Bring the beauty of fall leaves indoors by sewing a vibrant fall leaf pillow. This is a project that will make a big statement in your home’s decor, but because it utilizes a ready-made, easy-to-find felt leaf cutout, it can be made in just a matter of minutes! Let me show you how it’s done.
Are you familiar with marine vinyl? If not, allow me to introduce you to my favorite sewing secret! Marine vinyl is a great way to add a professional touch to any applique project, as it adds a layer of terrific dimension to pillows, wearable accessories and more. Let me show you how I used marine vinyl to create fun monogrammed throw pillows for my master bedroom, created with the help of my electronic die-cutting machine!
If you aren’t familiar with it, marine vinyl is the material used to upholster things like boat seats, as it is thick and extremely durable. It is constructed of a vinyl top layer that mimics the look of leather and a bottom layer of knitted polyester. My local Jo-Ann store carries a gorgeous assortment of marine vinyl colors!
Over the course of the last few years, I have fallen in love with marine vinyl as the perfect medium to create cool appliques for throw pillows. I started off with this patriotic pillow set…
…and then this numbered outdoor pillow set.
Last year, I also made a set of outdoor pillows with marine vinyl monograms.
And most recently, I made a set of custom-monogrammed throw pillows for my master bedroom!
These pillows feature a simple envelope back, which made them a breeze to construct. Not familiar with how to stitch an envelope-back pillow cover? I’ve got you covered! Check out my Envelope-Back Pillow Cover Creativity U Session for all the details.
For this pillow set, I made two chartreuse damask Euro-pillow shams (the larger pillows pictured above), and two 18-inch chevron throw pillow covers. I personalized the smaller pillows with a center panel featuring an ornate marine vinyl monogram. In the past when I have made pillows with marine vinyl applique accents, I have always traced and cut the designs out by hand. This time, though, I decided to see if my CAMEO machine was capable of cutting the material instead. To my delight, I discovered the CAMEO handled the marine vinyl like a champ, cutting smooth, even lines even on very detailed designs like this one. Yay!
To cut the machine vinyl with my CAMEO, I adjusted my machine’s settings to a custom media setting with a speed of 3 and a thickness of 33. I adjusted the blade to its maximum depth (10). I affixed a piece of the marine vinyl to my cutting mat and then ran it through the machine as usual (no double cut required).
In no time at all, I had a perfectly detailed marine vinyl monogram design!
Photo via Positively Splendid on Instagram. Follow along!
Once the designs were cut, I simple stitched them onto the center panel of my pillow.
A few tips for sewing on marine vinyl:
- Believe it or not, you can pin the vinyl designs to your fabric with standard quilting pins without damaging the vinyl. If you are concerned with damaging the vinyl with too many pins, you can alternatively use Wash-Away Wonder Tape to affix the designs to your fabric.
- If possible, use a Teflon foot. This will allow the presser foot to glide easily over the vinyl as you stitch.
- If you don’t have access to a Teflon foot, you have a couple of options: either place a piece of thin tissue paper over the design and stitch through the paper (as I did here), or place a piece of matte Scotch tape on the bottom of your presser foot before stitching.
- Always use a needle intended for sewing on leather.
- Use heavy-duty thread.
- If you are a marine vinyl beginner, start with a simple design, and then move on to more detailed designs.
I absolutely love the dimension using the marine vinyl appliques imparts to projects like these!
The stitching on the vinyl makes me think of an old high school letter jacket.
I hope you are empowered to try your hand at sewing with marine vinyl! As always, please feel free to approach me with any questions you might have as you create.
Learning how to sew a throw pillow is one area where true home decor savings can be accomplished, proving that some of the simplest sewing projects can turn out to be the most cost effective. Take, for instance, a set of handmade throw pillows. Using the latest styles and color palettes, a set of throw pillows purchased ready-made can easily cost upwards of $100 or more. DIY pillows can cost about half as much, and as an added bonus, they can be customized any way you desire. This is one area when DIY is much less expensive!
The trick to making DIY pillows a real value is to purchase pillow inserts, and then make countless envelope-back covers for them that you can switch out for different styles and seasons. This is the utmost in decorating freedom, as using the pillow inserts allows you to switch the look of the pillows the moment the urge strikes!
Today’s Creativity U Session will show you exactly how to go about making envelope-back pillow covers for rectangular or square pillows of any size.
On an envelope-back pillow, you have a single front panel, as depicted in my Vintage Photo Pillow from a couple of years ago…
…and two overlapping back panels that form the closure for the cover, but allow it to be easily removed as needed.
This is, by far, one of the easiest pillow cover designs out there, and today’s Creativity U session gives you the complete PDF how-to for creating some pillow covers of your own!
And be sure to stop back in tomorrow when I’ll be sharing the set of new pillows I made for my master bedroom I made using this technique.
Happy sewing, everyone!
If you ever have wanted to make a pillow but have been intimidated by the hand stitching involved, today’s tutorial for how to hand stitch a blind stitch (sometimes referred to as a ladder stitch) will be invaluable to you! This hand-sewing technique really is very simple to execute, and with a bit of practice, it results in a nice, tidy seam every time. Let me show you how it’s done!
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, now is the time to round up some fun craft ideas for the day of love and get to work. Today’s free sewing pattern will enable you to make two fun valentine projects: a heart pocket pillow and a heart-shaped treat bag. Either one is sure to be a hit with your sweetheart!
Today’s Swell Noël post features a darling pillow idea from the ever-talented Bev of Flamingo Toes. New to the series? Catch up on all of the projects from the series by visiting the photo guide of all of the ideas shared by the talented Swell Noël contributors, and follow along as things happen on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram by using the hashtag #SwellNoel.
Hello Positively Splendid readers!!
My name is Bev and I blog over at Flamingo Toes. I am so excited to be here today as part of Amy’s Swell Noel series!
I love doing knockoffs of any kind – jewelry, sewing, home decor – I love it all! It’s so fun to create a stylish, high-priced item for a lot less!
So when I came across this darling little Ruffle Pillow at West Elm, I knew that I’d have to recreate it for a Christmas pillow!
I love all it’s ruffly goodness. Here’s my version:
I love this red and gray plaid I found. It has little threads of silver that are running through it! Perfect for Christmas!
Here’s the West Elm version. Super cute but not so Christmas-sy 😉
You might remember that I used them in my Halloween mantel. I loved the whimsical touch they added to that display so much, I decided to use one of them to punch up a simple throw pillow, along with some pretty baubles from Styled by Tori Spelling. From start to finish, this was a 30-minute project. Let me show you how I did it!
For this project, you will need…
- 18-inch pillow form
- Lime green twill fabric
- Black and white houndstooth fabric
- Black thread
- Felt spiderweb decoration
- Styled by Tori Spelling necklace bottom and connector pieces
- Basic sewing supplies: machine, shears, pins, etc.
- Optional, but recommended: Rotary cutter and mat
- From the lime green twill: (1) piece at 18×18″
- From the black and white houndstooth: (2) pieces at 12×18″
- An 18-inch pillow form*
- Decorative fabric (for the top and bottom panels on the front of the pillow): 2 pieces cut to 5.5 x 18″
- Solid fabric for the front center panel (I used a remnant from an old drop cloth): 1 piece cut to 8 x 18″
- Solid fabric (for the back envelope closure): 2 pieces cut to 12 x 18″
- Marine vinyl in two colors
- Washable ink marker
- Wash-Away Wonder Tape
- Heavy-duty thread
- All-purpose thread
- Leather sewing machine needle
- Tissue paper
- Word processing software and printer
- Basic sewing supplies: shears, machine, etc.
*You might notice my pillow doesn’t look quite square in these photos, and that is because it actually isn’t! I have adjusted the measurements I used for my pillow to accommodate a standard 18-inch pillow.