Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Cinch of a Pillow Tutorial

I made another pillow!!! I saw this pillow at Anthropologie this summer and loved the shape of it.  This weekend I had a burst of inspiration and I knew how I was going to copy it with my own twist, and here it is.

It looks so nice on my bed, which is in desperate need of some decoration.

Want to make one too?? This is how I did it.

I started with a pillow form (measuring 19" X 12") that I made by folding one of our old deflated twin bed pillows in half and zig zagging around the sides to keep it folded.

For the main body I cut...
  • Two 19" X 12" pieces out of muslin for lining
  • Two  19" X 17" pieces out of my main fabric
For the center wrap...
  • Two strips of corduroy 6 1/2" X 11"
  • One strip of center fabric 5" X 24"
  • One strip of muslin 5" X 24"
  • Batting 5"x 24"
  • You'll also need an invisible zipper

To make the main body I ran gathering stitches along the sides and the center of each piece of main fabric and gathered it to match the size of the muslin lining.  Then I ironed the gathers down gently.

Then I basted the main fabric to the muslin lining to secure all those ruffles.

For the Center Wrap I serged  the edges of the corduroy pieces to prevent them from fraying and folded them over 1/2 inch. 

 Then I took the the center wrap fabric, the muslin, and the batting and sewed them down the long sides with about a 1/4 " seam allowance.

Then trimmed off the batting close to the seam, turned it inside out, and pressed it.

Next, I quilted down the center of the strip, stitching about an inch apart.
Then I cut the long strip into two 11" lengths and it's ready to applique to the main pillow.

Complete the pillow... To achieve the "cinched" center look on the finished pillow I determined where I wanted the center wrap to lie on the main body and ran gathering stitches just inside where the wrap would sit. It gathered it up just slightly to match the 11 inch length of the center wrap.  Here's what it looks like from the back.  I liked mine off-centered, but the Anthropologie pillow was cinched in the center which is a great look too.

 Then I just stitched down the center wrap pieces where I wanted them, making sure I made each side the same.

 Want to see it up close?

 To finish off the pillow I put in an invisible zipper on one of the short sides and sewed up the rest of the sides.  Here's a great tutorial from Sew Katie Did to put the zipper in and finish it off.

And there you have it. I love that I was able to shop my house and create such a beautiful thing. I have a few more pillows to rip apart and give new life to.  I hope I get to them soon.  My bed really needs it.


  1. Awesome job Sarah!! I love that you off centered the cinched part. Love it!

  2. that is so cute!!!! love that fabric

  3. What a great idea to use a deflated pillow! This is super cute.

  4. I love it!!! I am excited to do some gathering projects, I love the look. And thanks for the detailed tutorial, I have a couple deflates laying around here that need some fixing up.

  5. Darling pillow. Love the colors. You make it sound so easy. Thanks for the directions... I'm ready to try my hand at it as soon as I have a moment!