Ruffled Pillow

I received another order from D1 (and her roommate :) ) for a couple of pillows for their dorm room based on these from Opulence of Southern Pines:

Following this great tutorial here from  Mamma Tortilla, I first cut a piece of white muslin for the front of the pillow.  I had purchased an 18″ pillow form, so I cut the front piece 19.5″ square, allowing for 1/2″ seam allowance on each side, plus 1/2″ for ease.  Then using a water soluble ink pen, I traced lines 1″ apart for placement of the ruffles.  You can just barely see them on the fabric square below.
That was the part that took the longest.  I skipped it for the second pillow and just used a ruler while I was attaching the strips to make sure I was getting them spaced properly.  Next, I cut several 1.5″ strips for the ruffles.  The great thing about muslin is that you can cut just the edge of the fabric (like 1/2 inch), and then rip it the rest of the way down the length of the fabric.  Yes, there’s some fraying, but it’s so much faster and more accurate than cutting.  I highly recommend this method, as long as you’re going to finish the edges.  If you don’t want to finish your edges and you aren’t going for that shabby chic look (i.e. you don’t want your fabric to fray), then cut your strips on the bias (45 degree angle from the selvage edge) and you can skip that step.  I fed the strips through my serger and finished the edges with a 3-thread flatlock, folding the short edge of one strip under and placing the next strip under the folded edge to join the strips together and make one long strip.  I think I joined 12 (44″) strips together to do one pillow.  Then I did the same thing I did here to create the ruffles:  I ran the long strip through my sewing machine and stitched it down the middle, adjusting the bobbin tension to its tightest setting and the stitch length to its longest.

Before you attach the ruffles, remember to re-adjust your tension and stitch length back to normal.  Attaching the ruffles took me almost as long as drawing the placement lines, but I’m pretty slow and methodical at the sewing machine.

I made a regular envelope closure for the back.  There are tutorials all over the internet if you don’t know how to make one.  And here’s the pillow before I dyed it.  Yes, I dyed it this time AFTER constructing it.  After running out of thread on my first dyed project, I decided to dye afterwards, and then I don’t have to worry about finding the right color of thread.  Right?  I just used white!  Duh!

Isn’t it pretty?  I just love all that ruffly goodness.  Next, I put it (the pillow cover, not the pillow form!) in a sink of hot water with a little salt added (that helps the color to stay) and a little bit of Rit Aqua dye, the same dye I used for D1’s quilt.  A few minutes of swirling it around, then rinsing it out several times, popping it into the dryer for a bit, and here she is (the blue one) in her new home atop D1’s roomie’s bed:

It’s not a great picture, I know, but you get the idea.  I am sooooo sold on Rit Dye.  And ruffles.  If I were making this again, I would probably space the ruffles a little closer together.  Maybe 3/4″ instead of 1″, just to make it a little more full looking.  The spaces between don’t show as much until you dye it and put it in the dryer.  Then the ruffles don’t lay as flat anymore and the spacing becomes more apparent.

I spent about $7 on the pillow form (a package of two on sale for $14 at JoAnn’s), and another $6 or so for 2 yards of white cotton muslin.  I already had the other supplies (thread and Rit dye) so it cost me about $13 for this pillow, versus $215 for the ready-made version.  :)  I can live with that!

Thanks for reading!

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