April 12, 2010
Some people really like pillows, I do not. I sleep with one sometimes but, most often none because they hurt my neck. Chris on the other hand LOVES pillows! He can’t get enough, it’s like a mountain in his bed. Around the time of his birthday I was reading the book “The Party Dress Book” (see right) and in it the author was talking about how she re-uses scraps from past dresses and puts them onto new ones. This got me thinking…I have bags of scraps from my old projects. Why I kept them I don’t know, but I’m glad I did! The birthday present light bulb came on and I got to making pillows for Chris.
Here’s what I had to work with: grey suiting material and lining from the pants, black knit fabric from the green dress worn at Cass and Brendan’s wedding, some green fleece a friend gave me, and white and blue sheets from a Virgin Mary costume I wore to Chris’ annual Christmas party:
I scrapped the green felt right away because it didn’t match Chris’ room and started sketching out some ideas for patterns. Oh, by the way, did I mention that while I spent my weekend making pillows for Chris he was in Vegas for a bachelor party? I deserve one million girlfriend points for that. The first pattern I came up with was a mix of the grey, black and blue in stripes. I measured out some pieces, cut them up and laid it on the table.
This was a super easy project. All I did – and you can do this too! – was put each piece together with the right (right as in correct side of the fabric, not the direction) sides together and stitch a ½” seam straight down. The only fabric that gave me trouble was the knit because I forgot that a knits should be sewn with a zig-zag stitch and the straight stitch I was using kept pulling the fabric. Nothing too terrible, just went really slow and adjusted the fabric as I went. Luckily I only had to sew the black pieces 4 times, for each side of the pillow, ugh. After all the colors were together for both sides, I put those pieces together with right sides facing and made a ½” stitch around the outside of the whole thing. I stopped about 2” from where I started to leave a hole for putting the stuffing in. For the purple pillows I made way back when I first started, we used a pre-formed pillow. This time I used stuffing. Stuffing is much much cheaper ($3 vs. $20) but its not as sturdy. Fine by me. I, sloppily, hand-stitched the hole closed and voilà…pillow #1.
For the other two pillows I scrapped the black fabric and stuck with the easier fabrics. The next pattern was angled lines using blue and white:
I followed the same procedure, ½” seams to connect the pieces and a ½” seam all around. This pillow originally started out a lot bigger than it ended up being because of the direction of the pieces. When I sewed them together it became all uneven on the edges and I had to trim them back. The pillows ended up being all different sizes, let’s not call it a mistake…call it abstract!
The third pillow was simply all blue, no pattern and took all of 10 minutes to make. By the time I finished it only took about 5 hours total and they looked really nice!
Chris likes the pillows a lot and says the different sizes are actually good. I like the idea of making things for presents; it’s more unique and personal. I think I’ll start doing this for all the engagement/wedding/baby parties that are sure to keep popping up!
P.s. As his other present I also had a custom comic made starring him, his roommate Tom, and me as the sexy reporter! Cool, right?
If you ever want a comic made up, contact this guy, he’s awesome! http://www.kurtwoodillustration.blogspot.com/