Today’s tutorial is from another pillow grouping I made for Bobette. Two floral pillows with 1/4″ piping made from the same fabric and an adorable plaid pillow featuring a center fabric covered button and a pleated corner flange.
Recently I shared this same technique for a continuous pleated flange. In today’s post I’m sharing all the details for making this pillow with it’s pleated corners.
MATCHING PATTERNSOne of the most inessential details of sewing is matching the pattern of your fabric. It can be so easy to just jump in and cut the size you need without paying any attention to the pattern.
Take a moment to analyze the pattern to determine the best section for your pillow top and bottom.
The feather insert for this pillow was 25″x15″.
I centered the design both horizontally and vertically and cut both pieces, top and bottom, to match.
In this case I cut my fabric exactly 25″x15″.
I wanted the feather insert to be slightly snug within the pillow cover.
THE FLANGEThe next step was creating the flange.
Add up the 4 sides of your pillow. In this case 25+25+15+15=80″ x 3=240″. You probably won’t need quite this much but I figure it’s better to have too much than not enough.
Cutting my fabric on the bias (cutting fabric diagonally at a 45 degree angle) I cut several 3″ wide pieces and sewed them together to create only long continuos 3″ wide strip.
This 3″ strip was then folded in half lengthwise and ironed flat created a double 1.5″ strip.
Once sewn onto the pillow with a 1/2″ seam allowance it will create a 1″ flange.
Next determine how far around each corner you’d like the pleated ruffle to extend.
I change this up based on the size of the pillow. For a larger pillow I might use 6″. For a smaller pillow 3″.
In this case I’m marking each corner at 4″.
With raw edges together place flange several inches from the corner leaving a bit of extra length as you begin stitching. I started sewing at the pin.
Sew flat flange directly to the pillow top using a 1/2″ seam allowance.
When you reach the first pin set 4″ from the corner stop sewing.
At this point you will begin to make the pleated ruffle.
For this design I use a 1″ pleat. Each pleat is actually 1.5″ with a 1/2″ fold which creates a finished 1″ pleat.
I create these pleats by hand using a small ruler to measure each pleat.
At each corner I try to include a bit of extra fabric within that pleat to allow the pleat to lie flat around the corners and not want to draw in.
After completing the corner and reaching the next pin continue sewing the flat flange repeating the pleated corner detail at each corner until you reach your staring point
Back at the starting point, line up the two ends of the flange and cut them leaving enough for a 1/2″ seam.
Open flange ends placing right sides together and sew together.
Fold flange right sides out and pin in place.
Finish sewing the remaining flange in place.
The pillow top with pleated corner flange sewn in place.
Disclaimer: I am a self taught zipper installer. I’ve tried several different methods of sewing in zippers and this method has worked the best for me so here we go…
For this pillow I’m placing the zipper along one of the short 15″ sides.
Place zipper face down along the raw edge.
Unzip zipper, pin in place and stitch close to zipper teeth using a zipper foot.
Close zipper and match pillow back to pillow top over zipper.
Pin the second side of your zipper to the pillow back.
Above you can see the right side is the pillow top with the zipper already attached.
The left side is the pillow back with the zipper pinned in place.
Unzip zipper. And sew the second side of zipper to the pillow back. It’s best to use a zipper foot but if you look close you can see I’m using a regular foot. Sometimes I just don’t want to take the time to switch out the feet so if I can get away with it…I will.
This shows the zipper sewn to both sides.
You may be wondering about the extra zipper length. I’ll explain that below.
Pin pillow top to bottom keeping the pattern in mind and lining up any stripes that may be slightly off as you pin.
Begin sewing at the corner by the zipper opening. Sew pillow cover together using a 1/2″ seam allowance,
As you sew pay attention to the pleated ruffle to make sure the pleats are lying flat.
I prefer to double check this especially at each corner.
Once you’re sure the pleats are flat continue sewing pillow cover together.
When you come to the end by the zipper fold zipper together and stitch over it several times securing it in place.
Cut off excess zipper. Your extra stitches will insure the zipper will not come unzipped.
Trim all corners close to seam.
At this point I like to use a zigzag stitch to secure the raw edges. Especially if the fabric unravels easily.
Turn pillow cover right side out, insert pillow form and zip closed.
With every tutorial I seem to leave something out. This time it was the button.
The button was created by using a kit specifically created for covering buttons with fabric. These are available wherever sewing supplies are sold and very easy to make.
There are two buttons, one on each side, sewn together using a long needle and strong thread like upholstery thread.
I think this corner flange is such a cute detail and one of my favorites.
The zipper was totally unnecessary for this pillow but I kind of forgot about the button detail as I was sewing. Machine stitching or hand sewing the end closed would have worked fine but…oh, well! Bonus zipper tutorial!
Plaid fabric – Strada Red – fabricresource.com
Floral fabric – Ladbroke Circa Punch by P Kaufmann Fabric