With the left over fabric from my curtains, I made two throw pillows. They were a smidge harder to make than my curtains, but that’s because I’ve never tackled a pillow sham with flanges. With help from a Sew4Home tutorial and a little patience, I made these two 17 x 17 inch critter pillows in a day or so. And now you can too with my tutorial. I’d still recommend reading over the instructions from Sew4Home, but my pillows and tutorial are a little more basic than what you’ll see over there. I’ll start my tutorial with the elephant pillow because it’s simpler than the camel pillow.
Step One: Gather your supplies
- 2 – 18 x 12 inch pieces for the back
- 1 – 18 x 18 inch piece for the front. If you’re making a pillow with a critter on it, double and triple check before cutting your fabric to make sure your critter is centered..this part will test your patience. But remember: patience is a virtue!
Step Two: Prepare the hem of the back panels. For each back piece, fold down the longer side by 1/2 inches and iron. Fold down again by another 1/2 inch, iron and sew across.
Step Three: After you finish sewing the hems for both back pieces, lay one piece right side down and lay the other piece right side down on top. Using a ruler, arrange the pieces so they’re exactly 18 inches apart
Pin and sew from one edge of the hem to the other edge on either side:
Sewing along here helps to keep the two pieces in place to ensure a straight hem and back opening for your pillow.
Step Four: Place your back piece right side facing up on your working surface (mine happens to be the floor). Arrange your front piece right side down on top of the back piece. Pin and place and sew 1/2 inch seam all the way around.
Step Five: Before turning your work inside out, snip the four corners being careful not to snip off what you just sewed:
Step Six: Turn your work inside out and iron flat.
Step Seven: I don’t have a picture of this step, but now is the time to make your flange. Sew a 1 and 1/2 inch seam all the way around your pillow, and you’re finished!
Now it’s time to make the second pillow. I would have made the camel pillow the same way as my elephant one, but I didn’t have enough fabric, so I solved that problem by adding a separate flange. It’s a little trickier, but it was worth the extra time and possible frustration.
Step One: Gather your supplies
- 2 – 16 x 10 inch pieces for the back
- 1 – 16 x 16 inch piece for the front. Again, f you’re making a pillow with a critter on it, double and triple check before cutting your fabric to make sure your critter is centered.
- 4 – 18.5 x 4 inch pieces for the flange
Step Two: Repeat steps two and three from the elephant pillow tutorial
Step Three: Prepare your flange by ironing each piece in half lengthwise
Open each piece up and fold each corner down towards the middle crease and iron to create a 45 degree angle:
Open each piece up again and cut along the angled crease:
Step Four: Arrange the flange pieces in a square like so:
Step Five: Now you’re going to sew the corners together. Starting with the top right corners, arrange the corners with right sides facing and mark a dot a 1/2 inch from each point:
Here’s another photo just in case:
Step Six: Starting with the dot closed to my red pin, sew from point to point.
Step Seven: Repeat steps five and six for the other three corners. Make sure you don’t twist your work up. I would recommend sewing the corners clockwise from top right to bottom right to bottom left to top left.
Step Eight: Snip the four corners being careful not to snip off what you just sewed:Step Nine: Before turning your work right side out, pull apart the corners so that the seam you just sewed is centered:
Step Ten: Now turn your work right side out and gently push the corners to form a point. Iron flat:
Step Eleven: Here comes the tricky part. I would definitely recommend reading over Sew4Home’s tutorial because it may be a littler easier to see. Place your flange on top of your front piece:
Step Twelve: Starting with the corners, pin the flange to the front piece with right sides together. This means you’ll have to flip the flange over towards the center of your pillow. You want each corner seam of the flange to align with each corresponding corner of the front piece. The goal is to create a pleat in each corner to make sewing around the corners easier. After you’ve pinned the corners in place, pin the sides of the flange to the front piece:
Step Thirteen: Sew around your pillow with a 1/2 inch seam. For the corners, sew along until you get to the seam of the flange corner, stop, put your needle down, pivot your work and continue sewing along the next edge. The goal here is to create a right angle.
Step Fourteen: The hard part is over! Remove all the pins except for the pins keeping the flange corners in place. You want to make sure the flange corners are out of the way while you put together your pillow sham.
Step Fifteen: Place your back piece, right side facing you, on your work space. Place your front piece, wrong side facing you, on top of the back piece so that right sides are facing each other. Sew along the same seam you just sewed to attach your flange to the front:
My back piece looks too large because I didn’t cut it to the right size when I started. I just trimmed the excess off and sewed around the edges.
Step Sixteen: Turn your work right side out and stuff!
The second pillow wasn’t a terrible experience, but it was definitely more complicated than my first one. I’m just pleased as punch with my results, and now it’s your turn!