Saturday, January 15, 2011

Flanged Pillow Coverings

My daughter picked up the Owl panel in Japan about 9 years ago and I've been wanting to make it into a pillow cover since then.  Just never found the time or the perfect fabric.  Who knew that it was sitting right here in my stash since I got married 7 years ago!  The navy blue linen was made into table coverings for my reception, and I've been saving it in my stash.  I used some of it for curtains when we bought our home but the remainder was stashed away for a duvet cover (tutorial coming soon).

Anyway, here's a quick tutorial for simple flange pillows.    First, you'll need your fabric panel.  The edges should be prefinished.  I've already sewn my panel onto the pillow top piece.  It's cut 2" larger than the panel.  A 2" flange looks just right for an 18" pillow, and I'll be sewing the flange along the inner edge of the red border.  That'll give me a 1/2" seam allowance.

To cut the back pieces, add about 6" to half the measurement for overlap.  There will be a simple overlap in the back to insert the pillow.   You'll need 2 pieces.  Here are the pieces... not much to it eh?  :)

You will need to cut interfacing for the flange (in my case, 2 1/2" wide and whatever length it will be to cover the flange area).  You will also need to cut interfacing for your overlap.  It will help make keep the edge from stretching out and keep it crisp.  I cut mine about 2" x the width of the pillow.  Interfacings will be applied to the pillow back pieces.  Clip off the corners so the finished corners will be look crisp.  And finish the edge for the overlap.  Then adjust the pieces by laying the pillow backs onto the front piece, match the edges and fold over.  I simply folded about 2" and have about 2" overlapping.  The opening is not in the center, but I don't mind.  I prefer to have it below the center. 

After the prepping all the pieces, pin them right sides together and sew a 1/2" seam allowance all the way around the edges.  Press flat.

To make the flange,  I changed my top thread to red and used navy in the bobbin.  Then I sewed along the inner edge of the red border on the pillowtop, creating a 2" flange.  After that, I closed the overlap on the flange by hand sewing it shut.   This is the underside of the pillow. 

Helpful tip for turning corners neatly:
1)  Fold along the stitching lines first to form a nice folded corner.
2)  Lay something somewhat pointy, like a chopstick, at the corner, using it to support the corner before you turn it.
3)  Turn the corner, keeping the edges folded, and use the chopstick to push the point out.  Make sure the inner folds don't shift or it'll be like stuffing an elephant into a refrigerator. 
4)  Press.  Nice corners :)

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