If you live anywhere in the US, save South Florida, you’ve had a bit of snow this year. Having grown up in the Midwest, moving to South Florida was quite a shock to my system. The lack of snow and winter coats, bulky sweaters and fall leaves was quite a jolt for this four-season girl. Being closer to my geographical roots has been great fun, especially watching snow fall, but it has also required a bit of fine-tuning, on many levels. From wardrobe to home decor. Oddly enough the Caribbean decor doesn’t quite seem to fit here in the heart of the Bluegrass. Who knew?
So you will understand my excitement when I came across this sweater that had been my Mama’s.
Having lost Mom 5 years ago, I find comfort in having things scattered about our home that remind us of her. She was an extremely creative soul who loved sewing, decorating & finding great bargains. Some of those bargains included clothes that fit her personality perfectly, reminded me of her, but would never work for me… as a wardrobe item at least. Enter a little outside the box thinking, and you have this..
It was a perfect Sunday afternoon project. They are simple envelope pillows with a soft fleece envelope style opening in the back. Turns out, it’s a quick project for one of those snow days when it’s just too cold to head outside for one more round of sledding.
The first step was to square up the sweater to accommodate for my pillow forms and get the most use of the sweater. I cut up both side seams from the hem to the bottom of the arm piece.
To keep it straight, I used my rotary cutter and ruler to finish cutting the arm edge.
And again across the top of the sweater.
Because I had removed some of the knots from the heavier white yarn that ran through the design, I flipped the sweater over to the wrong side and tied off those loose strands. I didn’t want to finish the pillow just to have it start unraveling.
I chose some soft grey fleece to use for the back of the pillow. Why? It has a great body and texture to it and it’s soft and fuzzy, which is always a nice option for a pillow. But mostly, because it was in my fabric closet, and that’s just how I roll on this sort of a project.
I cut the fleece into two pieces for each pillow. When determining the measurements for your pillow back, just use the same width as your front piece and 1/2 the height + 3” to 4” per piece. This allows for a 1″ hem on the raw edge of the envelope back and a deep enough pocket for your pillow cover to fit your pillow form. The amount of fabric you add to that measurement depends on how deep you want your pocket to be. I have learned to make the pockets deeper than I think they need to be
I typically finish the edge with a 1/2″ double hem. To do that I fold the fabric under 1″ and press, then fold the raw edge under again and press. The result is two 1/2″ folds of fabric with no raw edge. I usually stitch this from the wrong side of the fabric 1/4″ away from the folded edge, so I can make sure I don’t miss the edge of the hem. Once one long edge of each back piece is hemmed, the pillow backs can be pinned to the front.
With the pillow front laying right side up, place the pillow backs, right side down, on the pillow front. Line up the raw edges of the front and back, overlapping the hemmed edges in the middle of the pillow. It should look like this.
Stitch along all four edges with a 1/2″ seam. At this point, you can add another row of straight or zig zag stitching to reinforce the seam, or enclose it in bias tape so seam tape if you are concerned about raveling. Turn your pillow cover right side out and insert your pillow form and you’re done. I love being able to quickly remove pillow covers to wash them and freshen them up with little effort. It’s as simple as that.
Our winter pillows have been a perfect way for us to enjoy snow this winter. And we don’t have to shovel it or tromp through it to get the mail. It also serves as a great diversion when your week has been chock full of snow days.