Perfect Pillows For Fall

Have you ever looked at your furniture and thought “I need an upgrade”? Well, this was me a couple days ago. Of course, I didn’t want to spend a bunch of money on new furniture but wanted a new look. When I was out fabric shopping this weekend, I found several pieces that caught my eye. All of the fabric used in this project was located in the upholstery section of the store.  

As you can see, my old pillows were boring and bursting at the seams. I knew I could easily reuse some of the material from the old pillows, so I got out my seam ripper and started removing the stitches to expose the filling and piping. I saved these two items in making my new pillows. 

FABRIC USED: 1-yard Waverly Lattice in Black and White, 1-yard duck cloth canvas in black, 1-yard duck cloth canvas in apricot, 1-yard floral print fabric, Two 1/4″ diameter piping cord measuring 66″ each, Two bags 16 oz Poly-Fil stuffing

TOOLS USED: Sewing machine, zipper foot, large self-healing cutting mat, 3X18” ruler, seam ripper, water-soluble marker, cotton thread, rotary cutter, sewing clips, sewing pins

Pillow With Piping Detail

I began by cutting out my floral fabric. I cut 4 pieces measuring 16 1/4″ x 16 1/4″. To make the casing for the piping, I folded a half yard of my apricot fabric to make a large square. Then I drew a diagonal line from one corner to another and cut on the line to make two halves. For this project, I only needed one half of the square.  

Next, I measured and cut my bias strips 1 1/2 inches apart. Dana of Made Everyday has an excellent tutorial on how to properly measure and make bias tape for piping. I find her technique easy to understand and I implement her technique in this project. 

Since I’m only making two pillows with piping, I only needed a total of 5 strips. I used the first 2 strips for the first pillow and strips 3, 4, and 5 for the second pillow. The remaining strips, I put away for a future project.

To join fabrics 1 and 2, I placed these strips right sides together forming an upside down ‘V’. I placed a pin in the fabric to hold them together while I sewed a line approximately 1/4″ across the top.

When I opened the joined bias strips, they looked like this. Next, I removed my standard presser foot to a zipper foot so that I can sew the piping onto my floral fabric.

Below are pictures of the cording being placed in the middle of my bias strips. Folding the strip onto the cording, I use one pin to hold everything together, making sure the cording stays in the of the fabric. 

Grabbing one of my 16 1/4″ floral fabric squares right side facing up, I use a sewing clip to attach my bias strip with cording to the floral fabric. The raw edge of the folded bias strip should be aligned with the raw edge of the floral fabric. Before sewing, I made sure my zipper foot was as close to the cording as possible.

Starting halfway on one side of the fabric, I make a few back stitches and begin sewing all the way around the square. When I get to the corners I stopped approximately 2 inches and made small snips in the bias tape to allow the fabric to easily bend when turning the corners. 

Now, this part can get tricky and a bit hard to see in pictures. To finish the piping, I left a couple inches open between where I started and ended sewing. I opened the bias strips to expose the piping cord. As you can see in the picture, the piping cord overlaps. I needed both ends to touch each other. So, trimmed the cord on both ends until the ends perfectly met together.

Then, I wrapped the top cord back inside the bias strip and tucked it down into the bottom bias strip. Finally, I continued sewing it closed using the zipper foot. The end result should look similar to the picture below. If you need more guidance, here is a great tutorial on how to finish the piping.

Once my piping was fully attached, I grabbed my other 16 1/4″ floral fabric square and placed right sides together with the attached piping fabric and clipped together. I started in the middle of the square sewing 1/4″ seam allowance around the perimeter, leaving a 4″ opening. When finished, I turned my pillow right side out and filled with Poly-Fil Stuffing until full and hand stitched the opening closed. 

The final look of the floral pillows!

In addition to the floral pillows, I also made four additional pillows without piping measuring 16″ x 16″. For these pillows, I cut my fabric using the same measurements as the floral pattern (16 1/4″ x 16 1/4″). Placing right sides together, I sewed using 1/4″ seam allowance and leaving a 4″ opening so that I could fill with stuffing. Then, I hand stitched the opening closed.

Finally, I made two smaller pillows measuring 11″ wide x 18″ long, cutting my fabric 11 1/4″ x 18 1/4″. Again, I used a 1/4″ seam allowance and followed the above steps to complete my pillows. Here’s what they look like in the living room and bedroom!

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