Thursday, January 17, 2019

Pleated Ruffle Pouches in Hesketh House fabrics

Thursday, January 17, 2019
The fabric for the post was provided by Riley Blake Designs, the project and opinions are all my own.

 Hesketh House is the new line of quality quilting cotton produced by Liberty and distributed exclusively in the US by Riley Blake Designs. These cotton fabrics have rich colors, classic designs and a lovely soft hand. Watch for Hesketh house to begin shipping to stores in March! I was able to get some fabric early and had some fun sewing up a few of my Pleated Ruffle Pouches in these fabulous fabrics.
I love how this pattern shows off the fun colors and contrasts of the prints. And, in case you were wondering what you might use these darling, but diminutive pouches for:

They can be used to hold a few essentials for a quick trip to a store.
 To hide treats, or keep them from getting lost in your purse.
Or to hold hair essentials, for those out and about hair emergencies. They are perfect for travel, organizing purses or just carrying around. They are so fun to sew and take just a bit of fabric so they also make perfect gifts. I like to tuck a gift card or a couple nice chocolates in one and give them to friends!
Hesketh house is perfect for these mini pouches and so many other fun projects. I can't wait to see what you sew up with yours!

Monday, January 14, 2019

Pillow Cover with Invisible Seam Zipper Tutorial

Monday, January 14, 2019
An invisible seam zipper is a great way to add a closure to your pillow covers. Set in the bottom seam, the zipper will keep your pillow together without interfering with the overall look of the pillow. It's a great option for larger pillows that need a bit more room to insert the pillow form. This tutorial will walk you through all the steps to make your own Pillow Cover with an Invisible Seam Zipper. If you'd rather watch a video- you can find the how-to here on my YouTube channel.

  • To begin cut your pillow back fabric to the same size as your pillow front.
  • Place them right sides together. (make sure the fabrics are going the right directions)
  • Get your zipper- it should be no smaller than 2" shorter than the width of your pillow. (for example: the pillow I am making is a 20" pillow. I would want a zipper that is at least 18" in length) *you could probably get away with a 17" zipper, but the smaller the zipper, the harder it will be to get your pillow form inside the cover. You can always use a zipper than is longer.
  • Center your zipper on the bottom seam. *if you are using a zipper that is longer than your pillow cover, you can omit this step.
  • Mark the bottom seam where your zipper begins and ends (the actual zipper teeth, not the zipper tape) *if these marks are not far enough away from the side seams, just mark 1" in from each side of the pillow cover on the bottom seam.
  • Sew along the bottom seam using a 1/2" seam allowance. IMPORTANT: Begin using your regular stitch length, when you get to your marks (either 1" from the side or where the zipper begins) switch your stitch length to a basting stitch to sew the area between the marks. When you get to the second mark, return to your regular stitch length.

  • Press your bottom seam open.
  • Center your zipper on the seam between the marked areas. Pin in place. Make sure your zipper teeth are lined up with the stitches of the seam.
  • Sew around the zipper using approx. 1/4" seam allowance from the zipper teeth- at least make sure you are sewing wider than the zipper pull. Back stitch a couple of times each time you sew over the zipper teeth to reinforce the zipper. *watch for the metal pieces on your zipper- do not sew through them. When you need to move the zipper pull to sew around it, leave your needle in the down position, raise your presser foot and slide the zipper pull out of the way. Continue sewing until all 4 sides are sewn around the zipper.
  • Trim off the zipper tape on the ends of the zipper.
  • Use a seam ripper to cut the stitches along the seam where the zipper is. Use the back stitching areas on either end of your zipper as your guide for starting and stopping. 
  • Pull out the thread pieces.
  • Open your zipper half way.
  • Line up the front and back of your pillow cover. 
  • Fold the bottom seam allowances up toward the pillow cover. 
  • Sew around the remaining three sides of the pillow. Back stitch where you start and stop.
  • Turn the pillow cover right side out.
  • Insert pillow form.
Now step back and enjoy your new pillow!
I will be sharing the directions for the banded pillow cover here on my blog soon!
Happy Sewing!

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Pillow Back with Hidden Zipper

Saturday, January 12, 2019
There are lots of ways to finish off throw pillow covers. In this tutorial I will show you how to add a hidden zipper closure to the back of your pillows. I love using zipper closures on pillows because it lets me overfill the pillow, which is my favorite way for a pillow to look- soft, squishy and ready to be snuggled. The fabric band that covers the zipper acts as a design element, in addition to protecting the zipper. I have lots of kids who love to use my pillows for everything from forts to fights and covering the zipper helps prevent injury when pillows are thrown at an annoying sister, as well as keeping your hair safe from getting stuck if using pillows for movie night. If you prefer to watch videos- I have this full tutorial on my YouTube channel.
This post is part of a series where I am sharing my favorite techniques to help you build your own pillow sewing library. By mixing and matching the different methods, you will come away equipped to design your own projects as well as knowing how to modify other patterns and tutorials to meet your needs.

  • To make a Pillow Back with a Hidden Zipper you will need one piece of fabric cut to the same dimensions as the pillow front. (in this example it is an 18" square), then cut into two pieces where you want your zipper to go. I typically like the zipper to sit just above the center of the pillow, but you can choose what suits you best.
  • One strip of fabric 2 1/2" X the width of your pillow front- (18" in this example)
  • 2- 1"X2" strips of fabric for the tabs on the zipper
  • a zipper that measures at least the width of the zipper- 2" (in this example the zipper should be at least 18"-2= or 16") you can have a zipper that is longer than the minimum, but not shorter.
  •  Start by sewing the tabs on the two ends of your zipper. We are doing this for two reasons- 1- we don't want the zipper in the seam allowance, it makes the pillow bulge funny. 2- we want to make sure we don't run the risk of sewing through any of the metal pieces of the zipper. Make sure that the exposed portion of the zipper will measure 1 1/2" - 2" less than the width of the pillow. (in this example the zipper should be 15 1/2"- 16" with the fabric tabs bringing the full length to 18"+)
  • Sew them down using a 1/4" seam allowance, back stitch a couple of times when sewing across the zipper teeth.
  • Press the fabric away from the right side of the zipper and top stitch. 
  • Trim off the excess zipper tape.

  • Place the zipper right sides together on the top of the bottom piece of your pillow back. Pay attention to the direction of the print of your fabric. Center your zipper on the fabric piece, you may have fabric from the tabs hanging over the edge, this is totally fine.
  • Sew along the top seam using a 1/4" seam allowance.
  • Press the fabric away from the zipper.
  • Top stitch along the edge of the fabric.

  • Press the 2 1/2" strip of fabric in half. 
  • Line up the raw edges of the folded strip with the top of the zipper, right sides up on both pieces.
  • Place the top piece of the pillow back right side down on top of the bottom piece. Make sure you line up the BOTTOM of the top piece with the top edge of the zipper.
  • Sew along the seam with a 1/4" seam allowance.
  • Press just the TOP fabric away from the zipper and folded strip.
  • Top stitch along the edge of the top fabric.

  • Open your zipper at least half way.

  • Place the pillow front right side down on the pillow back.
  • Sew around all four sides of the pillow using a 1/2" seam allowance.
  • If you plan on frequently washing the pillow cover, or if you will be changing the pillow cover on and off often, you may want to sew around all the raw edges with a zig zag stitch or with a serger to keep the fabric from fraying as much.
  • Turn right side out through the zipper.

All that is left for you to do is stuff in your pillow form and enjoy your new pillow! If you would like to see more information about the front of the pillow- you will find it all in this blog post.
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