Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Slashing that Stash...: Envelope Cushions How-To

Welcome to my new Guest-Bed/Sofa:

Well, the actual guest-bed isn't new, but I finally got around to making pillow-covers for it. I decided I needed to do some drastic diminishing of my fabric stash, and that is the first of a few projects that I came up with for that purpose.

I admit, it's not for your very general stash, but I am sure that some of you out there know "the problem". You inherit or get handed down some beautiful whites, place-mats and the likes from grandparents, aunts, uncles, that you just can't throw away. Because YOU know how much love and work went into them. Yet at the same time, you just can't find yourself to use them in your house, because well, they just don't match your style? I think these whites mixed with black make pillows that show off the old crafts in a modern(-ish) way...

In this pillow, I used up a black polyester satin that I just would have never used for anything to wear. Isn't that some absolutely FABULOUS 3-D crochet-work?

I made very simple envelope pillows, which means I didn't bother with zippers:

Here is how you do it:

1. Cut your fabric: Length about 2,3 times the pillow, width once plus 2 seam allowances (but always remember to calculate the fabric rather small, even a touch too small, so the pillow gets nice and pouffy!):


2. Finish the short edges by either zigzagging and sewing under once, or folding under twice and sew like a hem. Zigzag the long edges.

3. Fold your fabric so it's the exact length of the pillow, right sides together, wrong sides out:

 4. Sew along the top and the bottom, turn right sides out and you are done!

For the second one I used up a bunch of black fabric, too, to make the underlying envelope pillow:

I just can't cut into these old beauties, so I left it as it was, only sewing together the edges:

...and using satin tape to hold it in place snuggly:

Number three was a black pillow I already had (it came with the sofa-bed). I sewed a beautiful lace doily to it. First, pin it in place, pulling it into an even shape, then stitch - by machine with zigzag or by hand -  along the outer edge and if necessary one of the inner circles. Use big stitches and matching thread, and you won't even see it at all:

I also used up some black trim I had left over:

For the big one I just used this gorgeous white table-cloth that had a big stain on it. I am not sure what you call this fabric; it's like a white on white brocade, but I don't know if it belongs to the family of damask? Oh well...

I wanted to leave it fairly plain to show off the fabric, only sewing black cord to the edge and some black lace embellishments that I've had in my box for years:

And here it is, my little collection of black and whites:

There will be a less specific fabric-stash-slashing project up soon, here is a sneak peak:

Can you guess what it will be when it's finished? I bet not! It will be up soon, as well as the second post of the jump-suit how-to:

...and the continuation of the 1938 Dress tutorial posts:

Stay tuned and happy sewing to you all!


  1. Those came out great! I'll have to try that soon...

  2. These are fantastic! I love how they are all different, but work together. What a great way to use family heirlooms, nice to have them see the light of day rather than sit in a dark cupboard!

  3. I love the pillows. They are super chic!! A great way to "slash the stash" too (^_^)

  4. That white on white fabric looks like matelassé.