Piped Throw Pillows

I’ve been working through Deborah Moebes’s Stitch By Stitch* over the past 2 months. At the beginning of April I peeked ahead so I could order supplies for future projects and have them on hand when I got to them. I spent some time considering the fabric for the Piped Throw Pillow project. We already have throw pillows that match our couch and they don’t need to be replaced. But what if I made pillows that fit certain themes? That got me thinking about the Game of Thrones premiere. After a bit of searching I found Game of Thrones house sigil fabric on spoonflower.com.

The spoonflower fabric is a bit expensive, so I made a practice pillow first.

I used the following supplies:

The Force Awakens Pillow:

Total Cost for Force Awakens Pillow: $16.76 ($12.27 without Quilter’s tape, as it used very little.)

Game of Thrones Pillow:

Total Cost for Game of Thrones Pillow: $20.75 ($15.26 without Quilter’s tape, as it used very little.)

I didn’t have bias tape on hand for these pillows so I had to make some. A quick skim of the instructions informed me that I wouldn’t need to bother with ironing the bias tape, as it would just need to be used to wrap around the cord.

It was a bit tricky to get the piping attached evenly to the edges of the fabric, but with lots of pins I mostly got through it.

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Pinning the cord down was important!

This was my first ever attempt to install a zipper and it went well. The instructions in the book were good. I couldn’t actually find the recommended 1/2″ quilters tape, so I used 2 1/4″ strips on each pillow.

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1/4″ strips of quilters tape on either side of the zipper seam

This also worked out well, as I used the seam itself as a guide to align the tape.

Because the fabric needed to be cut away form the piping in order to make the 90 degree quarter angle at the corners actually make the turn, the finished products have small holes between the pillow and the corner piping. I’m not sure how to resolve that. On the Game of Thrones pillow I tried to leave more of the piping fabric at the corner so that when I turned the pillow inside out after sewing it would grip. That didn’t work as well as I would have hoped.

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Tiny hole in the finished product

Overall, I was happy with both pillows! They are neat looking and great for themed parties! I was most worried about zipper installation but the instructions in the book were so clear that it was very easy. Each pillow took about 2 hours to make. I was especially happy to have the Game of Thrones pillow on display for our Game of Thrones season 6 premier party!

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Project: Picnic Place Mat

Deborah Moebes’s Stitch By Stitch* includes a Picnic Place Mat project.  I was initially unexcited by this one as I don’t really need a picnic placement. However, I’m determined to go through to book to learn the skills taught by each project. Midway through my first one, I realized that a rollout pouch with pockets is useful for many things! I made two of these, one for me as a scissor holder and one for Alek to hold his paint brushes.

I used the following supplies:

The first Mat:

  • 3/4 yards woven gingham blue which I purchased at $1.99/yard
  • Thread
  • Ribbon that I had around.

The second Mat:

Total Materials Cost: $10.24

This is the first project that actually makes use of the bias tape that the book suggests making as an early project. My first mat was a bit of a disaster because my bias tape was completely uneven so it was difficult to get the edges to look good.

This project triggered me to become better at making bias tape. After getting the required tools and nailing down how to make bias tape, I tried again.

The next attempt was far better! The wider, more even bias tape gave the whole thing a more professional look. Alek’s still isn’t completely perfect but the flaws are a bit harder to see on a first look!

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My starting point near the bottom of the back is a bit messy.

I messed up the ties on both of these in slightly different ways. On the first one, I misunderstood the instruction to fold the tie in half before attaching and folded it in half along the width of the ribbon rather than the length. This means that tying it is a bit difficult.

On Alek’s, I completely forgot to add the twill tape when I was stitching down the bias tape.  I ended up stitching it just under the seam of the twill tape, but it left a visible line.

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The twill tape ribbon is attached a bit awkwardly here.

There are several aspects of this project which require a good bias tape. The ironed fold of the bias tape is used as a stitch guide after you’ve aligned the bias tape edge with your mat’s raw edge. If you don’t have an even edge on your bias tape this completely fails. This definitely happened to me on the first project.

Additionally, “Stitching the Ditch”, which requires you to restitch at the seem of the bias tape on the front of this project was far easier when the bias tape was wider and the fabric that the bias tape was made from was thicker. With the very lightweight gingham, I had a really hard time pulling the seam apart. It was much easier using the quilting weight cotton.

I’ve been using the gingham to hold my sewing tools. It is good for keeping things together but scissors tend to be too heavy and fall out easily. I have a vague plan to make a similar project in leather or canvas for myself!

 

Project: Brigitte Scarf

After some success with smaller projects, I decided that it might be time for me to start making stuff that I can wear. I wanted a book to give me a slow introduction to making clothing. The description of Tilly Walnes’s Love At First Stitch* was exactly what I was looking for.

The first project in Love At First Stitch is the Brigitte Scarf – Brigitte is a long head scarf with instructions to make a neck scarf as well. I made both scarves.

I used the following supplies:

Head Scarf

  • 1/2 yard white and green chevron material that I was given as a gift
  • 1″ of  elastic*

Square Neck Scarf

Total Materials Cost: $2.54

The head scarf was straightforward. I spent about an hour before work making it. I decided to slant my edges since I thought I would like that look better.IMG_20160406_090107

I may have cut my edges a bit too much as the scarf ended up not fitting around my head. Determined to get something useful out of my pre-work hour, I cut a bit of elastic and attached the two edges together.

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Better to salvage than scrap, right?

The elastic would look nicer sewn inside the seam, but my hair should generally cover the ugliness anyway.

I’m pretty happy with the way the headband looks.  I’ll probably make more of these with the elastic inside the seam. This prototype was a tiny bit looser than I’d like (although still wearable).  Next time I’ll make the elastic strip a bit smaller.

The neck scarf was very similar to the napkins that I posted about last week. The differences from the napkins were that it was a bit larger and unlike the napkins, it didn’t have mitered corners. After having the head scarf come out a bit too small, I decided to go with the 32″ x 32″ neck scarf. My fabric pulled a bit on the first side that I stitched. I switched from a size 14/90 needle, which I used for the cotton headband, to a size 11/80 needle to stop the pulling. The larger needle was too much for this very light-weight fabric.

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A neck scarf really isn’t my style but I decided that this would make a nice bandana!

My biggest take away from this project: if something doesn’t quite work out, roll with it.  I like to wear wide headbands while I’m working out – so I’m excited to use long scraps to make more of my own!

It was also pretty exciting to make my first wearable!

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