Tuesday, December 6

on the 4th day of joyfulness...

dottie angel shared with me
a perfectly patched and pieced pillow-cover
(skill level : medium peasy 
but could be easy peasy if you go for the tres basic version)

i do like myself a new pillow cover however its an odd thing, cos here they call it a pillow and over the pond a cushion, i have often found this particular difference in our language a tricky one, do i say pillow or do i say cushion? for the purpose of today though, we will have to go with pillow because it goes nicely with 'perfectly patched and pieced' and i do like a bit of 'nicely'.

envelope back pillow-covers are by far the easiest way of making a cover i believe and if you make it out of one long piece of patched fabric, even more so. you could make this little 'how-to' even more easy peasy, by using one fabric, forgetting about the buttons and loops and literally cut to shape, sew up two sides and voila! it also might be a little noticeable that i have not used obvious 'gleeful' colours, for the very reason i wished to enjoy my new pillow-cover for longer than a few weeks. you could however choose some smashing gleeful fabrics and even go so far as to applique a bit of 'JOY' across the front. i shall leave that entirely up to you.

and just a note, i work in inches, i know that is not the norm for most, so just do what you need to do in cms and ignore my inches.

* fabrics of spiffiness, 
my fabrics are a mixture of a vintage table runner, a bottom i chopped of an old ikea blind i had customized once, a lovely bit of liberty (red floral) from my fabby friend Rachelle, of which has been the bases for all my gleeful fabric choices this year, a rather nice laura ashley number and a rather nice black floral one with  a spriggy design which reminds me of the frocks i wore in the early 80's. recently i have been attracted to fabrics with black backgrounds and as these are thin on the ground in the vintage department i have gone shopping here

* one pillow insert (cushion pad) of the size you wish to make
* a trusty machine and thread
* a trusty iron and board
* a button or two
* pins and scissors
* something to make little button loops with
* piece of paper and pencil for scribbling notes if need be

1. measure your pillow insert, you will need to make a piece of fabric which measures the same height as your pillow, plus 1 inch for seam allowance and then a bit more than 2 and a half times the width of your pillow. write down your measurements less you forget. this is where you can just cut one large piece of fabric or gather together a few favorites and start cutting strips of different widths and stitch together. be sure to press the seams nicely.

you may also wish to have a little think about the position of your fabrics as to when they are wrapped around your pillow insert, basically thinking about where the blocks of fabrics will lay, for want of a better way of saying it.

2. when you have made the correct sized rectangle of fabric for your pillow insert, press and fold in the two short ends and pin. stitch in place with your trusty sewing machine. if you are wishing to add buttons to your finished cover, now is a grand time to add loops. cut the correct length of your loopy bit to fit your button, pin and stitch in place as you hem the shorter ends

3. lay your fabric right side facing up. take one end and fold towards the center of your rectangle, going past the center point. if you have loops, you will need to fold this piece inwards first. then bring over the other end and fold on top. with a tape measure you will need to check you have the exact width of your pillow insert. if it is too small or too wide, then readjust your fabric accordingly. if happy, then pin in place along the top and bottom raw edges and stitch leaving an half inch seam allowance. you may wish to go back over the raw edges with zig zag stitch, but you do not have to.

4. carefully snip your corners before turning right sides out. press with your trusty iron and then attach your button or buttons in the right place for your loops

5. place your pillow insert in your new perfectly 'patched and pieced' pillow-cover and do a bit of plumping

6. find a most fitting place for it to feel at home, make a cup of tea, find another seat opposite your spiffy pillow, sit down and admire your bit of handcrafted goodness

my lovely bit of liberty red floral fabric from my fabby friend Rachelle and a desire to use it in a pillow cover

she is thinking thursday would be a jolly good day for day 5 of joyfulness ~ Tif


Unknown said...

I have to add my two cents. I call it a pillow if it is on my bed and a cushion if it is on my couch/chair. Weird but that is how I differentiate between the two.

I have been looking forward to every post. Love the series.

Candy Pop said...


You are amazing!


Jill said...

I just wanted to pop over from my reader to tell you how much I'm enjoying your days of joyfulness! I'm even looking forward to each new post. Thanks so much!

Andrea said...

i just have to say I am really enjoying your days of Christmas feature and the projects you have featured... whilst I haven't made anything yet, the ideas are accumulating nicely in my head and my stash of fabric is growing larger by the day. I like your style very much and I'm looking forward to trying this pillow project...

Oooh Betty said...

Oh my!
How does one cope with the back of a cushion being as pretty as the front??
I feel that I would defo feel the need to cushion flip on a regular basis. Is this acceptable cushion (pillow) conduct

found and sewn said...

I love your new pillow case..beautiful fabrics x

Evelyn said...

it's soooooooo beautiful!!!

espenavarro said...

Me gusta mucho, sigo esperando a mañana que nos traerás!!

Carol said...

Pillow or cushion....cushion of pillow....... whichever it is, it's brilliantly beautiful.
Cor Tif, you are zooming along, fantastic tutorials, what a great Christmas present for all your blog followers.
Thank you.
Carol xx

Megan said...

dear dottie angel -
I just love your happy advent crafty posts! I have made pillow covers in the past, but this is a genious way to do it . .. I feel very inspired.
Thank you for adding JOY to my advent!

cafenoHut said...

This is so cute, When I see your nice works I want to sew something as soon as possible:)

Donna -Little Tiny Stitches said...

You have just made this pillow tutorial so easy-peasy Tif, it's un-real :o) :o) :o)

You really should bring out a 'how to' book next, you know that don't you? :o)

'How to...' -the Dottie Angel Way'
Hmmm, I think that sounds way cool :o)

Have a lovely day my dear, and Thankyou for the lovely show n tell. I really do admire your fabrics :o)

Take care my lovely lady.
Donna xx

at-the-attic said...


greenrabbitdesigns said...

I love those fabrics!!! :)

Aunt Jane's Attic said...

Stunning, what lovely colours, just want to sink into it xxxx

Andrea said...

This is by far the easiest way I have ever seen to make a pillow cover. Making one long rectangle first makes a whole lot of sense! Thanks so much!

Zara said...

This pillow/cushion looks great, love the combination of florals and lace.
I've not made a cushion with buttons, not being sure about button holes but this is a fantastic idea making a loop instead of a hole.

Patricia said...

Hello Dottie, I love your new cushion, and especially the buttons.

Here in Australia, it is called a cushion if used in lounge/family room hence called a cushion-cover.
A pillow is used on the bed, so then called a pillow-case.

Yes!! very intriguing the little differences.

Penny said...

Absolutely beautiful, simple and gorgeous! Thank you xox

Lotti said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous pillow cover and I love the loops and especially the buttons. Oh those buttons are just so beautiful. That pillow cover looks so easy, even I could do that.

Miss Holly said...

this is a gorgeous cushion! I absolutely love your fabric and button choices!! thank you for the lovely lesson!!

Gooseberry Jam said...

Hi Tif, loving your creations, I have been hunting op shops near and far to build up my doily stash, I have a few dotti projects I'm looking forward to creating when time permits....
I love the idea of the button loops, I'm not a button hole person so Ill be trying this one out in the future... Happy Festive Season... :)

dottie angel said...

many thanks my dearies!
yes that is what i grew up thinking, a cushion was in the lounge and a pillow was what i slept on in bed. but i have found that not to be the case here, perhaps i have just got myself all of a muddle, but that is some times what happens when you are bi-lingual :)

A-L said...

Just wonderfully sweet!

Rachelle Blondel said...

How lovely does that Liberty print look on your CUSHION....;) I do believe another triumph in the mossy shed my dear rxxx

Pieni Lintu said...

You have such a lovely blog ♥

Please, can you add a readers box so I can find my way back here via my Blogger dashboard!!!!!!

This cushion is so perfect! :)

Unbuttoned said...

Very pretty! Where did you find such gorgeous buttons!?

Anonymous said...

I've never thought to do the buttons like that - what a brilliant idea! I have never mastered the art of button hole-ing, so this idea has me wiggling in my seat!

Andrea said...

Hi there, new to your great blog and just LOVE your pillow! Thanks for sharing the "recipe" its now on my list!(close to the top of list, its kinda a long list)

Unknown said...

your new projects are just lovely and so nicely taught. many moons of twirling thank you's.

Lisa O'Gram said...

I love these fabrics and the way you have used them. Often when I have my hands on lush fabrics I get a blank in my head as to what to do with them but there's the thought that you can never have too many cushions/pillows;).... Thanks so mush for sharing your ideas. You have a truly wonderful blog xx

dottie angel said...

many thanks again my dearies, glad you are enjoying the 12 days of joyfulness :)

Pieni Lintu, i do believe you can just follow me in your blogger dashboard by pressing a button and it is added to a list there. that is how i follow my brother's blog :)

the buttons i found on etsy, i googled 'painted flower buttons' and lots of lovelies popped up!! yesterday i lost my evening by googling 'painted flower decals' and the delights that popped up had me glued to my screen for quite the while :)

Simone said...

A wonderfully plumptious pillow!