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  • Writer's pictureLonda

Wedding Pillow Tutorial

One of the most fun parts of creating garments for special occasions is having ‘left-overs’ with which to create gifts!  That was the case for my daughter’s recent very small, informal, casual wedding.  Having made her lace knit top and aqua silk sash and the groom and grandson’s ‘wool’ plaid vests and silk ties…it was time for a small remembrance gift…..

Finished Wedding Remembrance Pillow

Finished Wedding Remembrance Pillow

Deep into ‘Blogging’, I find it impossible to sew without my camera handy.  Sew…here is a little tutorial for you that includes:

1. Sizing and shaping a pillow cover to AVOID pointy ‘dog ear’ corners.

2. Creating a Stylized Heart

3. Embellishment with Frayed Fabric

4. Silk Ribbon Embroidery Embellishment


Step 1: Cut and Contour 

I find that cutting the pillow front and back the SAME SIZE as the pillow form and taking 1/2″ seam allowances all around creates a nice, snug fit.  Sew…for a 16″ square pillow form, I first cut two 16″ squares of the main pillow fabric.

Contour to avoid the Dog-Eared pointy corners by sketching in with chalk as shown, 1/2″ from each edge, gently sloping out to the midway point on each pillow cover side. I find using the subtle curve of my French Curve aids me in sketching this gentle curve and doing it the same on each corner.

Draft, cut and create the stylized heart using Medical Pattern Tissue Paper.

Draft, cut and create the stylized heart using Medical Pattern Tissue Paper.

Step 2:  Create Stylized Heart for Pillow Front 

I love to use the tissue paper on a roll that I carry which actually IS the same ‘paper’ found on the examining table at the Dr. Office.  Search for ‘Medical Pattern Paper’ at my website:  Currently it is a ‘steal’ at just $13.50 for 225′ x 13″ wide.  Honestly, I just decided the outermost size of the heart that I desired, looked at some heart shapes online, and sketched until I thought I had a shape I liked.

Trim heart perimeter with frayed fabric.

Trim heart perimeter with frayed fabric.

 Step 3:  Trim using ‘wool’ selvage  and bias cut ‘Fabric Fur’

Whenever I see nice ‘fringe’ on a selvage, I cut it off thinking it might be useable.  That is what the lower right hand corner of the above graphic shows.  I had just enough to ‘scrunch’ as I stitched it down the perimeter of the lace/aqua silk heart that I had already stitched down to the pillow Front.

After fraying out the lengthwise yarns of the other side of the strip above, I cut plenty of 3/4″ bias strips of the aqua silk.  Layer 3 strips together and stitching down the center – enough to top the ‘trim’ as above.  Trim to 1/2″ wide.  ‘Attack’ with the Fabric Chenille Brush (again, Search for this item at my website: ).  Stitch down, then add some ‘glitzy’ serger thread down the center of the Fabric Fur strip.  The lower left corner image shows the little ‘extra’ I added at the lowermost point of the heart.

Silk Ribbon Flowers for members of the family...

Silk Ribbon Flowers for members of the family…

Step 4:  Embellish the Heart center as desired 

For an extra personal touch, I dug out my silk ribbon embroidery stash and skills.  Five petal lazy Daisy Stitch flowers using 13mm creamy white silk ribbon centered with a Colonial Knot of 2mm wide silk ribbon created the flowers representing the new little family and the future.  (See that PINK center in the extra flower?  I wonder what that means I’m dreaming of in my next grandbaby!)

Colonial Knots for flower centers.

Colonial Knots for flower centers.

Make use of needle position on your sewing machine!

Make use of needle position on your sewing machine!

Step 5:  Assemble Pillow

Right sides together, stitch around the perimeter of the pillow, leaving a large opening on one side.   However DO stitch at least 1″ from each corner so that hand stitching doesn’t have to extend to the corner.

I stitch with 1/2″ seam allowance.  Note in the lower left photo above that though I’m guiding the cut edge along the 5/8″ line on the throat plate, that my needle is moved over to the right so that the distance from the needle to the cut edge IS 1/2″.  It is much easier – and far better to MOVE THE NEEDLE rather than to move the fabric under the presser foot.  Oftentimes needle position is ‘hiding’ in the stitch width knob on a straight stitch.  On simpler machines, needle position may only be to the left or right of center.  Experiment – you’ll see what you can do on your machine, and I promise – this will REVOLUTIONIZE your sewing and accuracy!

After stuffing the pillow form inside, be sure to ‘mush’ the corners of the pillow form out into the corners of your pillow cover.  If necessary, take some loose stuffing and fill out the corners.  Pull the edges together along the opening, starting to pin at the center of the opening.  I like to turn under just 1 edge, and pin that edge along the 1/2″ line on the other side of the pillow.

Slip stitch this opening closed.  Watch my ” Sidewalk Stitching Method for Slip-stitching’ as found at my You-Tube Channel.

I’d love to hear your COMMENTS, and receive photos of gifts you have made from leftovers of sewing garments for special occasions!  

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