Monday, January 28, 2013

Ruffled Pillow Tutorial

During the winter months, the urge to get into the sewing room takes over. This 'Ruffled Pillow' came about on a cold and blustery day here in New Hampshire. 

Supply List:
- 12 x 16 Pillow Form
- approx 1 1/2 yards fabric - I used 'Drop Cloth' fabric for my pillow
- Buttons 

Cutting Instructions:
- Cut one 13" X 17" panel for the Pillow Front
- Cut two 12" X 13" panels for the Pillow Back
- Cut two 6" x 32" strips for the Ruffles*
- Cut two 1 1/2" x 17" strips for the Binding 
* I used 'Drop Cloth' fabric which is fairly heavyweight and found the 32" length on the ruffle worked out nicely. If you are using a lighter weight fabric, cut the two ruffles strips 6" X 51".

Sewing Instructions:
Begin by hemming the two Ruffle strips along one of the 32" long sides. 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".
Now, fold the pressed fabric back over on itself and press again.
Stitch the hem using a 3/8" seam allowance.
Press the hems to set the seams.
Hem the short end of the ruffle strips in the same way.
There are many methods to ruffle fabric. This is a simple method that works out nicely. Mark the center of each of the two ruffle strips along the unfinished edge.
Using your machines longest stitch length (mine is a 6), sew a row of stitching using a 1/4" seam allowance. Sew another row approx 1/4" from the first line of stitching.
Hold the two back thread tails and pull the fabric to gather the ruffle to the center mark. Repeat from other end.
Measure gathered edge and evenly distribute the ruffles to a 16" length.
Using a water soluble marker (or chalk), mark a line up 5 1/2" from the 17" edge. Mark another line 2 1/2" from that line.
Pin one of your gathered ruffles to the first marked line, starting and ending 5/8" away from Pillow Front edges.
Using a 3/8" seam allowance, stitch the ruffle onto the Pillow Front.
Create the Binding by pressing a 3/8" hem along the two long edges of the binding stips. Place pressed binding over the raw ruffled edge and edge stitch on both sides.
The binding adds a nice decorative detail.
Add the second ruffle to the next marked line in the same manner.
Decide on your button placement and stitch buttons in place.
For the Pillow Back, hem one 13" edge on each of the panels.
With right sides up, place the two Pillow Back panels to a measurement of 13"X 17". The finished hem edges should overlap to create an envelope style back.
Pin the ruffles away from the edges to prevent them from getting accidentally sewn into the seams.
Pin the Pillow Front to the Pillow Backs.
Stitch together 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. My favorite thing about the envelope style back is the ease of replacing the cover.
Now, sit back and relax with your new 'Ruffled Pillow'.
I hope that you find this tutorial helpful and I would love to know if it inspires you to make one of your own. 

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  1. Thanks for the wonderful tutorial,it is a really cool pillow.Hugs,Jen

  2. This is so cute! I just made pillows but just did the simple no fuss version. I love the fabric you chose and the buttons. I am pinning this to try next time!

  3. This is so lovely and well done! Thanks for the tutorial. I think it would make a great pillow for my bed and I love the drop cloth you used. Found you via Tutorials and Tips.

  4. Bookmarked to try down the line, yes, absolutely!!! yours is lovely!

  5. What a gorgeous pillow and a perfect sewing have I not know about a bias press bar!!! Oh my sewing life could have been so much easier after all these years! I love this. Please come and link up to centerpiece Wed and share this post. Karin

  6. I love this pillow! It's feminine, but not too girly!

  7. Will you make me one? Or where can I get one? I love it!

  8. Lovely! Love the ruffles... of course! Now I need to find the time to make one, too! I have the pillow form just waiting for me.

  9. This is just darling! thanks for the detailed instructions - lots of great info here!

  10. Your pillow is adorable!! It's a great style that could go anywhere.
    Mary Alice

  11. Hi, Suzanne

    I love this tutorial. It's so easy to follow and I can't wait to try it out. Thank you for sharing and I am a new follower. Thanks for stopping by DIY 180 yesterday. Have a lovely weekend.


  12. This is so flippin cute! I love it!!! You did a great job! Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier!

    Jenna @

  13. Oh, I love this! I've made several pillows with drop cloth and they have held up beautifully. The ruffle and buttons on yours make it so charming. I can't wait to make something similar for my home!

  14. Loved this - looks wonderful. Just Pinned it!

  15. Oh I am bookmarking this darling little pillow! Love the romantic touches!

  16. That pillow is adorable! I really appreciate the comprehensive tutorial, too. I think I need one of these in our family room.

  17. Very pretty pillow. I am featuring this at

  18. Oh I love this pillow! It's such a perfect blend of feminine and masculine. I'd love it if you linked this to my new linky party, "What We've Accomplished Wednesdays." It went live at 6:00 p.m. eastern time tonight.

    Have a great weekend!

  19. This is so pretty! And a great tutorial - I just did a drop cloth wreath that would go with this perfectly!
    Your newest follower - ( would love to have you come by and follow back when you have the time :)

  20. Beautiful job and pretty pillow too! Thanks for the tips, especially the press bar tip. I am definitely going to give that a try. ~Kristie

  21. I just made this tonight. Great instructions.
    Carol C

    1. Hi Carol C - Glad to know that my tutorial was helpful. Would love to see a picture of your pillow.

  22. I made this pillow and it is so cute. You are a wonderful teacher!

    1. Hi Tammy - Happy to hear this! Would love to see a picture of your completed pillow.

  23. Ok, this is absolutely gorgeous! If you get a chance, please share this on my linky party:

  24. I just completed this adorable little pillow! I'd love to send you a picture of it, but I'm not sure how to do that. I'm new to blogs, I found you through pinterest. :) Let me know how and I'll be sure to do that!

    1. Hi Krystal - Glad to know that my tutorial inspired you to make one for yourself and I would love to see it. I would have answered you personally, but your account is set up as a 'no-reply commenter'. I would suggest you start a new board for your personal projects on Pinterest and upload a photo of your pillow onto that board. Let me know what your user name is and I will check it out.

  25. Your tutorial for this pillow cover is excellent. I'm a sewer but when trying new things I like to have some guidance to fall back on. I tend to get into too much of a hurry when I'm sewing and see by your tutorial I'll need to take my time to do this cover justice. I make pillow covers all the timesince I get tired of what I have or see new ideas on blog land so have to go in to my little sewing room to scrounge for fabric and get busy with what I saw. I'll make something with what I have first to see if I want to commit to buying new fabric to make it, makes it a good trial run for me. I taught myself how to make the envelope style pillow cover years ago, not that it's all that difficult, lol.
    I've pinned this pillow cover and will make it when I get a new paint cloth, used up what I had. At least we have a new True Value just few miles away I can get one. When they opened that was one of first things I looked for for future reference. I love look of paint cloth for many projects.
    Think I need to subscribe to your blog, love many things I've seen already. Wishing you Happy New Year.
    I loved photos of your land, so beautiful. I've only been in New Hampshire one time on truck run with hubs some time ago. I got to see New England which I'd wanted to for years.

  26. This is beautiful! Thanks for linking it to the CSI Project. I am going to feature it on the FB page. I would also love for you to be a guest judge sometime so email me if you are inetrested. I am looking for new judges.
    The CSI Girl

  27. Hi there

    I found your tutorial a couple of days ago and couldn't wait to give it a whirl. Yesterday I made the cushion pad out of an old shirt and some off cuts of foam from a recent upholstery project - trying to be thrifty you see. Then this afternoon out came some fabric that my friend gave me after we shortened her brand new cushions, and following your VERY comprehensive instructions I produced a beautiful cover, using three old buttons from my button tin. I'm thrilled with the finished product and am even more chuffed because the whole project cost me absolutely NOTHING but my time! Thank you SO much for sharing your pattern and instructions, this really is a very simple project if you just follow your tutorial step by step.

    Warm regards

    Judi in the UK


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