the 90 minute pillow

our first project of 2013 was to reupholster our orange slice chair, transforming it from avocado green to a beautiful sapphire blue. i hoped there would be extra fabric from the project so that i could make (yet another) pillow for our couch.

i have a bit of a self-diagnosed pillow and bed linen problem. i just keep buying them — such an easy way to change the look and feel of a room. i think i’ve finally settled though. we have a set of white and a set of light blue sheets for the bedroom and i’ve donated the rest of our ill-fitting sheet sets (we have a very deep mattress) to the new puppies in our extended family. the only dogs with 600 thread count egyptian cotton in their crates? well, probably not.

and pillows, while i’ve been through more than a few, i generally recover them when i’m tired of their colours or patterns. that’s how this no-cost sapphire blue pillow came to be.

my mom and i followed a “5 minute pillow” tutorial from rambling renovators to make this simple envelope case. except it took us about an hour and a half. but there was set up time in there and time to figure out the directions. once we finished this pillow, i felt pretty confident we could’ve made another one in about 15 minutes. it certainly was an easier sewing project than the linen table runner, which took us several hours and several diagrams to pull off.

  1. we measured the pillow from seam to seam. it was 21″ w x 16″ h. following rambling renovator’s instructions, we added 2″ to the height and multiplied the width by 2½ to get our fabric measurement of 52.5″ w x 18″ h. 
  2. we added 1″ extra to the width for a wider hem, cut the fabric and folded the fabric at the short ends. we went with uneven hems of 1½” and 2½” on the side that would show as the “pocket.” we pinned and ironed the hems. for the blue velvet we used the silk setting.

    blue velvet fabric
    we’re at about 45 minutes here.
  3. with the hems still folded, we lay the fabric out on a flat surface and wrapped my pillow, repositioning it so that the fabric wrapped around both sides of the pillow fully plus a little bit extra. once we were happy with the positioning, we pinned and ironed the fabric at the three folds.blue velvet pillow case
  4. then, we went back to our short ends. we stitched just the 1½” hem and folded the 2½” hem (it would be kept in place when we stitched up the long sides) since we thought a fold would look nicer than an exposed stitch. but you could stitch both hems if you have the ability to do a decorative stitch or you don’t mind your stitch showing on outside of the pillow case.
  5. lastly, we turned the fabric over so the inside was facing up and found our three folds. with the fabric still inside out, we stitched a 1″ hem along both long sides of the case. we turned the finished pillow case right side out, stuffed a pillow in there, and that’s it! blue velvet and black and white velvet pillowsbungalow living room

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