Happy Friday, friends! I’m excited I finally have a little DIY for you (hopefully soon there will be some garment sewing DIYs coming…) Remember my pep talk post recently about decorating and getting started on covering up those ugly, beige accent pillows? I finally did just that! I’ll show you the fruit of my labors first and then there is a mini how-to further down for those who might be curious about the process. (Apologies in advance about the rumpled slip cover; it only stays un-rumpled so long with SH and the puppy!)
A nice little perk-up, no? I originally had grand plans for making plain pillow covers and stitching vintage hankies on, but SH deemed that idea a little too girly. (And since it’s his sofa too, I figure he gets say!) So I scaled it back a bit from the pinks, reds and exuberant florals I had wanted to use, and used an old tablecloth instead. Now, before my fellow vintage lovers want to bop me over the head for cutting up a vintage tablecloth: this one had some serious stains that would not come out despite my valiant efforts. So it had officially been banished to the “cutter” pile. I ended up using the four corners to avoid the worst stained portions, and like the effect of the oversized print and minimal color scheme.
The back of each pillow is a simple overlap style made out of an inexpensive canvas dropcloth from the hardware store, and embellished with a button from my stash. For days SH can’t take the vintage-pretty florals any longer, we can flip the pillows around to reveal the button placket backs. Clever, no? Now I just need to use the couple of smaller pillow forms my mom gave me during the winter and make some smaller accent pillows… It’s all about breaking up the massive size of this sofa!
If you’d like to know how I made these (they’re super easy–I made all four in about the space of an evening!), be sure to click through the post-break below.
I started by measuring the length and height of the pillows. They were all the same size: 21″x21″, but always remember: measure twice, cut once! I added 1″ to the length and width measurements for 1/2″ seam allowances. So each piece would be 22″x22″.
(Note: I found it easiest to make a paper pattern for the pillow pieces since I was making four, but you can always mark directly onto your fabric as well.) Cut out one piece for the front the dimensions of the pillow (plus that 1″ added to the l/w). For the back, divide the width of the pillow (21″) by 2 (10.5″) and add 5″ to this measurement (15.5″). Cut out two pieces the length (22″) by the width (15.5″).
Begin by hemming one long edge of each of the back pieces. You can turn under 1/2″, press, turn under 1″ and stitch the hem down. Or, if you have a serger like I do, serge one of the long edges and turn under 1″ before stitching down.
On one of the back pieces, mark the buttonhole placement on the long, hemmed edge. I placed mine 1″ from the hem fold and at the center of the length. (My buttons were 1 1/4″ wide, for reference.) Stitch by machine following your manual’s directions. I like to dab a little Fray Check on the front and back of the buttonholes to prevent any natty looking edges.
With the right side of the pillow front facing up, lay the buttonhole back piece right side down overtop on the right side. Lay the other back piece over one the left side, making sure the long hemmed edges are oriented in the same direction (center). Pin around the outer perimeter.
Stitch by machine around this outer edge with a 1/2″ seam. I reccomend finishing the edges with at least pinking or zig zag stitches (I used my serger), so if you need to launder these in the future, they aren’t a frayed mess! Turn cover right side out and press.
Open buttonhole and mark button placement on the underlap back piece. Stitch buttonhole by hand.
Insert pillow and button up the back. Done and very budget friendly! While I already had the tablecloth in my stash (it had been given to me, so free!), as well as the buttons and thread, the drop cloth was only $10. I have a lot of that leftover, so I think I can safely say for about $6 and an evening of sewing I have four new pillows! (If you’d like to find an old tablecloth to use for a similar project, I recommend searching on Etsy for “cutter tablecloth” to find ones cheaply and suitable for cutting.)