One of the easiest ways to refresh your space is to bring in new accessories in the form of pillows, and one of the least expensive ways to do that is to sew them yourself. While I usually prefer envelope style pillow cases (because they're easy to wash), they can be a little more intimidating to make—if you're still figuring out how to work the back-stitch button on that sewing machine you got for Christmas. Below are two simple pillow styles that you can customize according to your taste and size preference as well as use to flesh out all the empty corners of your couch.
1. Supplies: 1/2 to 1 yard of each fabric you'd like to use for your pillows as well as sharp scissors, straight pins, a ruler, a sewing machine and thread in coordinating colors. To add pom-poms you'll want yarn, cardboard, embroidery needle, embroidery floss, pom-pom maker (or use cardboard), pillow inserts in various sizes. 2. Pre-wash and iron your fabrics. Choose one or two prints for your circle pillow that coordinate and lay them on top of each other with right sides facing each other. Place your pillow insert on top and cut an extra 1" around the circumference of your insert. This will keep it from being too tight when you add your pom-pom. 3. Pin your pieces together and stitch 1/4" away from the edge all the way around leaving about 7" from where you started. This is your opening for the insert. 4. Carefully iron the opening seams back with a slightly rounded edge. This will help immensely in keeping it's shape as you hand-stitch it together. 5. Cut little v-shaped notches every 3 to 4" around your circle to help it curve neatly when turned right side out. Be sure not to cut past your seam though. 6. Turn right side out and add your insert. Stitch the opening closed using a hidden stitch. 7. Make two pom-poms of equal size and use the long ends that hold all the little strands together to create a knotted loop. With a threaded embroidery needle and a large knot on the loose end, stitch down through the middle of the pillow and press through to the other side. Loop your needle through the knotted loop of the first pom and then stitch back through to the first side and loop through the other pom. Repeat this twice and then, holding the knotted loose end firmly, pull the thread, so it's taut and creates a pull in the center of the pillow. Knot the ends of your embroidery thread together and trim the thread and excess yarn. 8. Fluff your pillow and enjoy it's charm. The square version is even more simple and can literally be finished in one episode of New Girl.
1. Supplies: 1/2 to 1 yard of fabric depending on the size of your pillow insert. I always measure the length of my pillow and then add about 1" to get my fabric length and width (if it's a square pillow). This insert was 18" x 18" so I measured out two cuts of 19" x 19" fabric. You'll also need sharp scissors, your pillow insert, a sewing machine, an embroidery needle and thread. 2. Stitch all the way around the pillow being sure to start 3" away from a corner and stopping about 3" away from the opposite as shown. Leave enough room for your insert to go in without having to hand-stitch those corners. Iron back the open seams. 3. Turn right side out and press the edges flat. Insert your pillow. Stitch close using the same invisible stitch. 4. Place behind your circle pillow for a happy little corner.When choosing coordinating fabrics, I suggest sticking to a color palette of 3 to 5 colors. Although I used patterns exclusively for these pillows, they all work together, because they all work within the limited palette of black, white, blue and green. If you're going for a lot of prints you're going to want to vary the print size. I chose two large, bold prints for my larger pillows and smaller prints for my smaller pillows. I also chose to mix florals with geometric patterns to keep things modern but playful.I can play up the granny-chic vibe by switching things around a bit and layering two florals with a simple geometric pattern, a solid, or another floral.I can also flip my circle pillow around and pair two geometric patterns for a completely different look. Versatility is one of my favorite elements of design, because I feel like I can easily refresh my space without having to start all over again. Sometimes all it takes is rearranging, pairing something new together, or an afternoon at your sewing machine. xo. Rachel