Saturday, November 7, 2015

Reclaimed sewing: make a plethora of pillows

I went on a pillow-making binge several weeks ago.  The bobbin case on heavy-duty sewing machine had broke again, and while I waited for the back-ordered replacement part, I decided to do some sewing on my light-duty machine... for myself!  *gasp!*  I rarely sew for myself, or just for fun.  (I think almost all sewing is fun, but that's not quite the same thing.)  So I decided to sew a slew of autumn-themed pillows!




I made zippered pillow covers, so the covers could be taken off and washed.  {Because boys.}  I used this really great tutorial to learn how to make pillows with invisible zippers, and this tutorial on how to avoid the pointy corners.  Priceless information there, friends!

My inspiration came partly from pinterest (I have a whole board of just pillows!) and the rest came from my imagination.  I'll share my photos and any relevant tutorials with you today, in case you'd like to whip some up for yourself!  Most of these came together very quickly.  And remember, you can always change the theme, season, color, print, whatever, to suit your tastes.


I used all stash fabrics, so most are reclaimed / repurposed fabrics from thrifted clothing, thrifted fabric, or vintage linens.

First up, the wooly plaid shirt pillows. . . .



I made the shirt pillow first.  It was so simple, and I didn't even bother with a zipper for closure on this one, because I'm using the snapped front as the closure!  EASY.  But here's a great tutorial for shirt pillows if you're interested.




before

after


Then, I made the leaf applique pillow because I had so much fabric left over from the shirt pillow. . . .



Let me say that I'm really embarrassed about the wrinkles in the leaf applique.  I was being lazy, and didn't first fuse the applique to the pillow cover with some Wonder Under before sewing it, and the applique shifted and left unsightly wrinkles.  Forever a shame.  Don't be like me.  Take the extra 3.5 minutes and use something to fuse the applique down before sewing.  (Check out this tutorial for making applique pillows of any kind.)

I even used the remaining upper back area of the shirt (the placket) and part of one sleeve to make the back of the leaf pillow. Use it all up!


 The ugly patchwork pillow. . . .

I hate this pillow.  I hated this pillow about halfway into making it, but I was too invested in it so DAMMIT I had to finish it. . . .



The colors are all wrong, or something.  I don't know.  But the inspiration for this pillow is really lovely. . . .

http://www.simplyfreshvintage.com/2014/09/19/patchwork-pumpkin-pillow/

Oh, well.

Pottery Barn knockoff: painted pumpkin pillow. . . .

This one's my favorite.  Mostly because I'm still pretty shocked that I managed to paint this myself.



It was inspired by this Pottery Barn outdoor pillow. . . .


I couldn't decide on the backing, whether to use a plaid (reclaimed skirt!) or some thrifted home dec script fabric. . . .


My friends voted on facebook, and the reclaimed plaid was the big winner.  I love it.


Acorn pillow. . . .

You know the story.  And you can find the tutorial there, too.  :)

http://hello-refabulous.blogspot.com/2015/10/tutorial-autumn-acorn-pillow.html
made from a shirt sleeve and thrifted home dec fabrics

http://hello-refabulous.blogspot.com/2015/10/tutorial-autumn-acorn-pillow.html

Giant cozy pillow. . . .

This one is MASSIVE: 26" x 26" down pillow (thrift SCORE: $3.99,) and so soft and comfy.


I used a very large thrifted wool skirt for the fabric (tutorial on using skirts for fabric coming Thursday!) and I used a pretty vintage sheet for the lettering.  And check out that micro pom pom trim!  *swoon*

Here's a tutorial that shows how to make applique lettering on pillows.

Pine cone pillow. . . .

I wanted an oddly textured pillow, and I wanted a pinecone pillow, so put the two together and this was born. . . .

this is the kids' favorite.

The pine cone is made of pieces of wool felt, curled and sewn in place, row after row.  It wasn't hard to make, but it was tricky at first, deciding HOW to make it look like the image I had in my head. . . .

and this was pretty close to what I had in mind.

The branch is made from brown reclaimed denim (appliqued,) and the pine needles were made with free motion machine stitching.  The pillow cover fabrics are rescued-from-the-thrift-store soft canvas fabrics.

Since I made this design up as I went along, I don't have a tutorial on how to replicate it.  All I can recommend is to play with some felt and your sewing machine, and have fun with it!  :)


I hope this inspires you to whip up a few pillows of your own!  I'll be swapping out the pillow covers for some winter and Christmas covers next month, so I'll try to post another tutorial round-up for those as well.  If you have any great pillow patterns and designs, I'd love to see them!  And if you have any questions about the pillows or tutorials, leave me a comment below.  I love reading your comments!

Talk to you soon!

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