Thursday, 18 April 2013

Lisa with a capital L

I love a bargain and I couldn't resist when I seen this adorable pink gingham in Ikea for only 50p!!

Ikea in Edinburgh were selling off the old stock sample hangings (if you've never checked out the fabric section in Ikea this is pretty much what it says... samples of the fabrics hanging above the rolls of fabric so you can have a proper look at the pattern before you buy).  I decided that I would make a throw pillow for my bed to go with the new pink throw I had also picked up in Ikea (also a bargain at only £5!) and I decided that I didn't want to make another plain rectangle set or squares so I opted for my initial "L".  To get a feel for the size I folded the fabric to roughly what I thought would work best and placed it on the bed to check...

(I also made the cushion sitting on the chair to the left which is super simple and literally takes only 10 minutes - I am thinking of doing something similar soon so will show you how then)

I decided that this size seemed a little on the small side so I folded the fabric a couple more times until I was happy and drew a rough guide on the pillow fabric before unpicking the fabric which was sewn down one side and along the top and bottom.  I then ironed the fabric until the fold in the middle was gone and the fabric was flat (actually I can't take credit for the ironing, my boyfriend made the silly mistake of asking if I needed anything ironed after he was done with his shirts and ended up with the freshly washed bedding, the fabric and what he claims was half my wardrobe! Well he did offer...).
The next step was to draw a rough shape on the pillow ( I just washed some old pillows which I don't use after getting fluffier ones).
I then cut the pillow case along the bottom and pulled out the stuffing part.  The next step was to use a ruler to measure and make small marks as the outline of the shape before joining the marks together to make the shape in full this helps ensure that the shape ends up even and symmetrical. 
Once the shape was marked out fully I then traced the outline on to baking paper (as I didn't have any pattern paper to hand and this is a simple alternative)  I then cut around the outline of both leaving around a one inch margin and then pinned the two sides of the inner fabric together and pinned the paper to a folded piece of fabric and repeated.
I then stitched the lining fabric together leaving enough room to stuff the pillow and enough room on the gingham to allow the pillow to be put inside. I decided to do both a lined pillow and an outer cover in case I decide to do another cover in a different fabric so if you want to make one but are only going to use the one fabric cover you can skip the lining step and simply stuff the outer cover.
Once the inner pillow was stuffed using the stuffing out of the original pillow (I pulled small/medium pieces from the stuffing and teasing them apart before stuffing them in to the new pillow cover to help create a fluffy rather than lumpy pillow) I sewed up the seam that was left open for the stuffing to go in and then put the pillow cover over the pillow (which was much harder than I had expected because of having to make sure the points were filled properly) and then did a quick hand stitch up the outer seam before using the machine to close the seam properly.  I had intended to put a zip in the seam but didn't have one that size so if you intend on making a few covers in different fabric I would recommend putting zips in (hopefully I will get around to it at some point). 
And the finished item?  Well see for yourself.....
Obviously if you don't have a name beginning with L this can easily be swapped for most letters although I'm not sure S or C would work as well unless it you use a stiff fabric that can hold the weight of the stuffing without collapsing down on itself. 
I have quite a bit of fabric left over so if a Letter pillow isn't for you but you love the fabric let me know... I'm thinking a little stuffed elephant??
I hope you enjoyed my first blog post!  I know not everyone will be interested in sewing so if that's you don't despair!  I plan on posting blogs on a vast range of topics so check back to see what's happening here in the wonderful world of All Things Unique.




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