Friday, March 27, 2009

CHEAP CHIC thought I'd forgotten didn't you?  No way!  Just a little late that's all.

So...this weeks Cheap Chic project was inspired by a great tutorial that I found at the wonderful blog The Graphic Fairy.  You will find a direct link to her blog on the right side bar of our site.  Click there and then go to her Clip Art section also located on the right of her site and click on Craft Project.  There you will find a great project with a denim jacket.  I borrowed her idea with the labels for my pillow project.


As per their instructions, you will need to buy a package of the sew-in colorfast inkjet sheets.  I found mine at Hobby Lobby and let me tell you they are NOT cheap!  $7.99 for 3 sheets!  So....I went into photo shop and selected 3 of my favorite labels and sized them to fit on one sheet.  Follow the printing instructions on the package, let dry as instructed and then cut each label out.


These are the three that I choose.  The Graphic Fairy also has a couple of PDF files that you can download  if you prefer.

For those of you who do not sew, these instructions are for you!

Supplies that I suggest (besides your sewing machine)  HA HA!

  • A cutting mat.  I use mine all the time for pillows.
  • A clear quilting ruler for measuring
  • A cutting wheel.  Invest in an Olfa.  They are much sharper, cut better, and last longer.
  • A seam ripper.  Unfortunately I also use my seam ripper a lot!
  • A hem gauge.  They are handy for measuring those seams.
  • Quilting pins.  I prefer these because they are larger and hold better.
  • And the usual supplies like scissors and blah blah blah!

Decide what size that you want your finished pillow to be.  Smaller is definitely better if you are a beginner.  My finished pillow was 10" without the ruffles.  When you cut your fabric, cut two pieces, one for the front and one for the back.  Be sure to add 5/8" on all four sides for a seam allowance.  Lay your back piece aside.  All of the detail will be sewn on the front piece.


Center which ever label you have choosen and sew in place.  I used a zig zag stitch.

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I choose beads as one of my trims.  Measure in 5/8" (your standard seam width) in from each side and the top of the front of your pillow and pin in place.  Be sure that the beads are facing the center of the pillow front and the raw edge is against the outside edge of your pillow front.


Using a basting stitch, sew in place.  DO NOT stitch over your pins.  Take it from me, you WILL break your machine needle.  Pull your pins out as you go.


Stitch as closely to the inside edge as possible. 


When you are through basting, your pillow front should look as shown above.

Next.....I added a ruffle.  Hey, we don't want this to be too easy!  Right? 

Your ruffle can be any size that you desire.  A  double ruffle will look prettier and fuller than a single, so decide on your finished width and add 5/8" for that seam and double that measurement.    For the ruffled fullness I generally use a 2x the width of your project which in this case would be about 20".  Cut 2 ruffles, one for each side.  Seam each end of both ruffles. 


Fold in half and baste together.   Be sure to lock your stitch at one end by using your reverse button.


To ruffle your fabric, pull the top thread and gently begin to gather your fabric, pushing it back toward the locked end.

Pin your ruffle in place OVER the beads on each end. Again, be sure to allow for your 5/8" seam allowance on either end.  This is where your hem gauge comes in handy.


To make sure that your seam stays straight and you stay in line with your (I'm sure) perfectly straight basting stitch that you used sewing your beads on, flip your fabric to the back side and sew right over that previous stitch.  I've marked an orange arrow on my pillow fabric below to show you.


After you have sewn on both ruffles, the front of your pillow will look like this. (Below) with the ruffles covering the beads and the label.


Flip both ruffles back and make sure that your seam looks good and that your ruffle looks nice and neat.  It's easy to catch a piece of fabric here or there and then have to go back with your seam ripper, pull out a few stitches and correct your mistake.  You will also see that I have left 5/8" of an inch on either end for my seam allowance.


Okay....with the ruffles turned toward the center of your pillow, lay your pillow back piece over the top and  pin in place. making sure that the front side of the fabric is on the inside.  In other words, what you are looking at should be the wrong side of the fabric.  Pin in place.


Again, you want to keep those side seams consistent so sew right over the two seams with a third.  The 1st held your beads to the front, the 2nd held your ruffle to the front, and the 3rd seam will hold your back to the front.  Sew the top and two sides  of your back piece in place, be very careful not to catch your ruffles in your seams.  This will cause excessive cussing to uncontrollably flow from your mouth and you will loose a lot of time trying to rip out and fix your mess!  HA HA


When you get to the bottom of the pillow, be sure to leave an opening.  You will use this to turn your pillow right side out and also for stuffing your pillow.


When your back is completely sewn on, cut off all four corners,  this simply makes them look neater and sharper after you turn your fabric.  So now, simply turn your pillow right side out,  add your stuffing, and now you are ready to slip stitch your opening shut!


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Oh WOW!  You did a fabulous job!  AND you added a little crown brooch on the front!  You girls are SOOO clever.  See, sewing isn't so difficult!


The main thing to remember when sewing pillows is that all of the detail is sewn onto the front of the pillow and then you lay the back over all of this and sew it in place.  I hope that my instructions weren't too confusing! 


I also finished this little pillow today!

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And......I just finished painting this doll bed  and sewing the quilt and pillow for it.

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I finally managed to make a little ribbon flower that I was happy with!  I don't know what my problem was, but I had been working (off and on) trying to create one for awhile!

So.....Happy sewing!



  1. YOUR DAUGHTER is wondering when she's going to get a CUTE pillow??? Hmmmmmmm March 31st is coming SOON!!!!

  2. Such a great idea--I can't wait to try it!

    Love your blog :D


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