Sunday, January 31, 2010

MAKE YOUR OWN: pillow cover

     This is the first time I've published a tutorial, so any comments, feedback and tips on how to explain things are more than welcome! I've chosen an easy one to start with, there are probably hundreds of patterns for pillow covers online already but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless. 

     I love old woolen blankets, so much that I have a (very) long term project of re-upholstering our couches with them. It's so easy to upcycle (i.e. take a second hand object and find a new purpose for it) them, they are basically one big sheet of fabric just waiting to be used. Here's an idea on how to refresh the look of your sitting room without spending too much and in an eco-friendly way!

      -       Level: easy

-       Time: 45mn
-       Material: woolen blanket, thick cotton (upholstery or similar in weight), thread, buttons (everything can be found in second hand/ thrift shops or gathered from friends and family)
-       Tools: sewing machine (with buttonhole and button attachments), scissors, measuring tape

     1-    Cut out a 45cm square in the woolen blanket for the front panel, a 45x28cm and a 45x34cm panels in the upholstery fabric for the back. If you wish to put an appliqué on the front panel, cut it out as well (I usually draw it on some paper first, then cut it out and draw the outline on the fabric.

2-    Sew on the appliqué (for the one shown, I used the front of a jacket so didn’t sew an appliqué on). Sew one edge on both back panels: measure 4cm from the edge, fold wrong side of fabric on wrong side. Measure 1cm from the edge and fold under. Pin down and sew along the edge.

3-    Make buttonholes: fold the smallest back panel in half lengthwise; make a mark with a pen. Fold the half in half and make another mark, repeat for the other side. Measure the size of your buttons. Then make the buttonholes parallel to the width of the panel.

      4-    Sew buttons on: match the big back panel with the small one, sewn edges facing. Mark with a pen where the buttons are going to be sewn. Sew buttons on.

5-    Button up the back panels and then sew on the sides where the sewn edges meet. This is so they don’t move when you sew back and front panels together.

6-    Place the front panel on a flat surface, right side facing up, then place the back panels on top, wrong side facing up. Pin together and then sew. Undo the buttons, turn it inside out, et voila. 


  1. Natacha,
    Congrats on your first tutorial! I think that you did great! I also love to upcycle. I did a semi tutorial last week and it drove me crazy that the pictures seem to move. I'd put them in one place when I was writing it but when I'd view it they would be in a different place. Did you have this problem?

    I was wondering if your woolen blankets are 100% wool, if they are felted or if you can wash them. I didn't see the fiber content on your etsy site of your little hooded sweaters. I think they are so cute! I love the little points that look like ears on the hood! Just wondering how to care for them.


  2. Hey Jaci,

    The pics moving used to drive me insane! I found that if I preview my posts first, I can usually get it right. The woolen blankets are 100% wool but can be washed in the washing machine. On mine I have a wool/delicate setting I usually select.

  3. loving these cushions... as I have not time and no sewing machine, I might just have to order some from you :-)