Thursday 18 August 2011

Guest Post- Pillow Tutorial from Barbara @ hodgepodge

Since, I got my new sewing machine I have been eager to start making pillows and what better way to learn how to make pillows than from a pro. Barbara from hodgepodge has so kindly written up a step-by-step tutorial for making a pillow. Thank you so much Barbara! You're the best!
Here it goes!

A huge thanks to Beatrice for inviting me to share a pillow tutorial here at The Crafty Bee.  Beatrice is a DIY diva, puts me to shame!

Recently she acquired a sewing machine and wants to try her hand at sewing. What better way that to sew a fabulous accent pillow!

I had a fabulous high school sewing teacher who taught me all I know. I always say to anyone who is discouraged and intimidating by sewing, "If you can sew a straight line, you can sew." All it takes is patience, time and a good iron. Why a good iron? Using an iron throughout makes your project look crisp and professional.

Now onto sewing a pillow....

The key to a good pillow is to pick the right fabric. Make sure you use a good upholstery weight fabric or heavy cotton. This will ensure a nice crisp pillow.

Materials needed:

Coordinating thread
Pillow insert {I like to use down, the best deal in town is Ikea - $6!}
Sewing machine


1. Measure your pillow insert. For front side of the pillow add 1" to both sides. This will allow for a half inch seam allowance. For the back side you will cut two pieces that will create the envelope back enclosure. For the width, add 1". For the height, add 4". 

2. You will now iron and sew a hem on the wide edge of the two pieces. Fold over 1/2", then another 1" to create a hem,  this will be where they overlap to create an opening.

3. Overlap and pin the two hemmed edges as shown in picture.

4. You can either stitch the edges of the enclosure to create an opening OR if you want the Sarah Richardson look you can sew buttons and buttonholes to keep the enclosures closed.

5. Buttons and buttonhole option:

Measure where you want your buttons to lay. I used three buttons. A rule I learned in my short stint at fashion design school was odd numbers look best to the eye.

6. Sew the buttonholes, on one piece along the hemmed edge. Snip open.

7. Sew buttons on other hemmed edge, lining up with the buttonholes.

8. Mark and stitch the opening of the back.

9. Lay the front and back pieces, right sides together, matching corners. Pin and stitch along all four sides. I then trim the corners and zigzag the edges of the seams.

10. Turn right side out and iron to give a nice crisp edge.

11. Insert pillow and then voila!

Hope you will try to make one for yourself!

Thanks Beatrice for letting me share my how-to!
If you have any questions about this tutorial, feel free to email me:

XO Barbara


  1. Great tutorial - LOVE that fabric!

  2. Thanks for having me her today Beatrice! Good luck sewing :)

  3. Thank you so much Barbara! I will definitely be sewing some pillows this weekend.

  4. I really, really just need to break out the sewing machine I borrowed several months ago and get over my fear and try this. Thank you for the very basic, simple, easy-to-follow tutorial!



Thank you so much for your comments! You've made my day!


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