Tuesday, May 8, 2012

From Old to New: A Throw Pillow

For months now, I've had my eye on the dreaded, boring, wide-striped, brown and green throw pillow in my guest bedroom.  A few years ago, it was a total steal at Target.  I loved it.  However, since my sewing ventures, I've wanted to really tackle it and convert it into something new and fresh for my bedroom (now in greys, blues and black).  This Saturday was another Sewing Circle day and a perfect opportunity to take on the challenge. 

The girls and I sat around as I pulled the pillow out among the sea of fabrics - you should have "seen" the wheels turning!  To re-cover it seemed like the easiest choice, but no one knew how to sew in a zipper and to make an outside stitch wasn't appealing to me or anyone else.  Then, it was like the silent wheels in our heads stopped and one spoke up and asked, "What about ties?"  Perfect.  That'll do it.  Our beloved teacher was unable to attend last minute, so it was up to us to help each other in completing each project: a few square pillows, 1 tie throw pillow (my project), a duvet cover, and the most grueling?  Recovering a couch.  Yes.  You read that correctly.  One of us decided to take the plunge and wanted to re-cover an old couch.  Let's just say I'm glad I'm not giving you a tutorial post on how to make covers for your cushions.  (Now, just in case your wheels are turning concerning my friend's supply list, she did not lug the couch to Sewing Circle - she only brought two cushions for measuring.  Rest assure, we're ambitious ones, but still very much girls in the truest sense when it comes to carrying our supplies to class).

For my project, all you really need is a throw pillow, some fabric (about 1/2 - 1 yard, depending on the size of your pillow, of course) and some thread.  Easy, peasy!

How To:

1. Cut your fabric to cover your pillow - make sure you leave enough on the sides to make holes for your ties.  Then make a nice fold with the side you want showing together:

2.  Sew your seams.  They should look something like this: 

3.  Next, measure (mine were about 24" each in length) and sew your ties. This was a little bit more time consuming than I had anticipated.  But, totally worth it.  You may choose to leave them with a frayed look and that is totally acceptable.  It all depends on the "look" you're wanting with your pillow.  I desired a more polished throw, while others may want a more rugged, unfinished look - which I think could look just as great (and certainly way less time consuming)!

4.  Now, you're ready to stuff your pillow in your new lining to prep for the tie holes.  I took my trusty tape measure to see exactly where I wanted the holes.  I decided on two on each side for now, especially after sewing those pesky ties.
Then, I took my pins and used those as markers for where I wanted them. 

5.  I'm not proud of this moment - but I decided to make a small cut for each of the 4 holes.  I haven't conquered the world of button holes on my machine, but I will and I'm sure I'll fall in love with it.  But, until that day arrives, I settled for a simple, very unprofessional "half-moon-fold-material-together" kind of cut.  And, I think it worked out just fine.  Besides, no one can really see the unpolished holes because the ties are that adorable, don't you think?

6.  The last step is to put your ties through your holes and simply tie a knot or a bow - the choice is yours, my friend!  Clearly, my very outdated iPhone takes poorer pictures than my digital camera.  Lesson learned.


  1. Oh, I sooooooo want to do this with animal print fabric to some ugly pillows on the guest room bed. I guess I need to get a sewing machine first, right? Congratulations on a great job. The pillow looks wonderful!

    1. Yes - you definitely need to take the plunge and buy one soon! We can work on it together when I visit in July.