Friday, October 19, 2012

Batty Pillow

A here.

For those of you with a sewing machine and a decent amount of patience, here is a monochromatic pillowcase designed to torment cats and inquisitive children.  I prefer making pillowcases or covers, as opposed to stuffed pillows, because it makes it possible to pack away your decorative pillows in a flat container with very little wasted space.  This cover can be slipped on and off of any existing pillow.  Just adjust your measurements to fit the pillow of your choice.  My couch pillows are approximately 20" square, so I calculated my fabric and pattern measurements to fit those.  For this design you will need:
  • 3/4 yd. black felt
  • fabric scissors
  • cardstock (for stencil)
  • marker or fabric pencil
  • ruler
  • black thread
  • pins
  • sewing machine
Start by measuring your desired pillow.  Add at least 1.5" to your initial measurements for seam allowances to decide the size of your front panel.  I measured and cut mine at 22.5" square.  I then did some math (surprising, I know) to plan for the two overlapping back rectangular panels.  They were cut to allow for at least 3" of overlap plus room for hemming on the center edge.  Mine measured 15"x22.5" each.  Once the easy part was done, I started in on the bats.

I created a stencil to trace by cutting a bat shape out of an index card.  Scrap cardstock works well too.  I measured the stencil and then did some more math (trust me, it's been a long day) to figure out how many bats of the size of my stencil would fit on the front of my pillow.  I decided 20 would be a good amount for my layout.  After all that brain work, I got down to the tedious job of tracing and cutting 20 bats out of felt.  This process was made even more difficult by Cat batting at my marker and attacking the felt bats like a miniaturized lynx. 

As I was tired of doing math for the day, I took the bats and laid them out on the pillow front using an eyeball level.  This process was also interrupted by Cat, but I can't really blame him, I was working on the floor.  I pinned each bat down with a single pin and headed over to the sewing machine.

The bats each got a small triangle stitched in their center, allowing the wings to flap free of the background.  20 triangles later, the front of the pillow was complete!  I then took the back panels and hemmed one long side of each by turning it over by one inch toward the wrong side of the fabric and running a stitch close to the cut edge.  Once hemmed, they looked like this (one is right side up and one is wrong side up in this shot):

To lay out the pillow for pinning, I started with the front of the pillow, bats up, in front of me.  For the bats on either end of each row, I pinned the outside wing to the inside wing to prevent them from getting caught in the seams.

Then I laid one of the back panels right side down, hemmed side toward the center, and long cut side aligned with the right edge of the bat panel, on top of the bats.  The other back panel was laid, right side down and hemmed side toward the center, on top of all the other pieces with the long cut side aligned with the left edge of the bat panel.  I've folded down the corner in this shot so you can see the bat panel underneath.  The overlap of the two back panels is important to hold the existing pillow inside the case.

I then pinned all external edges together and stitched around the outside edge of the pillow with a 5/8" seam allowance.  I clipped the corners to prevent fabric bunching and turned the case right side out, being careful not to impale myself on the batwing pins.  Satisfied with my edge seams, I removed the pins and stuffed my couch pillow inside the case!

Now, being married to a Batman fan, the choice of using bats was a no-brainer; however, I'm sure this design would work well with many other silhouettes.  Orange on orange with pumpkins might be cute, or even gingerbread men for Christmas!  The best part about this pillow design is that it can be slipped on and off of an existing pillow for easy change-out season to season.  Let me know if you have any ideas to improve the design and please showcase your cleverly stitched decor below!

No comments:

Post a Comment