Saturday, July 28, 2012

DIY Ruffle Pillow

I've gone a little crazy about pillows on Pinterest - and have since recovered the pillows on our bed and now the couch. I really loved the ruffle pillow ideas - and wanted to share the modifications I made.

Here is the tutorial I followed to get the gist of what to do. The one thing I found really confusing about her instructions is that when she is making her ruffles for her 12x12 inch pillows - she chooses to make the WIDTH of her largest ruffle 12.5 inches - without really explaining she just happened to be using all measurements of 12. (My pillow was much larger and it took me a bit to figure out that as long as I had enough material to work with to go from one end to the other - the width was up to me.)

After cutting your front piece of the pillow and your 2 back pieces in order to allow you to slip the pillow in, you will start working on your ruffle. Fun things first - determine (1) how wide you want your ruffles and (2) how many ruffles or layers of ruffles you want.

After you determine how wide you want your ruffles to be - cut strips of fabric by doubling the width of your finished ruffle and then adding another 1/2 inch. You are going to sew the fabric into a tube and then pull it right side out, so you need to cut your ruffle width double so you will end up with two layers of fabric and a 1/2 inch seem.

Make as many ruffle-tubes as you are going to want on your pillow. In the picture above with the green polka dots - I did 2 ruffles so I made the smaller one 1/2 the size of the larger. In the image on the right - I just chose to do 1 larger ruffle with not as tight of scrunching. (This pillow is actually double-sided - so the ruffle is on the "back" covering the pocket to slip the pillow in. On the reverse side is the green and blue flower fabric only - so I can do either side out on my couch.)

This next step - scrunching the ruffle tubes - I definitely recommend playing around on your machine and figuring out what is going to work for your project BEFORE you do anything to your ruffle tubes. You will want to play with your tension - I adjusted to the highest level - on my machine that is a 9. You will also want to make your basic basting stitch as long as you can - again, on my machine this was a 5. Now practice sewing through 2 layers of your fabric so you can get a visual for how much your ruffle tube is going to scrunch up. If it gets too ruffly you may not have the length you need to stretch across your pillow - so play with it so you will end up with the ruffles you want.

Once you are ready to make your final ruffles - iron them so the seem is in the middle of the back - and then stitch the length of your tube, the seem in the middle - and watch your ruffle be created before your eyes! (Note: different fabrics are going to work differently than others, so definitely think about that when buying your fabric. Cotton will do this much better than a thicker cloth). In the picture on the left - my fabric was a little thicker so it didn't want to scrunch with two layers - so I actually just used Fray Check along the edges and didn't sew them into tubes.

Now that you have your ruffles - pin them onto the front of your pillow where you want them. If you are going to layer them - sew them on in order from back to front. Once your ruffles are on - match up the front with your back panels and sew right sides together. Turn your pillow right side out - and enjoy!

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