Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Make a Custom Pillow Form, a tutorial

Just popping in to share how to reuse those old pillows to make a custom pillow form for a pretty new quilted pillow cover!

I seem to have needed a few of these lately and thought a simple tutorial might help someone else think to do the same!
1.  Starting with the old pillow, cut one end off and take the stuffing out.
2.  WASH and soak the pillow casing fabric in warm soapy, bleachy water! 
Rinse well, and dry...the casing is so lightweight you may usually just press it dry.
3.  Trim the other end off, and along one length, making the edges straight with your rotary cutter.
4.  If your pillow form is to be 18" or smaller, at this point, you would measure and cut to length.

But my pillow is larger than the my pillow casing, measuring 22" square, so I added a 4" strip to each end of my casing fabric, the strips cut from some casing fabric leftover from a different pillow and project.  To arrive at the 4" measurement, I simply measured the existing fabric(18" per side) and added the difference I needed(4") to each side, allowing for a 3/8" seam allowance.

5.  Beginning at the existing seam, sew, right-sides together, pivoting at the corners, and leaving a generous opening for turning and stuffing.  I suggest 5"-6" for the opening, shown in the picture by the 2 clips. Backstitch at each start and stop. I also recommend using a slightly larger seam allowance, say 3/8" or so.  
6.  Turn right side out. Using the stuffing from the pillow, take handfuls of the fill and pull apart repeatedly, to make it soft and loose, before filling your pillow, handful by handful.  If there are loose or empty-ish spaces, don't try to rearrange the stuffing to fill it, add handfuls where you need them, in the corners etc. When the pillow is filled to it's optimum, not too loose, not too full...
7.  Stitch the opening closedThis is the trickiest part for me, but I always manage to wrangle it closed with hand stitching. 
8.  Insert into your pretty quilted pillow cover, take pictures and admire liberally!
This is a fun pillow cover I started and finished without including on my Q2 Finish-A-Long list! I had long been itching to use 2 mini charm packs of "Saturday Morning" by Basic Grey, and I couldn't be more pleased with the colors and design!  I topped it off with some fun hand quilting detail in the plain squares.
 All of these except the smallest which is not a removeable cover, have home made, repurposed pillow forms in them!
As always, I hope these instructions were clear....please don't hesitate to ask if there is anything I can clarify for you!

Happy sewing!


Bernie Kringel said...

Hi Sarah, Thanks for this tutorial. When you mentioned this in an earlier post, I actually set aside two older bed pillows to give this a try. As you know, I am a huge fan of upcycling anything - I really hate to throw things away. Your pillows are lovely and you used something up rather than toss it in a landfill. Win-Win!!

Miss Alissa said...

Lovely pillows! Nice tip!