Decorative Pillows • Accent Pillows • Throw Pillows
SIMPLY PILLOWS by Sunset
Tips for Sewing Pillow Cushions & Custom Cushions
Sewing Pillows: Getting Started
In pillow design, fabric can play the leading role. It is likely the first thing you notice. A good understanding of fabric when sewing pillows can help you make smart decisions as you plan. Some tips while planning your pillow:
- Consider fabric's weight and hand working with the pillow form used - a stiff fabric doesn't work well on a down form, neither does a soft fabric over a stiff form.
- Design the proportions of the pillow to show off the fabric & use stripes or plaids creatively!
- Don't forget about seam allowances.
- Ruffles: Make a small sample first - always. It's the only way to get an accurate idea of how the ruffle fabric will work.
- Anticipate construction finishing needs at the outset so there aren't any nasty surprises at the end.
Sewing Pillows: Things to Consider
Color! You want your creation to enhance your environment, not take away from it.
Patterns & Textures - Solid colors work well for rooms that already have a lot of pattern. Textured solids create interest while plain-weave solids give a contemporary look.
Use - Expensive fabrics and trims are appropriate when sewing pillows for low-traffic areas that need some purely decorative elements. For pillows that will see frequent use, choose fabrics and trims accordingly.
Apparel Fabrics - These can be used very effectively for pillows, but give consideration to durability. Back the fabric with lining or interfacing to give it more body. Apparel fabrics can make for unexpectedly clever and sophisticated pillows.
Forms & Fillings - Pillows get their shape from what's inside. Here are 4 kinds of forms & fillings:
- Standard Polyester Forms
Come square, round or rectangular and are used for knife-edged pillows. They are non allergenic, washable, don't bunch and may have muslin or polyester outer coverings.
- Polyester Fiberfill
Comes in loose-pack bags or pressed into batting sheets or varying densities. Washable & non allergenic.
Vegetable-fiber filling, used because of it's softness. Keep in mind that it's messy to work with and becomes matted with use.
- Down Made from quill-less feathers of geese or ducks, it makes very luxurious pillows and is expensive.
Sewing Pillows: Ideas
Trim is one great way to make unique pillows. Consider using trim or lace for understated pillows, and ruffles or ribbon are a nice way to dress pillows up. Ties, tassels, and chinese knots are a nice detail that help dress up pillows and prairie fringe is a quite understated but visually interesting addition.
Trim with feathers or beads lend a more flashy tone, as do woven ribbon pillows, which are a great way to bring the colors used for the room into your pillow. Unusual shapes like stars are quite eye-catching as well.
Other interesting pillow concepts are fabric stamping and photo transfer onto fabric. Finding unusual fabric such as antique flour sacks or using school uniforms (think band or sport uniforms) make pillows very individual.