Pieced Pastimes: Pleated Dropcloth Pillow Tutorial

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Pleated Dropcloth Pillow Tutorial

Pillows are such a simple way to refresh a room. I am replacing all our throw pillows with feather inserts so, it gave me the perfect excuse to create some new pillows.
For this pillow, I combined Dropcloth fabric with a pretty Blue and White Floral fabric.
A pleated accent and an inviting message in french make up this new design.

Supply List:
- 14 x 24 Pillow Form
- Iron-On Transfer Sheets
- *approx 1/8 yard Decorator Fabric - for the Pleat
- *approx 1 1/2 yards Main Fabric - I used 'Dropcloth' fabric for my pillow.

*Pre-wash and dry all fabrics to set the dyes and pre-shrink.

Cutting Instructions:
From the Main Fabric -
- Cut one 6" x 15" panel for the Pillow Front
- Cut one 15" x 20" panel for the Pillow Front
- Cut two 10 1/2" x 25" panels for the Pillow Back
From the Decorator Fabric -
- Cut one 4" x 44" strip for the Pleat

Pillow Construction:
Start with the pillow front:
Use your favorite iron-on transfer sheets. I like Lesley Riley's TAP brand. The final transferred image is soft with a matte finish (not stiff and shiny like some others).
Use a press cloth while ironing on the transfer. A Teflon Pressing Sheet is my preferred choice for Iron-On Transfers.
Choose your message and font. I chose the word **'Bienvenu' (the french word for 'Welcome') in a pretty scrolled font called 'Mutlu Ornamental' that I found on the Dafont site. Print text as a mirror image onto your transfer sheet. Center the transfer horizontally on the larger pillow front panel and closer to the pleated side vertically - this measurement depends on the size of your transfer.
**CORRECTION:  One of my smart readers alerted me that I misspelled 'Bienvenu' - it's correct spelling is 'Bienvenue" - the 'e' is applied when the word is used by itself and not part of a sentence.
My transfer measured 14 3/4" across, so I placed the image approx 1" from the pleated edge. Also,  I needed to print the transfer on two separate sheets because of the larger size.

Next up is the pleat:
There are many different types of pleats. I used a 'Knife Pleat' for this pillow. Begin by pressing your 4" x 44" strip in half the long way as shown.
Make a simple pressing guide by cutting a piece of cardstock 1 1/2" wide. Use this as a guide to fold over and press your pleat as shown by folding fabric 3" from last fold and press and repeat for the length of the strip.
Your final pressed pleat should measure approx 17" long.
Place scotch tape along the folded edge of your pressed pleat to temporarily hold together. Baste raw edges together using a 1/4" seam allowance. Remove scotch tape and trim pleat to 15" length.
Pin basted pleat (raw edges together) to right side of larger pillow front and stitch using a 1/4" seam allowance.
Pin the smaller pillow front to the larger pillow front with attached pleat, right sides together and stitch using a 1/2" seam allowance.
Press to set seam. Open and press the smaller pillow front with pleat to one side, using a press cloth to protect the transfer.
Topstitch 3/8" from the folded edge as shown.
The pillow top is now completed.

Now, onto the pillow back:
Hem the two pillow back panels. Using a 3/8" Bias Press Bar, fold the fabric over the bar and press. If you don't have Press Bars, you can make your own by cutting a strip of card stock (or a manilla file folder) 3/8" wide x approx 11". Fold the pressed fabric back over on itself and press again. Stitch the hem using a 3/8" seam allowance and press to set the seam.
Place a back pillow panel over the top half of the pillow front with right sides together. Place the other back pillow panel over the first panel as shown and pin. The finished hem edges should overlap to create an envelope style back. Stitch the pillow back to the pillow front using a 1/2" seam allowance. Stitch a zigzag stitch to the inner seam to prevent fraying.
Turn Pillow Cover right side out and place pillow form inside. The envelope style back makes it so easy to remove and replace the pillow cover.
The newly completed pillow awaits the arrival of some others that I am working on and will post about soon.
It's the little things that make me happy.  Changing out my pillows always brings a smile to my face.
I hope this post inspires you to create some new pillows for your home.

PS - Have you linked up to Saturday Sparks yet? The party is open till Friday. Hope to see you there.

Linking up to the following parties:


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18 comments:

  1. Love it! My first attempt at recovering a throw pillow was a complete disaster. Now I'm motivated to try it again. :)

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  2. That's so pretty with the pleats peeking out.

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  3. Such a lovely pillow. I have been sewing since I was 12....so that would be close to 40 years and never thought pleats could be as easy to do. Thanks so much for the tutorial....now to find that dropcloth;-)
    blessings, jill

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  4. Just beautiful! Love the ruffles and wording. :)
    kelly

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  5. This is really great! I am currently looking for great pillow ideas for my living room, I think I'll give this one a shot! Visiting from Sew Chatty Linkup!

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  6. What a pretty pillow & love the accent fabric you used! I've made a few, but never added pleats.

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  7. Great tutorial, love the blue. I would love for you to link this up to my Inspire Me party that is ongoing. http://www.astrollthrulife.net/2013/05/165th-inspire-me-tuesday.html
    Hugs, Marty

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  8. That is a really pretty pillow and a great tutorial. I love that TAP transfer paper too.

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  9. this is absolutely gorgeous ! I WANT ONE!

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  10. Another gorgeous pillow from you! Love this one. Thanks for linking up! Hope to see more from you on the next party.

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  11. You make it look so easy! You may have given me a new hobby!

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  12. Absolutely beautiful!! Love the ruffle of fabric!

    Thanks for linking up at The DIY Dreamer last week! Can't wait to see what you link up tomorrow evening!

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  13. Love this so beautiful! Would love it if you came by One More Time and share it http://www.onemoretimeevents.com/2013/05/share-it-one-more-time-features-and_26.html
    Hope you can make it... if not this week I host every Sunday...Hope you can make it some time.
    Tammy

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  14. Gorgeous pillow! Love it! :)

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  15. You really did a wonderful job. I will be featuring this tonight at my Swing into Spring party that opens at 8pm EST. Please stop by and pick up an I've Been Featured button. Thanks. http://diybydesign.blogspot.com

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  16. Hi... just stopping by to let you know you have been featured at One More Time Events. Thank you for sharing and hope you can make it again this week http://www.onemoretimeevents.com/2013/06/share-it-one-more-timefeatures-and-party.html
    Tammy

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  17. Thank you for such a detailed tutorial of your lovely project. The pillow is really great and I hope I can figure out pleats... that's something I usually avoid :) I can't wait to attempt transfers!

    Blessings, Dana

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  18. thank you for sharing love pillows and will be making these

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I love reading each and every comment and welcome any questions or feedback you may have.

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