Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Forgiving Sew Projects: Ruffled Round Throw Pillow

I have seen a few similar tutorials online about ruffling but not much dealing with the "knife-edge" type pillow (as opposed to one that is more disk shaped).  Here, using leftover fabric from my duvet cover, I make a simple, round, ruffled, throw pillow.  The ruffling is what makes it so forgiving of messed up measurements, crooked sewing, and other gaffs.

We start with two strips of fabric of equal length and width (I am going to rip off the hemmed edge on the piece shown here).  The dimensions of the strips depend on the dimensions of the pillow. I would recommend doubling the circumference for the length and having the radius plus 2 inches for the width.  Making the strip shorter means you will have fewer/shallower ruffles.  Making the strips narrower means you will have to have a larger center piece.

Pin the right sides of your two strips together along one long edge and stitch using your machines normal settings.  Then, pin the right sides of your newly formed strip together and stitch, forming a big tube of fabric.

Set your machine for a basting stitch (longest stitch length, smallest thread tension) and baste along both edges of the tube.  Make sure to baste far enough from the edge that the fabric won't fray when you pull on the threads, but close enough that you can effectively cover the bastes in your finishing steps (I had to rip mine out!).  It will be easiest to do the ruffle if you don't anchor these stitches so you can ruffle from both sides.  Be sure to leave at least 6in of thread on either side of the stitching so you have something to  hold onto when ruffling.

Starting on one side of the tube, pulling the bobbin thread (the one that was on the bottom when you did your stitching), start ruffling.  Pull the bobbin thread a bit, wind it around something to keep the fabric from ungathering, and distribute the ruffles uniformly around the tube. Keep going until you have as many ruffles as you desire.  Then tie the two bobbin threads together to keep the ruffles in place.  Insert your pillow form and repeat for the other side.

Decide on something to finish the medallion with.  You could make a rosette (there are a bunch of tutorials online), sew on a button, or many other things.  I chose to just have a round piece of fabric (mostly because I didn't have much leftover fabric to work with and I couldn't make the strips wide enough that they would meet in the middle of the pillow!).  Choose an appropriate circular form.  This bowl covered the area I wanted covered (more or less, I actually moved the basting later because I put it too close to the edge of the fabric), so I traced two circles from it (one for each side of the pillow) and cut them out.

Before you do any finishing, be sure to position your pleats/ruffles where you will permanently want them because your finishing stitches may anchor them in place.
Now blind stitch your circles onto the face of you pillows (by hand) and you are done!


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