- Skill level: Beginner
- Time Required: 30-60 minutes depending on skill level
- Required items: thread, pillow insert
- Recommended tools: sewing machine, iron, ironing board, pressing cloth, scissors/rotary cutter, point turner
This is a visual supplement to the instructions included with any of our 18-20″ square pillow kits. The Little Blue Dog Pillow Kit is the one shown here. You can purchase this kit here.
Included with all of our pillow kits is a set of instructions for assembly with an envelope closure on the back. We try to make construction of our kits as simple as possible, making this a great project for a beginner. If you are looking for a more challenging project, our kits can easily be modified to include more complicated elements. Please check our Tutorials page for some ideas on how to add extra embellishment or directions on alternate closure options.
Notes before starting:
- The pillow kit can be assembled to properly fit any square pillow form insert from 18-20″ square. For this tutorial we will be using a 20″ feather filled FJADRAR insert available from IKEA.
- The unfinished pillow front size is 21″, the seam allowance needed will depend on your insert size:
- For a 20″ insert, use a .5″ seam allowance.
- For a 19″ insert, use a 1″ seam allowance.
- For an 18″ insert, use a 1.5″ seam allowance.
- Spoonflower recommends that all fabrics be washed before use. For this tutorial we did not wash the fabric before beginning. Some shrinkage will occur during washing, due to the squishable nature of a pillow this should not adversely effect the design.
- Before sewing, and through assembly you will need to press your fabric. Press on the unprinted side or use a pressing cloth to avoid damaging the printed design.
- For this tutorial our kit was printed on Linen-Cotton Canvas, our preferred fabric. This fabric has 54″ width of print area, so the optional embellishment strip is included, though we chose not to use it on this assembly. Check our Tutorials page for ideas on how to use this strip.
- Cut all pieces out on dashed lines.
We recommend a rotary cutter and straight edge for getting the cleanest cut possible on all edges. If you don’t have a rotary cutter a scissors will work just as well.
Make sure to cut out the front and both back pieces. The optional tag is also included here. For this version we chose not to use the included embellishment strip.
- Fold back pieces along fold line, press. Topstitch in place (approx. 1.75″ from fold), or for a cleaner look press in place with fusible webbing.
1. Each back piece comes printed with mark on the two side edges to indicate where to fold over. 2. Fold over the edge at the marks and press in place. Optionally, if you prefer to finish this edge by overlocking or pinking, do this before topstitching.
1. We used a fabric guide on our machine set at 1.75″ to topstitch the fold over in place. 2. We used a constrasting thread for maximum visibility for this tutorial. If you would prefer to not see a seam on the back of pillow, instead of topstitching the folded edge could be held in place with fusible webbing. 3. Stitching the edge in place.
- Baste back pieces together (folded edges will overlap, right sides facing the same way), so that the outside edge is equal size to the front.
1. The easiest way to get the backs to align properly with the front size and create the envelope closure is to lay them over the front piece, aligning the 3 outside edges of each back piece with the edges of the front piece. 2. Pin the two back pieces together to hold them while you baste. To keep the pieces from gaping as you move them, place a couple pins across the middle of the back as well. 3. Baste the two back pieces together within the seam allowance. We basted ours together using a .25″ seam allowance. 4. The completed basting stiches.
- Pin or clip font and back together, right sides facing. Overlapping folds of the back panel should be oriented horizontally (side-to-side).
1. Place front and joined back pieces together with printed sides together. 2. Pin the pieces to together. The basted edges of the back piece should be aligned with the sides of the front piece.
- Stitch front and back together, using appropriate seam allowances.
1. We stitched our front and back together with a .5″ seam allowance for our 20″ pillow insert. A fabric guide helps to keep stitching properly aligned. 2. Completed stitching. We stitched our front and back together with a continuous seam, pivoting at the corners. If you are not comfortable with pivoting at the corners, each side can be stitched individually.
- Trim seal allowances, clip corners. Optional: Attach included tag to seam allowance.
1. Clip the corner off the seam allowances as close to the stitching as possible without clipping the stitches. This will ensure a sharper corner when the pillow is turned right side out. 2. Trim the seam allowances down to reduce bulk when the pillow is turned. To reduce fraying this could be done using pinking shears or finished by overlocking the edge, the wear on the inside of the pillow will be minimal though, so this is not necessary.
1. To attach the included tag: Fold in half. Press. Stitch to only the seam allowance before turning the pillow right side out. The tag is printed on the fabric bias, so it wil not fray. 2. The front of the tag when stitched down. 3. The back of the tag when stitched down.
- Turn right side out. Press.
Use a point turner (a chopstick works just as well if you don’t have one) to get a sharper point on the corners when they are turned out. Running the turner along all the seams will result in a sharper edge and make it easier to press these edges.
Lightly press the pillow edges (to avoid damaging the printed design use a pressing cloth) to get a finished look on the turned edges.
- Insert pillow form, folded back edges will overlap to enclose pillow.
1. We are using the feather filled version of the 20″ square FJADRAR insert, available from IKEA. 2. To insert the form into the pillow, first insert through the top flap. 3. Then bring the second flap over the insert. Make sure to match up the insert and cover corners. 4. Close the two back pieces and fluff.
- Enjoy your new pillow!