Last week I decided I needed a short-attention-span project in the middle of all the busy-ness that was going on. So I whipped up a couple of throw-pillows that have been on my to-do list f o r e v e r. It was so satisfying! I actually made these from a table runner, which is why they came together so quickly. Here's the details.
During the "Great-Basement-Cleanout of '12" I went through my box of upholstery/home-dec fabrics. A while ago, if I ever saw a good remnant for cheap I would buy it for bags or throw pillows. (I stopped buying not long ago because I had accumulated a large stockpile that I hadn't actually done anything with.) As I went through that box, I resolved to pull them out and put them to use.
One such accumulation was this fabulous orange stitched table runner from the Pottery Barn that I got for 75% off. I'd originally thought I'd make it into a bag, but the color is so great with my living room, I opted for fast throw pillows instead. Here's how I made them.
(I bought this table runner 3 years ago, so obviously it's no longer available. Other table runners will be different sizes so you may have to use your imagination, adjust pillow sizes etc. to make something similar. I share only because I think this method is simple and adaptable enough to use in all kinds of shapes and sizes. I've also done similar pillow covers with finished napkins and placemats from places like Pottery Barn as well.)
You'll want to cut your length to measure twice the width of your runner. My table runner was long - I think 18" x 70" - so I was able to get two lengths by cutting it in half .
Since the edges of the runner were all nicely finished already, and I was mostly doing topstitching, a good, matching thread is a good idea.
First, I folded the table runner piece in half, right sides together, and sewed the cut edge to the top edge of the runner piece. I used slightly larger than a 1/4" seam allowance. Once that was done, I turned the piece right-side-out and it resembled a large tube with two open sides.
Making the new seam, the bottom of the pillow cover, match-up the open sides and pin. Sew one of the open sides, closed, by top-stitching right along the edge, hiding the stitching in the finished stitching that was already there. Now my piece resembled a large square with only one open side.
Stuff the new case using a pillow form - I used an old pillow I already had.
Then I top stitched the other side closed with the pillow already inside it. (It helped that the old pillow was slightly smaller than the new case.) Be careful to pin the sides closed to hold those edges in place. (Yes I sewed right over the pins - I like to live on the edge sometimes.) It may be helpful to use a zipper foot for this last seam. (One of these days I may use my zipper foot to sew in an actual zipper.)
And voila- a fancy finished throw pillow! Not the most professional method, but it worked for me and was so slick and easy. Fortunately, the throw pillows in this room don't get quite as hammered as the ones in my family room, so I feel they have a good chance of lasting for a while until they get beat-up or I somehow get tired of the orange. And I figured for $4.50 a pillow, it was worth the risk.
Now I'm motivated to actually make some other throws with this other piece of yardage that has been sitting next to my couch for way too long. Maybe this time I'll actually put a zipper in too.
Thanks so much for all the sweet comments on 'real life.' In exciting news, I get to getaway this week to a little sewing retreat in the mountains for a couple of days. Woohoo! It's probably going to be hectic getting myself out the door, but I have a feeling it will be worth it. The timing is GOOD.