Monday, January 21, 2013

Sowing While You Sew Week 2--Throw Pillow Cover--Envelope Style

Daisy Chain Creations

Throw Pillow Cover—Envelope Style

Here's a printable copy of the instructions for week 2--Sowing While You Sew Week 2

1. Learn how to thread a sewing machine.
2. Learn how to sew a straight line.
3. Be able to sew a folded over hem.
4. Learn how to sew multiple layers together by pinning and then removing the pins while sewing. 
-Pillow Form—this will determine the size of fabric needed
-One piece of solid colored fabric cut to the size of the pillow form + seam allowances (Mine was 16x16 so I cut it out 17x17 for a seam allowance of ½ an inch on each side)
-2 pieces of fabric cut in a rectangle so that 2 sides are the size of the first piece and the other 2 sides are ¾ the length of the first piece.  These can be in any fabric, because they will make up the back.
-Several different colored spools of thread
-Marking pen or sharp pencil
-Ruler or straight edge

Here's the how to:
First, you need to collect your supplies.  The front of the pillow is going to be a solid color so that the straight lines of stitching in multiple colors of thread will show.  Pick about 5-6 contrasting threads to the fabric chosen.  The bobbin thread doesn't really matter, because it’s not going to be seen.  For the back, you can pick a complimentary print to the color theme or just use the same fabric as the front.
1. Cut out the 3 pieces of fabric.  Follow the details in the supplies list.  It all depends on the size of the pillow form.  My pillow was 16x16, so I had one piece that was 17x17 and 2 pieces that were 17x12.
2. On the front piece of fabric, with a marking pen and ruler/straight edge, make several straight lines going various directions.  They should run off the edge so that it makes the starting and stopping easier for beginner sewers.  I had 5 colors so I did 10 lines, just to make it easy to decide how many of each color to do.
This is a picture of the finished product, but should give you an idea.
3. Now it’s time to learn to thread a sewing machine.  This part you will have to sit down and teach them.  Since all machines are a little different, you’ll just have to follow your manual.   Start with the first color and help them make the thread go where it is supposed to go to get it threaded.
4.  Sew a couple of the lines, making sure to mix it up as to which direction you go.  As they are sewing, you might want to set your machine on the slowest setting, if it has one.  You also want to remind them about machine safety and to keep their fingers away from the needle.  Remind them to go slow and follow the lines, making sure the lines line up with the center of the presser foot.
5. Change the color of thread and repeat #4.
6. Repeat with each color until you have finished your lines
7. Once the lines are all done, snip loose threads and set front aside.
8. For the back 2 pieces, iron 1 inch under on one of the long sides on each piece.  This is the hem for the envelope part.  Again, know your child and how much you trust them to be using an iron.  Instruct them on the safety and how to of using an iron and supervise them.
9.  Now iron under a ½ inch of the 1 inch already ironed under on each piece.  This will give you the finished hem.
10.  Pin the hem down and carefully sew along the inside edge (1/2 an inch in).  Repeat for other piece.
11. Lay out front piece, front side up and the 2 back pieces, inside hem pieces up—these will overlap.  Pin all the way around.

12.  Carefully sew all the way around, teaching them how to watch for the seam allowance on your machine.  To begin, teach them how to back stitch a little. Have them stop before they come to a pin and then remove the pin. As they come to the corners, you will have to teach them to pivot and continue down the other side.  One thing that might be helpful is to set the needle to end in the downward position.
13. Once all the way around, back stitch a little and snip strings.
14. Trim corners and edges if needed.
15. Turn right side out and iron seams if needed.
16. Insert pillow form.

Ideas to make it a little more challenging for someone that's a little older or might have some experience:
--Make the lines zigzags or curves
--Sew on things like ribbons or rickrack 
Again, sorry for the crummy pictures.  My camera is on the fritz and any picture requiring a flash is not coming out.  They are all blurry to some degree, no matter what I do.  I will take some better pictures tomorrow.


  1. OOh, no hand sewing, I can probably handle this one! I might have to save all these projects for the summer when life isn't quite so crazy...well when there is no school to get up for.

    Envelope pillows are great. Thanks for the clear instructions.

  2. I'll definitely give give this a try with my daughter, she loves making things to submit to our county fair....thanks for the instructions! And, are you doing PR&P this season? I looked for you but there are so many it hard to see them all!

  3. Marnae, yes I'm doing some of PR&P. I just didn't do boy's week. Usually, I've been posting last minute on Thursday sometime. It's just so hard to get picture session in on top of everything else.
    If your daughter makes something, please post a link! I'd love to see what she made. There'll be more ideas coming.



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