Sunday, August 26

Pillows - All Dressed Up

During high school, I spent a week every summer on a mission trip down to Mexico to build houses. It was hot and eye-opening and crazy fun. I would love to go again someday. But for now I just have a few pictures and souvenirs to remind me of those great days south of the border. One such souvenir - this dress from a market in Juarez. It was one-size and I couldn't try it on, but it was so pretty!

So I threw caution to the wind and snatched it up. But, no surprise, it looked Ridiculous on me. Yes, with a capital "R". I tried different things to take it in, adjust the straps, make it look decent, but I just couldn't pull if off. But nonetheless I kept it tucked away in my closet for no less than 6 years because I just couldn't bring myself to get rid of it. Which brings us to my most recent house purge. I decided it just didn't make sense to let it take up space in the closet when I could never possibly wear it. It had to go. If only there was some other way I could use, or at least re-purpose the pretty parts. And then it hit me.

A throw pillow! Easy to make, useful, and something I can enjoy everyday (instead of having it tucked in the back of my closet). I made a few quick modifications to my original pillow cover tutorial and was done in no time! My first step was getting the 18x39" piece of fabric I needed for the original tutorial. Since I couldn't get a piece that long in a single cut, I cut two 18" wide panels out of the skirt that could be piece together into a longer strip.

Next I needed to join the two panels into one longer piece. I wanted to incorporate the lace trim without it being see through, so I overlapped that part over the plain white panel. Then I sewed them together along the top edge of the trim. (I didn't sew down the bottom edge because it will be held in place by the side seams) Now we have one long piece.

Next, I did a practice run. I wrapped the fabric around a pillow to line up where I wanted the lace and embroidery to line up. Baby B helped by poking it with a board.

 Once I had my layout, I needed to cut the fabric down a little to 39" overall. I flipped the pillow over to see where the extra needed to be taken from, and cut it off.

  Once the size was right, I took the fabric back of the pillow and hemmed the short ends. I like to do this part by sight instead of measuring and pinning. I just fold the raw edge under about 1/2", then about 1/2" again, then sew along the folded edge. I usually just fold it as I go, like the picture below.

Once both ends were hemmed, I folded it inside out, making sure the lace trim was where I wanted it to end up. I overlapped the short ends until I had an overall length of 17". Then I sewed a 1/2" seam down each of the unfinished edges. 

 That's it! Turn the pillow case right-side-out and you have a nice pocket style opening on the back.

 All that's left is tucking in a pillow.

 And deciding where you like it best. :)

 I'm so happy my dress is finally getting some good use! Now I just wonder what else I should be turning into pillow cases....

 What have you re-purposed lately? Have you made any unique pillow cases? While you think about that, I'll leave you with what may be the best pictures of Baby B EVER.

 Bathtime thug? I think so.

 We laugh in the face of spaghetti sauce!

Seriously? How is this much cuteness even possible???


  1. What a great way to reuse something that holds memories! Bathtime thug is my favorite shot of Baby B :)

  2. Ahhhh! It's BEAUTIFUL!!! You have a great eye :)