I am not an expert crafter, but I have a friend who is, and she has started hosting a Craft Happy Hour, where she teaches her noncrafty friends to sew, using a different project each month. Food and drinks are served, hence the "happy hour."
My first time using a sewing machine ever (!), we made these throw pillows with self-made appliques. I didn't think I could do it, but it was surprisingly easy and oh so cute. My pillow is now proudly displayed on my bed, so you know it wasn't a total disaster. Here's how to do it:
What you need:
- A 14" x 14" pillow form
- At least 15" x 15" of fabric for the front panel
- At least 21" x 15" of fabric for the two back panels
- An image printed for your appliqué. The image is best as a silhouette (search Google Images for basic art) and printed to the size you want it to be on the pillow. I chose a maple leaf, while another friend used a goose (at right).
- A coordinating fabric for your appliqué big enough to fit your image (could match the back panels or not)
- A coordinating thread in a color that you want to border your appliqué
- Enough Wonder Under for your appliqué
To learn the steps, read more.
How to do it:
- Cut the front panel and two back panels of the pillow cover to size.
- Cut the appliqué fabric to a square a little larger than your image.
- Cut a piece of Wonder Under slightly smaller than your appliqué fabric square.
- Iron the Wonder Under to the wrong side of your appliqué fabric square. Peel off the paper backing of the Wonder Under.
- Draw/trace your image on to the wrong side of the fabric, on top of the Wonder Under adhesive.
- Cut out your image silhouette to create your appliqué.
- Iron the appliqué on to the front panel of your throw pillow cover in your desired location.
- With a narrow, short zig-zag stitch, sew around the border of the appliqué with your sewing machine with a thread color of your choice, coordinating or contrasting.
- Now prepare your back panels. Fold the short side of one panel under once, then iron the fold line. Fold the short side of the other panel under twice for a double fold, then iron the fold line.
- Hem the double-folded panel close to the inside edge of the first of the two folds.
- Lay your front panel on a flat surface, right side up. Lay your double-folded panel right side down on top of the front panel. The long side should be vertical and the unfinished end should line up against one edge of the front panel. Lay the single-folded panel right side down on top of the other two pieces of fabric. The long side should also be vertical with the unfinished edge against the opposite edge of the front panel than the first back panel is lined up with. The two back panels should make a square the same size as the front panel with your finished edges overlapping in the middle.
- Pin all the way around the border of the pillow cover catching all pieces of fabric.
- Sew all the way around the border with the appropriate size seem allowance.
- Trim your corners close to the seem with three snips each. Turn the case right-side-out and use a point turner or pen to clean-up your corners and get them nice and pointy.
- Stuff your pillow cover with your pillow form.
- Voila! You have a throw pillow cover accented with a self-made appliqué! Congratulations!
Behold the proud pillow makers! Note: Three of us had never really sewn before at all.