comfy sews tutorial: sunburst pillow tutorial

4.29.2011

[Re-posting this tutorial I orignally posted on Luvinthemommyhood/Versus blog a couple weeks ago.]

How about a Comfy Sew for your home?  Maybe something for on a chair, your couch, or your bed?  Well, today I want to show you a really fun pillow to make.  It's made of really soft and pretty linen with a sunburst of pintucks!  Simple and elegant and modern. 



Materials:
1/2 yard linen (or any solid color fabric would really look stunning as well), you may need up to 1 yard depending on what size pillow form you use
one pillow form 14x20 - the one I'm using is actually from Target, it's a travel pillow (you'll find them right next to the regular bed pillows, the best part is that they're under $5)
thread, pins, etc.



Cutting the pieces:

  • main front piece 20" wide by 16" tall (this is cut a little tall for the pillow form, but it's to leave room for the pintucks)
  • envelope back closure pieces: 14" tall by 16" wide, 14" tall by 12" wide
Additional measurments for a 12x24 pillow form:  front piece 24" wide by 14" tall, cutting down to 12" tall after pintucking, back closure pieces 12" tall by 18" wide, 12" tall by 9" wide.

Measurements for a king size pillow 20" tall by 36" wide:  front (36" wide by 22" tall, cutting down to 36" wide by 20" tall), back closure pieces 20" tall by 26" wide, 20" tall by 14" wide.

Also, I thought I should add that the smaller you cut your pillow sizes the firmer fit on the pillow form.  I usually like a really snug and tight fit, so I often cut my pieces smaller than the pillow form just to get that nice tailored look. 

*** I just want to note here that the photos I've taken for this tutorial are from making a king size pillow cover, but the technique is the same no matter what size pillow form you use.

Making the sunburst pintucks:
Using the edgestitching foot on your machine (or even your regular sewing foot - you'll just have to be a little more precise) sew the pintucks. 


Take the pillow main front piece and make an angled fold in the fabric, WRONG sides together.  Press. 


Stitch fairly close to the fold.  This is where the edgestitching foot comes in really handy. 


See that little metal piece sticking down from the middle?  That'll be where you hold the fold up next to, and it'll give you a really nice straight pintuck without worry about wobbles. 


Again, if you don't have a machine with that foot, a regular foot will work just fine, just try and make your stitches as straight as you can.  Press pintuck towards the top.  Repeat pintucks by making radiating lines from one side of the pillow (you choose which side - no need to be technical here). 

(this seam looks wobbly here, but it's just the nature of the linen, once it's pressed it lays flat and smooth)

Just keep making angled folds to guide where your pintucks will be (I did 5 pintucks per pillow), don't worry about placing them in an exact place, it's meant to be more abstract.  If you're not comfortable doing that, just use a water soluble pen to mark the lines where you'll be folding (just be sure that your water soluble pen still comes out once you've ironed over it).  Trim the pillow top down so it measures 20" wide by 14" tall.


Making the pillow back:
Feel free here to use whatever pillow closure method you prefer.  I really love a good invisible zipper on a pillow, if you want to try one out, I highly recommend Sew Katie Did's Invisible Zipper Tutorial.  The easiest and quickest method (and the one I'm showing you here) is an envelope style closure, easy to sew and pops off quickly for washing.



Take one envelope back piece and press one 14" side over to the WRONG side by 1/2", repeat.  Stitch close to the fold.  Repeat for remaining envelope back piece.

Assembling the pillow:

Lay your pillow top RIGHT side up on your table.  Place the wider envelope back piece RIGHT side down on top, aligning the raw edges and having the hemmed edge facing the middle.  Next, lay the remaining envelope back piece RIGHT side down, aligning the raw edges.  Pin. 


Sew around entire rectangle using a 1/2" seam allowance. 


Serge, zig-zag stitch or leave edges raw.  Clip corners.  Press again, insert pillow form and you're set. 

This also could easily be sized up or down to fit the pillow form of your choice. Now go sew some comfy stuff!

Thanks again Shannon for having me over to duke it out!  Be sure to stay tuned to Luvinthemommyhood for lots more of Comfy Sews vs. Cozy Knits!

Terms of use: For personal use only please.

pink lemonade party

4.26.2011

Well, I've been having fun not sewing lately, but planning a little party for a certain soon-to-be 5 year old. 

We used to throw a big party each year for Natalie's birthday, but as things have gotten busier we haven't had a big party for her the past couple years.  A few things I've tried to keep in mind while I've been dreaming up ideas for Natalie's party was to:
a. keep it simple, it's so easy to go overboard
b. make sure to include things that she really likes with things I think are reasonable
c. invite just a few friends

Natalie's into anything pink and can often be found in a totally pink outfit from head to toe. So to make the party less sugary sweet (and NOT completely pink) I chose yellow and pink as the colors - a pink lemonade party!


I put together this simple party invite just for fun.  We'll hopefully be partying at a local park if the weather cooperates, which should be really fun for everyone to run around and be entertained. 


I was inspired to add butterflies to the invite after purchasing this sweet little pack of butterflies from The Gilded Bee (I'm planning to use them to decorate the cake).  She runs a super cute etsy shop based in Iowa.  I love finding great shops like The Gilded Bee and when they're relatively local, it makes it even better!

I also made these ultra cute bubble gum necklaces for party favors.


I'm definitely not skilled at making jewelry, but these were just so fun and Natalie loves chewing gum.  You can follow the Valentine Gumball Necklace tutorial over at One Charming Party


Not sure if it's just me, but I didn't think these were the easiest things to make.  I ended up reading through the comments and a lot of people were having luck drilling holes in the gumballs with a drill, and it worked for me.  I was kind of obsessive about trying not to touch the gumballs too much, they seemed to really melt in my fingers when I first gave it a try.  I held them in a paper towel when drilling them and that seemed to help.


I've got a few more things to show you, but that'll wait for another post.

today

4.25.2011

{feel free to scroll down if you don't want to read my rambling}

Sometimes I feel like this blog is too much, in both good and not-so-good ways.  I don't want to ever come across as just wanting to talk about myself and how cool I am (because I'm definitely not).  I never would have thought that after starting this blog that anyone would be interested in reading what I have to say.  It's become overwhelming in two very different ways:
  • Overwhelming in an awesome way due to the fact that I'm very grateful to have you all as readers, I'm so glad you've found some of the things I do interesting.  I'm very grateful to have found wonderful friends that are encouraging and interested in the same things I am. 
  • It's also overwhelming because it hasn't been easy.  It may look all peachy and fun all day long everyday at my house, but we all know that's not the truth.  Like many of you I like to keep things positive and filled with the things I like and enjoy.  I struggle everyday to find the balance between my family, my job, and my hobbies. 
Those are just a few things I've been thinking about lately. 

We did have time make a fun little project over the weekend. 


Natalie and Emily have been obsessed with the box of felt that I have, and coincidentally never use.  So we decided to make a felt board.  My husband had never heard of such a thing.  It was fun making it though, I just bought a cork board at target and used spray adhesive to attach a large piece of felt.  Then we got to work cutting out shapes! 

And lastly, I wanted to share some fun things going on on some blogs I enjoy:

patchwork spring coat

4.22.2011


The snow has already melted (again) here and I was able to put together a patchwork spring coat for Natalie.  I admit that I'm so in love with this coat. 


Especially because I added a lot of my favorite scraps of fabric to the patchwork strips. 


I used Make it Perfect's Uptown Girl pattern in a size 5 (here's a bunch of links to where you can buy Toni's patterns).  I think it fits really great and I'm so happy with the length.  I just can't stand it when coats are too short.  Plus the sleeves are perfect because you can cuff them over if you need to. 


The other thing I'm really proud I remembered to add was a little coat hangy tag (yes, that's a technical term).  I love it when coats have them!  This coat would completely reversible, but since I figured we wouldn't be reversing it to the aqua blue side ever, it was worth adding the hanging tag (just a simple piece of ribbon sewn into the neck seam.


Oh, and I almost forgot, it was my first time making side seam pockets.  I knew Natalie would appreciate a couple pockets, so I forged ahead and added pockets to the side seams even though the pattern doesn't call for it.  Man it was fun, and I think I'll add them to just about everything else I'll ever make - well, almost everything. 

Hope you all have a very happy Easter. 

pattern organizing

4.20.2011

Since there really hasn't been a ton of sewing going on around these parts lately, I thought I'd share a few things I've finally gotten around to doing to keep my sewing patterns in order. 


Sure, it can be really simple at first when you start sewing from patterns, keeping them organized isn't too big of a problem.  But if you're like me, sewing just kind of sneaks up on you and before you know it you've got a full-fledged hobby on your hands.  And with that hobby comes lots of things that need to be kept - including patterns. 

I used to try and stuff my patterns back into the envelopes they came in.  They're like maps, somehow once you've unfolded them, you just can't seem to quite get them folded back up the way they were.  I also acquired quite a few tracings for each pattern.  I have a gigantic roll of paper that I used to trace almost all my patterns onto before I cut them out, that way the original pattern stays intact. 


So I decided to keep each pattern in a standard size mailing envelope (I believe it's called a catalog envlope, fits standard letter size paper laying flat).  That way the tracings, directions, original pattern envelope, and original pattern pieces would all stay neatly tucked into the envelope. 


Each pattern is labeled (not so fancy - maybe someday they will be) with the basic pattern information: pattern name, type, sizes, etc. 


For now they all fit quite nicely in my little storage box.  You're really going to laugh when you read this next part, but at one point in time (not all that long ago) all my sewing things fit inside this little box - with the lid on!   Crazy, huh?

I also have my digital patterns stored into separate folders on my computer.  On my desktop I have one Sewing folder and in that folder I have four sub-folders: Purchased Patterns, Free Tutorials, Inspiration Pics, and Book Patterns.  I think it's nice to keep them divided, that way I know which patterns I should really try and make something from (the Purchased Patterns folder).  Also, I do scan in a lot of patterns from sewing books I check out from our library.  I scan the pattern pieces and directions of the projects I'm most interested in and keep them ready and waiting.

Hope that's not information overload here, just thought I'd share a way that has been working for me.  How do you keep your patterns organized?  I'd love to hear any tips, and I'm sure other readers would enjoy reading them! 

And just when we thought it was going to stay all nice and springy here, we got a major dumping of snow yesterday, over 6 inches!  Rae, did you send this my way?!  At any rate, it was the first time I've ever built snowmen in April, nuts.

big buckets

4.18.2011

Another round of buckets were made over the weekend.  I had taken time last week to clean up the work-in-progress box and these bucket pieces had been sitting in there forever.  Have you been doing any sewing spring cleaning?


So I decided instead of making them for my girls, that they would be a perfect gift to give for my cousin's new baby girl.

It'll be a great place to throw in some toys and stuffed animals.  I used Ric-Rac's fabric bucket tutorial again, but enlarged them to super huge and pretty darn big sizes (12" diameter and 9" diameter).  The exterior for both is made with super colorful cotton twill (which is really similar to cotton canvas), makes them a little more sturdy.


I have been thinking butterflies lately, so I machine embroidered some butterflies on the exterior.  I love the little splash of spring girliness they add.


giveaway winners

4.16.2011

random.org picked two lucky winners, #305 and #326, for the Cloud 9 Fabric Cut Out & Keep and my 241 pattern giveaway.

congrats to

andrea and lorrie

I've emailed you both.  Thanks everyone for entering.  Hope you'll enjoy your prizes ladies!

If you're looking for who has Cut Out & Keep in stock here are a few great sources:


dad's shirt - now her dress

4.15.2011


Happy Friday everyone!  I just got a workout vacuuming the entire house and thought I should sit down and share Natalie's shirt dress with you. 


And if you haven't already there still time to enter the Cloud 9 Fabric and my pattern giveaway.


Well, it's been super warm and sunny here, so it was a lot of fun getting some pics outdoors for a change.  It's so much fun taking pictures of Natalie, she's always moving always doing goofy things.  Just. Plain. Fun.


Just like Emily's shirt dress I used MADE's shirt dress tutorial.  I love the splash of color at the waistband!


Hope you all have a great weekend. I'll announce the fabric & pattern winners tomorrow morning.

fabric and pattern giveaway CLOSED

4.13.2011

[Thank you to all who entered. This giveaway is now closed.]

I've got a fun one for you all today!  Today I'm hosting a giveaway that I think you're going to love.  Here's the scoop:

The giveaway involves Cloud 9 Fabric's latest amazing collection Cut Out & Keep by Heather Moore.
You've seen me use it for my 241 tote and it is soon available in stores and online. 


Cut Out & Keep is a collection of 8 graphic prints by famed designer Heather Moore of South Africa.  You gotta love it's mid-century modern influences.  And don't forget to check out Cloud 9's Facebook page as well, to follow along with all their latest!

The second part of the giveaway involves my newest pattern, the 241 Tote.  It's a fun and functional tote: one version has two exterior zippers and the other version has two exterior pockets.

Two winners will be chosen!


Ready to enter?
  • One entry per person.  Please leave your email address in your comment. You can leave it in a format like this if you wish: anna [at] gmail [dot] com
  • There will be two winners chosen, each will win their own choice of 3 half yard cuts from Cut Out & Keep as well as the 241 Tote pattern, all for making your own 241 Tote!
  • Open to international entries.
  • Giveaway ends April 15th at 10pm (central time)
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