Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sew Your Own Pillows (My First Sewing Tutorial)

My little guy has been getting on all fours for a while but lately he has been crawling fast.  We set up a corner of the living with foam square mats (to cover the hardwood floor) for him to play and crawl to his heart's content.

Last week while playing on the mats he fell over because he was tired and couldn't hold himself up.  I was so sad seeing him laying there on his side helpless and crying, so I decided to make him some pillows for his play area.
I do not recommend making pillow for infants, because they can become a suffocation hazard!  (I never leave my son alone while playing.)

This project takes less than thirty minutes to complete and requires 3 seams, so it's perfect for anyone new to sewing.

1. 1/2 yd (18in) of fabric to make a throw pillow (you'll need more yardage if you want a larger pillow)
2. Matching color thread
3. Stuffing for the pillow (I prefer washable polyester)
4. Needle for hand sewing

Pillows can be made out of almost any fabric.  Your fabric should be chosen based on how your pillow will be used, in other words decoratively or for everyday use.  For my purposes I went to JoAnn's and found fabric in the baby section.

Before you start any project it is always best to wash and ironing your fabric if possible.  I was in a rush so I didn't bother washing or ironing my fabric.

Once you have your clean fabric, fold it in half with the right sides of the fabric together and figure out how big you want your pillow to be.  If you bought 1/2 yard then your pillow will be 16"x16" roughly (after it is sewn), but you can always modify your pillow size.  After all there isn't a wrong size or a right size when it comes to pillow making.

Now that you have the measurements for your pillow add 1/4" to the two sizes and the bottom.  Cut the 3 sides, do not cut the folded edge of the fabric.

At this point the right sides of the fabric should already be facing each other.  Pin the fabric together so it doesn't shift while being fed through the sewing machine.  I like to put my pins in the "major" areas, such as the sides, near the corners and one in the center.

Using your sewing machine or serger, sew the 3 sides and leave a 2-3" opening on one side.  You will use this opening to stuff the pillow and sew it closed by hand.

Once the seams are sewn turn the fabric right side out through the opening.

Time to add your stuffing!!!  You can fill your pillow as much as you like, just be careful not to overfill it because you may start pulling at the seams (like I accidentally did!).

Once you are done filling you pillow you will need to sew up the opening using your needle and thread.  I suppose you could also *try* to use your sewing machine to sew the opening from the outside, however it may be difficult. 

Once you have stitched up the opening you now have a finished pillow.  TA-DA!!!  Wasn't that fun and easy?!?

He was very happy to see his new pillow with monkeys playing soccer.


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