living room · pillows

Pillow Talk: A Mini Tutorial

I have fallen in love with pillows.

A few weeks ago, Mocha and Kingsley got together and destroyed our couch for the last time. No, not the new one, thank goodness. The old one. When it happened, I posted this photo on Instagram.

We tried to make the couch work for a little while longer. We just shoved the stuffing back into the couch cushions – they had only ripped it out through the back of the cushions – and fluffed them up over the mess of the shredded fabric on the frame. Technically, it looked fine, exactly like it did before. But, it was becoming habit. Every day, we would come home to another mess, stuffing all over the house. It was frustrating.

We are so not ready to buy a second new couch though. Solution? Pillows! We have one huge square pillow, a Christmas gift, that works perfectly on the back of the couch. In a quest for two more, we popped into HomeSense and discovered how expensive such pillows really are. I wanted three more, but after checking out the selection, I was wondering if we should just go out and pick up a second Klippan couch instead.

And then, we found two pillows on the clearance rack. They were slightly smaller that what I was hoping for, but I figured they would be ok if we managed to track down enough to pile the back high. The pillows were a great price – $10 and $11 – but, unfortunately, kind of hideous. Time to pull out my sewing machine.

Plaid, purple and fuzzy, and the other, the brown, yellow and grey one, the stitching was rough and falling out. Added to the pile of pillows that needed new covers, our three year old Ikea pillows were looking rough, chewed in the corners from Mocha’s puppy days, greying and faded from the years of being squished, thrown on the floor, slept on by dirty puppies.

I picked up a decent length – 2 yards – of fabric at Ikea.

Carefully ironed and laid out on my kitchen table. I removed the cover from the pillow, turned it inside out and laid it out on the fabric, making sure my edges were straight first. (Snip, then rip your fabric. It will rip easily, along a straight line.)

Using the original cover as a template, I cut a rectangle that was double the size of the cover. In other words, when my piece of fabric was folded in half, it was the same size as the cover. Then, I sewed the two edges! Folded in half so the patterned sides were together, I sewed the edges, leaving the end of the pillow open.

With the edges sewn, it looks like this, almost a pillowcase!

Next, comes the zipper. Trust me when I say a zipper is really not that hard. I painstakingly ripped the zipper out of my hideous purple pillowcase and pinned it to the open edge of my pillow.

Figuring out how it gets pinned is the most difficult part of this step. It needs to be pinned to the right side (the patterned side) of the fabric with the non-zippered part of the zipper against the edge. Does that make sense? Does the picture above help it to make sense?

Now, sew it into place! You will definitely want a zipper foot for this. The foot I use, that I’ve always thought was my zipper foot, works just fine but seems to be backwards.

And, voila. A finished pillow!

I still have a few more pillows to recover and source before I can actually consider our couch resurrected. At the moment, we’re just kind of making it work and ignoring the mess, but soon, perhaps, our living room will be back to its cozy self.

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