

Tip Junkie handmade projects

The DIY Show Off

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia


Domestically Speaking

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special


Transformation Thursday

Furniture Feature Fridays


  1. Love the pillows. You have done an amazing job!!! I always wish I knew how to sew a little bit better, especially when I see such great sewing projects like your pillows.

  2. That is the CUTEST!! I love it.

  3. Super cute! AWESOME tutorial! We would ♥ for you to link this up :)

    :)Lolly Jane

  4. I always give the projects I'm stuck with to my mom. The problem with that though is she almost just as frustrated as I am. It's always worth it though in the end when you finish it. I would say the hardest thing I ever sewed was a wedding dress. I had to ask my mom for help and even then it was a challenge. It was worth it though when I finally finished it.

    -Zane of ontario honey


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