Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Easy Fall Applique and Envelope Pillow Cover

Today I'm going to share with you a quick & easy Fall pillow I made. I appliqued the "Fall" letters onto the front of envelope style pillow cover that I made from an old curtain that we had.

This project was fun & economical for all sorts of reasons. By using an old curtain I was able to save money on the cost of the fabric and I have plenty of the curtain fabric left over to make a few more matching ones. Making an envelope style pillow cover that slides on and off of the pillow form allows me to change out the pillow whenever I want, and it's easy to make!

By adding just a few elements, like these beautiful handmade buttons from Button Mad, adds just enough texture and dimension to your pillows without much cost. And hand sewing a few buttons on is pretty easy too! 
I was lucky enough to receive these beautiful, Colorful Fall Leaf buttons, in exchange for a tutorial which was all made possible through the Totally Tutorials Supplier Exchange Program

  • Old curtain panel (Mine was 40" wide)
  • Fabric for letters (Make sure all the fabric has been PRE-washed with NO fabric softener)
  • Cricut or hand cut letters & leaves for applique
  • Interfacing 
  • Colorful Leaf Buttons-L108
  • Pillow Form (mine is 12"x16")
  • Other: Scissors (You will want a small pair with a fine point to get into tight areas, Iron, thread)
You will want to figure out the measurements that you need your fabric panel to be. This will probably be the hardest part of the whole tutorial for you, and even then it's not to hard. Here is a great tutorial from Texas Cottage Blog  explaining how to get the measurements for different size of pillows.  

Since my fabric is a curtain panel and had the correct length I didn't have to cut the length of the long side just for the short side. So my cut size was 13"x40" (this measurement allows for a 1/2" seam allowance.) 

Another advantage of using the curtain panel is I didn't have to hem the inside edges of the envelope flap, I just had to fold each side in a bit and stitch it down. It just made for one less step which was nice!

Then I cut my letters and leaves from my Cricut using the "A Child's Year" Cartridge. The Letters were cut at 5" and the leaves at 3" and 3.5". 

This picture shows the two different sides of the interfacing. I had the fusible side (or the side with the dots) so it would be attached to the wrong side of the fabric. *Please note there are several different ways to applique, this is just one. With this method your applique pieces will have a raw edge , which means that over time, your letters and leaves will have some fraying. 

Once everything was cut out from my Cricut,  I cut out squares from the fabric and interfacing. 
Then apply the interfacing to the square of fabric with your iron, being careful not to get the sticky stuff on your iron ~ that would not be fun mess to have to deal with!

Now it's time to cut out your letters and leaves. 
You can either pin the letters to the fabric squares and cut them out, like I did here, 
or you can trace around the letters onto the fabric and cut them out. 

Before you start to pin your fabric applique pieces to the pillow cover you will want to find the center of the pillow then start to position everything so you know where you want it. 

Since this is a layered applique you will want to start pinning the applique pieces that will be on the bottom first. 
So what I usually do is lay everything out take a quick photo (so I remember how I had it laid out, yep my short term memory can be that bad) and then start to pin things down. For example,  photo 1 shows how I want the final pieces to lay. Photos 2-4 shows me slowly taking away each element. Photo 4 is actually the first piece I will pin down then work backwards from photo 4-1. 

Here is how it will look all laid out and pinned down. 

Now you just start sewing around everything. You could use a thread that will blend in or something that would contrast and "pop" against the other colors. I chose to use a burgundy thread to have contrast. As far as the actual stitches, I used a straight stitch to go around the leaves and a zig zag stitch to go around the letters. Keep in mind that the stitching is the ONLY thing attaching your applique pieces to the pillow cover so be sure you actually stitch over them and don't leave any gaps! 

Once you get all the applique pieces attached, then hand sew your buttons where you want them. 

Then, all you have to do is turn the form inside out and sew the top and bottom using your 1/2" seam allowance. Then clip the corners and turn right side out. (sorry no picture of these steps)

Insert pillow and now you are done!  

I just LOVE this little cluster of leaves and the acorn button in the middle is just SO cute!

I positioned the other leaf buttons so it gave kind of a "leaves blowing in the wind" feeling. 

These buttons add so much to this project! They are so beautiful,  handmade in South Africa, and are machine washable!

What do you think? This is the first Fall throw pillow I have and I can't wait to make more!

Disclaimer: The feathers for this tutorial were provided by Button Mad,,  through the Totally Tutorials Supplier Exchange Program . I received a free package  of buttons (with free shipping)  in exchange for a tutorial using the buttons.  Thanks again to Button Mad,, and Totally Tutorials!

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