The Ampersand Pillow Cover Tutorial
Yesterday I did a guest post on Crafty Tammie’s blog for a part of her “Sew Full of Love” week showing you how to use freezer paper as a stencil to make a set of Mr. and Mrs. pillowcases. If you missed out, you can go here to check it out.
Today I’ll be showing you how to make the & pillow in the middle. It’s not as easy as the stenciling but then again, it’s not hard at all to do.
1 8×10 cut out of the “&” (find mine here)
adhesive backing (like heat n’ bond-ultrahold/no sew)
decorative fabric – for the “&” sign
fabric for the rest of your pillow
1 pillow form or old pillow
**Cut out your fabric for the pillow cover before adding your applique.
To make your “&”:
If you’ve never worked with adhesive backing, it’s really easy to use. Just cut a piece of the backing the size you need to cover your fabric. With the fabric wrong side up and the adhesive smooth side up, lay the adhesive on the fabric and press. You’ll want to use the recommended heat settings and you really shouldn’t need to press long.
Once it has cooled, either trace your desired shape on to the smooth side of the backing or pin it on and cut it out. *Keep in mind that you will want your traced shape or cut out to be the mirrored image of what you’re trying to achieve.
Peel off the smooth paper backing and place your new applique on your fabric where you would like it. Again, follow the heat recommended settings for your adhesive and press. You do not want to use your typical sweeping ironing motion! This will move the applique! So just press for 6-8 seconds, lift the iron, press in a new section for 6-8 seconds and continue to do this until the applique is completely pressed. Make sure you get the edges really good!
Here’s how to determine what the sizes of fabric you’ll need to cut for your pillow cover.
Take the size of your pillow and add the seam allowance to all sides. My pillow was a square 16 inches and I used a 1/4 seam allowance so for the main piece of fabric, I cut a 16.5 x 16.5 inch square.
You will need to cut 2 pieces the same width of your front piece of fabric. As for the height, you take the size of your pillow and divide it by 2, then add the seam allowance plus another inch for the hem plus 2 inches for the overlap.
* If your pillow is larger than 16 inches, you’ll want to add about 3 or 4 inches for the overlap.
In my case, I cut 2 pieces 16.5 inches by 11.5 inches (16/2 +1.5 + 2).
1. To make the pillow cover, take the 2 back pieces and along one of the 16.5 sides of each piece, press in the edge 1/4 inch and then another 1 inch.
2. Sew close to this new edge to create a hem. Do this to both pieces.
*If you want a decorative touch for your hem, after you’re done hemming both pieces, grab some colored thread, flip the piece of fabric over (so you’re working with the “right side” up and stitch 1/8 inch from your last hem.
3. Lay your main piece (16.5 x 16.5) right side up and place one of the back pieces on top. Be sure you get all 3 raw edged sides to match up. Pin in place and sew along the raw edges 1/4 inch. And make sure to back stitch at each end! * For added strength and to prevent fraying, I recommend zig-zag stitching these raw edges as well.
4. Take your remaining back piece and do the exact same thing as step 3. Make sure you turn your main fabric so you have 3 raw edges to line up with 3 other raw edges!
5. Clip your corners. Be careful not to cut through your stitches! If you do… it creates a hole. Clipping the corners will make the them stick out nice and neat instead of being rounded and bunched up.
6. Turn your new pillow cover inside out and slip your pillow inside.
Now stand back and admire your new pillow!
I think this pillow from start to finish took me 30 minutes. And I’m not an expert sewer! Good luck and I’d love to hear from you if you decided to make one!