DIY: how to make a classy pillow
by richard



Making a pillow is a cinchy and relaxing activity you should try. Basically all you need to know how to do is stitch, which is totally easy. And the end-product is a lovely way to say many of our most cherished statements and self-affirmations. You know, like.. "I'm clever", or, "I'm self sufficient and do not need 'the MAN ' pillow company", or the more popular "Marry me" - except you don't actually have to say it out loud!

What you will need:


I cannot overemphasize how important the choice of fabric is. Remember, just like in everyday life, it's more important what's on the OUTSIDE. So don't be afraid to spend a little more for the PERFECT material. It'll be worth it - as long as you dont mess up and ruin everything as well as waste all your time and money. I found this lovely black chinese silk remnant with embroidered dragons on it, and then also paid fullprice for some gold silk in cherry blossom pattern. They just reek of chingchong culture, and make a welcome addition to my home ensemble. They match the gong!

Now, after choosing your fabric, you will have to do some quick figuring in your head to find out how to best use it. The piece of fabric we will be using will need to be 2-3 times as long as it is wide. So, for a 30 inch wide bolt of fabric, you might buy around one yard, then split it down the middle of the width to make two 15x36 inch strips. This would be good to make two 14x14in pillowcases.

Now at home, lay out your strip of fabric goodside DOWN. Measure out your desired width, leaving some edge on both sides to give you some leeway. Draw out a rectangle using your marker and ruler on the backside of the fabric. Never draw on the good side, unless you want to get an F from me. The length of the rectangle should measure about 2.25-2.5 times the width you have chosen. You will be using the lines drawn with your marker as sewing guides, so make sure you can see them easily.

Next, if the width ends of your pillow are frayed or ugly and uneven, you will want to hem them over on themselves. Simply fold about a centimeter or so of the offending edge over on itself, goodside facing out, and stitch it shut following a straight line, to create a clean edge. Don't worry about the frayed edges on the length, they wont show!

OK, now flip the fabric over goodside UP. Lay it out in front of you as a long horizontal rectangle. Fold over the left edge, bringing it towards the middle of the rectangle. The length of the overlap should be like 3/4 the width of the pillow.

Using the new left edge as your starting point, measure in exactly one width size. For our 14 inch pillow, you would measure in 14 inches. Mark the edge on the right side with your pen, underneath on the bad side of the fabric. Then fold the Right edge of the rectangle over to complete the perfect square. At this point your project should be badside OUT with both right and left edges folded over to form a perfect square.

Now, use pins or extra needles to pin the top and bottom together, to prevent your simple folds from falling apart.

The next part is the easiest. Simply choose a good tv show, preferably something on cable. May I suggest "Crocodile Hunters" or "Vets in Practice" on Animal Planet tv, or anything on E! entertainment television? Ok, so now you just stitch your top and bottom edges together following the guidelines you had drawn earlier.

Done already? Awright!! Now is the fun part. You flip the entire thing inside out to expose the good side of the fabric, which has now been sewn into a 3 panel envelope of sorts.

Now gently stuff your pillow inside the case, being sure to get down and under the inner panel, in your pillow pocket. Don't freak out that I told you to get a bigger form than the pillowcase. It WILL all fit. The reason I say to do this is because the premade pillowforms are crappy and will get smooshed down and deformed if they are not really overstuffing the pillowcase. Got it? Then guess what? You're all done! Better call the reception hall to book your wedding party. It'll only be a matter of minutes before Mr.Right notices your handywork. And email me with your wedding photo and finished project so I can give you your final letter grade!


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