Saturday, September 13, 2014

No Sew Pillows

I have always been amazed by people who can sew.  I am a HUGE Project Runway fan, and what these people can create in the span of a day is incredible.  Closer to home, my Aunt M has been given me quilted gifts for years, including an amazing ocean themed quilt for Lucky.  My cousin H got a sewing machine a few years ago and she has made herself dresses, bags, wall hangings for her classroom and applique bibs for Lucky.  My mom made many of my costumes while growing up, but her first quilting project was a science themed quilt for Lucky, compete with the periodic table and physics equations.  

See how pretty!

I have a lot to live up to... but am I going to break out the needle and thread?  I might have some amazing fabric, but I am going to make some No Sew Pillow Covers.  I found a wonderful tutorial on How to Make a Pillow with Glue and decided to give it a shot.  Gulp.  In my standard lab notebook style, I took pictures of each of the steps so I would have something to turn to if I tried this again.  

The secret to this project - Dritz Unique Stitch Adhesive 

This project requires no sewing thanks to the Dritz Unique Stitch Adhesive.  I feel like this is something that I could manage on a sewing machine, but I do not have one available to me and I do not want to stitch these by hand!  

There are two main goals for this project.  1) Create something for Lucky's nursery with my own two hands and 2) accomplish this without breaking the bank.  I found some great 20" down pillow inserts from Ikea for $5.99 (as of July 2014).  

Fabrics purchased from

From the comments on the tutorial I see that she used 18" pillow inserts and made the glue 1" from the edge.  I think I will make my squares 22"x22" and 22" x 17" (versus the 20x20 and 20x15 in the tutorial) to accommodate for my larger pillow insert size. 

as I prepared to make my first cuts I was really nervous.  Thankfully with fabric 1.5 yards x 44" I knew that I had plenty of space to err.  Gulp!  

The cutting went better than I thought.  I used painter's tape to mark my place before starting to cut.  After, I folded the first two pieces over the diagonal and it lined up very well.  Wahoo!  At this point I have two 22x22 inch squares.   I have to decide if I want the fish to be the front of two pillows or one.  I think I'm going to make three pillows with these two fabrics, 1/2 with the waves on front and 1/2 with the fish on front and waves on back.  

Which way do you like better?  So far I'm thinking I will do 2 with waves on front.

I cut 3 of the square pieces and then needed a break.  This isn't so hard, and I"m now feeling confident cutting.  Crap.  I just realized that I don't have enough fabric to do the job.  At least not 3 pillows.   I can cut 3 front pieces and 5 back pieces, leaving me short on back piece.  I really don't know how I miss calculated... maybe I assumed the orientation of the patterns would be different?  Either way, I would recommend having 2 yards for 3 pillows.  1.5 yards is enough for 1 pillow with space for a cutting error.  

The pieces for 2 pillows

On day 2, I "hemmed" the edges with the glue.  I didn't quite make 1" hems, which maybe means that I could have cheated with 16 or even 15" wide pieces for the back.  I DID make sure at the last minute to hem them in a way such that the fish would be looking in the same direction on the back of the pillow.  It would have bugged me forever if I had fish swimming upside down!  

There is a lot of overlap on the back of the pillows.  I easily could have made them 14" wide.  This would have meant that I could completed the project in 1.5 yards. I  hope this won't make it too hard to insert the pillows...  

When it was time to glue the pieces 

I thought cutting was the hardest part of this pillow project... but the hardest part was waiting for the glue to dry so I could stuff the pillows with the inserts!  

I turned the cases right side out, and carefully slipped the insert into one pocket before flipping the other over.  

Voila!  Two awesome pillow covers.

Now I just need to wait for the fabric to arrive so I can complete the third matching pillow for this set.  I'm also waiting for the chair-and-a-half to arrive that these pillows will live on, but that is a whole other story.  

My happy boy is really loving his room!