I may have gone a bit overboard with my pattern selections for the pillows on our deck. I wanted to match and enhance the color of the chairs, tables, and flowers on our deck. But my main jumping off point was our deck umbrella. Its stripes have blue, green, yellow, red, and even orange. They’re bright and perky, perfect for an outdoor living space. I feel as though you can take more risks and be a bit bolder outdoors. Plus, if you really don’t like it, or get sick of it after a season, it’s easy to change! No walls to paint!
Here are all the finished pillows. I’m starting from the end of the story and then shooting to the beginning. Bear with me here…
Anyway, so here’s how I made those lovely pillows.
I purchased six pillow forms (with plenty of fabric and coupons to boot) from JoAnns. Make sure, when making outdoor fabric pieces, that you actually choose outdoor fabric. These fabrics are typically more durable, machine washable, and are less likely to fade in the sun as quickly as a typical cotton fabric. I originally picked two coordinating fabrics to use, but ran out of the stripe and needed extra. So I went back and purchased the floral print, which I also adore (though I think the red is probably my favorite, I’m a sucker for a geometric print).
I wanted to make sure that these pillows weren’t like the ones that I had made in the past. I actually wanted to tackle a pillow slip cover, so that if I decided to change it out, it wouldn’t be removing stuffing and starting all over again. I looked online and landed on a simple, straight forward tutorial over at vixenMade. She gives tips and suggestions for making an envelope style pillow cover which is almost exactly like what I wanted.
So here it goes, how to make a simple slip cover, with a few differences from the vixenMade tutorial.
First, measure around your pillow form. I left about an inch around each side. This is more because I’m not totally proficient at the sewing machine. Giving myself some extra room just in case my stitches aren’t straight insures that the pillow covers will fit.
Two: cut two pieces of fabric for the front and back of the pillow cover. I cut the second piece slightly larger than the first, so that it would still be the same size after hemming the cut edges. Cut the larger piece in half. This will be the back “envelope” part of your slip cover.
Three: iron down the sides that you will add the hem to. Then hem/serge with a stitch that you are comfortable using on your machine.
Pin these pieces to the other larger side piece. Make sure you do this inside out! I accidentally sewed an entire pillow, only to remember I didn’t put the pieces inside out so half had the inner part of the fabric showing. What a pain to take out all those stitches!
And let’s not pretend that bad things didn’t happen. Because, whenever I complete a sewing project, something is BOUND to go wrong.
Hmm…that’s not what it’s supposed to look like. I miss measured and just went for it, of course. That was a mistake. Not to mention I forgot what color thread I’ve already set in the machine, so it definitely didn’t blend with the fabric.
But after all the mistakes, sewing machine headaches, and having to get some extra fabric, I’m happy to say that this project is done!
Happy? Perky? I hope our neighbors don’t mind all the color!
Aren’t my new red chairs the cutest? The pillows work perfectly and make it look a bit more inviting. Now, if only I could find a tiny table to go in between…
Now, I know it’s a lot of color and pattern, but I think because the color family plays so well together, it doesn’t seem quite as busy. But even if it is busy, that’s all part of the fun!
PS- This project was a bit more expensive than my typical projects. I spent around $50 for all the fabric and the pillow forms. Because I had so many coupons, plus a gift card, I was able to get better pillow forms and fabric that wasn’t necessarily on sale. I will say, however, that all the gloriously done pillows I found at places at HomeGoods were at least $40 for a set of four, and I needed six. Plus, I wouldn’t have been able to pick all different fabrics!