The thought of making a bolster pillow may seem daunting.
So much so that you might change your mind and settle for a square pillow instead.
And that’s such a shame!
Because if you’re looking for something different…a bolster pillow might be just thing for your next project.
As you can tell by the choice of fabric and trim this bolster is for a traditional home.
It resides in a master bedroom, where the lady of the house loves all things feminine and romantic.
Today I’m walking you through the details of this bolster…as well as a few frustrations I had along the way.
You’ll find all the in-depth, step-by-step instructions you’ll need with this Pillow Tutorial.
Various Measurements and Details
finished pillow – approx (you’ll see why later) 27″ long x 9″ diameter
damask fabric – 1 piece @ 17″ x 30″, 2 pieces @ 6″ x 30″, 2 circles @ 9″ in diameter
solid aqua – 2 pieces @ 7″ x 60″ to create 2 @ 3″ ruffles gathered to 30″ long each
trim – 2 yards
The 3 pieces of damask were sewn together to include the ruffles.
This damask fabric happens to be reversible.
I wanted to use the dark pattern with light background side.
Without realizing it, I sewed both ruffles to the wrong side of the fabric. Both of them!
After I ripped out the ruffles and re-attached them to the correct sides I top stitched each ruffle in place.
The finished width of my pillow cover was now 27″ wide.
The topstitching helped the seam allowance to lay flat while the trim was being attached.
The trim was then top stitched over the seam. You can always use fabric glue if you prefer but I’d rather sew trim whenever possible rather than using glue.
This way you know it’s going to stay put.
Bolster Pillow Insert
Like pillows, bolster forms are available with different fillings like poly-fil, feather or foam.
The average diameter ranges from 6″ to 9″ with the average lengths ranging from 15″ and up.
I work with a local foam manufacturer who will create whatever size I can dream up.
For this pillow I chose a 8″ x 28″ foam bolster wrapped in batting.
The finished diameter was closer to 9.5″.
The circumference was 29″.
If you recall, my pillow fabric was 30″ long (to go around the pillow). Close but okay.
Until I realized that attaching the trim had drawn up the fabric making it closer to 29.25″.
Not only that but the current width of the fabric was 27″…with a 28″ bolster form.
The bolster was too long and too plump.
You could say I have 2 strikes at this point.
Carving The Foam
I needed to shorten the bolster by 1.25″.
I carefully measured and placed blue painters tape 1.25″ from the edge all the way around.
And then I pulled out the oldest electric carving knife known to man…
and trimmed off the excess.
A this point in our story you’ll find I’m a bit bit shy of photos.
Let’s chalk it up to being too frustrated to take pics.
Knowing I was going to have a circumference issue I removed all the batting.
It was glued in place.
I took it all off.
I was a bit hasty.
the bolster looked like it had lost 20 lbs and wearing baggy clothes.
But not Out.
I re-wrapped the batting and hand stitched it back in place.
Just like it was supposed to.
I could breathe a lot easier.
And snap a few photos before delivering these lovelies to a very happy client.
Hopefully, today’s behind the scene details as well as a few mistakes to avoid will help the process of making a bolster pillow not seem as daunting as it might have before.
When you’re ready to make your own Ruffled Bolster Pillow – because they are so worth it! – you can find all the in-depth, step-by-step instructions you’ll need with this Pillow Tutorial.
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