Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Outdoor Pillows from Napkins

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Remember the porch inspiration board we shared with you a couple of months ago.  Well a lot has happened!  The makeover is almost complete - we've found a table, chairs and buffet for the porch.  The only thing left to do is accessorize! 
 
 Here's the inspiration board:

All of the furniture consists of neutral browns and grays so we need to add tons of color to the space.  We found some awesome lime green chair cushions at Garden Ridge so the only sewing projects left are pillows.

Pillows can be made with three different types of closures - slip stitched, envelope and zipper.  I've never attempted a zipper closure (it's a little intimidating) but I have tried slip stitched and envelope.  Today I'm going to show you how to do the envelope closure.

Remember the outdoor pillows I made last year!  These are made with a slip stitch closure.  I still love them and I can't wait to show you how they look in my new house but you'll have to wait a little longer for pics of that - I'm still moving in. 


Are you ready to learn how to make envelope closure pillows?  I am I am!

The first step to this sewing project and any sewing project is to buy your fabric!  We found the perfect fabric for the pillows at World Market - they're actually cloth napkins!!  We wanted 18in x 18in pillows and these napkins are 20in x 20in which is perfect!   We bought 4 napkins with the bold print and 8 solid orange napkins.  With a 20% off coupons these napkins cost less than $15 - AWESOME! 

Using cloth napkins for pillows is a great tip!  If you need pillows larger than the standard napkin size of 20x20in you can take the hem out.  All you have to do is pull out the hem with your seam ripper.  Most sewing machines come with a seam ripper but if you need one you can always find one at your local fabric store for a couple of bucks.  By pulling out the hem the napkins grew to 22x22in

Once you're fabric is ready it's time to measure and cut out your pieces.  I like to use a wood yard stick and pencil to measure and mark my fabric.  The best thing to use to mark your fabric is chalk though since it rubs off when you're done.  You'll also want to get a good pair of sewing scissors to cut out the fabric.  Make sure you only use these scissors to cut fabric - don't let your little ones get a hold of them and cut paper...it will dull the blade.

 Here is my cut list for the fabric.  My pillow inserts are 18x18in so this creates a tight fit which I like.  It makes the pillows look full and plush.

The first sewing step starts with the envelope closure.  You want a clean hemmed seam where the closure meets.  A great thing about using napkins is this seam was already done for us.  But if you are not using napkins that already have a perfect seam you will need to sew one.  Just fold over the raw fabric twice, iron flat, and sew along the dotted line.


Once you're fabric is cut & the closure is hemmed, it is time to sew everything together.  First you will want to pin everything together - this will make it a lot easier when you sew it.  Here's a diagram of how all three pieces of fabric lay on each other.  The 18x18in square will lay on the bottom print side up (towards you).  Then you will lay the 18x9in piece on top of that print side down.  Then the 18x12in piece goes on top of that print side down.  If you do it in this order the envelope closure will be in the center of the back of the pillow.




Now it's time to run the fabric through the sewing machine.  Since we are doing the envelope closure you can sew all four sides completely shut.  Line up the sewing machine foot with the edge of the fabric when you sew the pillow shut - this will create a 1/4in to 1/2in in seam on each side.

Once you have sewn all four sides it's time to flip the fabric right side out.  To get the corners out use a  pencil or wood spoon - just poke it in the corners.

Now it's time to put your pillow inserts in.  I got these inserts from my local fabric store.  They were only $8 each with my 40% off coupon.

Since these pillows are going outside the last step to this project is scotch guarding.  This will protect the fabric from the weather.  I highly recommend scotch guard for any fabric you put outside or fabric that is in high traffic 
 areas. 

 Are ready to see how the pillows turned out?!?!  This is always my favorite part of the project...the reveal!

Here's the back with our symmetrical envelope closure (yep...I love symmetry - it helps me sleep at night).
I  am so in love with these pillows!! They add so much color to the porch! 

What do you think?  Do you love them too?


Let's us know if you try this tutorial.  
We would love to see how it turns out!!




 
 
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