Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ruffle n’ Lace Pillow Tutorial

I’m likin’ the Shabby Chic-ish look right now, and am incorporating a lot of white into elements of my home.

Today I made this pillow for my couch…


Or bed…


I suppose the fun will be interchanging them with my moods. Smile

On that note, here’s the “how to”…sorta.

NOTE:  Using a sewing machine is the fastest way to do this, and necessary for gathering.  There are several steps where you can use Fabric glue, but you have to wait for it to dry and that could take forever.  Be adventurous and plug in that machine!

When I mention fabric glue, this is what I prefer:


This is a needle and thread:


I just felt the need to keep things balanced there. Smile

I didn’t think to take photos until I got to the little fabric flowers, but I can talk you through the pillow, because really it is easy smeasy. Shmeasy. Shmeezie? 

I had a blue pillow from my stuffy old color scheme.


I pulled out the stitches and saved the fabric to add to my ever growing collection of “I’m gonna do something with that” stuff.  This left me with a perfectly good pillow form.


From my incredibly ridiculous amount stash of white fabric scraps, I cut 2 pieces 20x20.  Because that’s how big my pillow form is.  Um, yup. I kinda forgot the whole “seam allowance thing”…good thing the form is squishyish.


I cut 5 strips of white fabric from some old curtains ~ two of them I cut from the edges, so they already had a nice seam!  Yay.

On the other two I hemmed the edge and bottom.  Don’t pin, don’t iron, just fold and stitch.  This is easy stuff here.

Using your largest stitch, sew across the top twice, about 2/8 inch apart, to make threads for pulling up gathers.

Tie the strings together at one end.  Pulling from the top two threads at the other end, pull up the gathers until it is about 1 1/4 inches smaller than your pillow fabric.

Pin this ruffle close to the bottom, leaving 1/2 inch for your seam on the bottom and sides.  Stitch in place.

Repeat for the other 3 ruffles ~ no measuring for placement needed.  Just make sure they lay across the top of the previous ruffle enough to cover the “gathering stitches”.

Once they have all been stitched on, lay a piece of pretty lacy or trim along the top edge and stitch in place to secure.  NOTE:  Here is an example of a place you could use fabric tac if you wanted.

Now, lay your plain pillow piece on top of the one you just “ruffled”.  Pin all around, but leave almost the whole bottom open, just sew around the corner an inch or so.  Stich a 1/2 inch seam all around.  Trim corners and turn.  Pop your pillow form inside and snug it up to the corners.

Look at your pretty pillow!  Sure is cute, but it could use a little sunthin up in that corner, dontcha think?


How about we make some fabric flowers?

Go grab some more white fabric, or maybe you want to use a colored fabric here.  I am using piece cut from an old shirt. 

I did one flower with fabri-tac, and two flowers with needle and thread.  Why two with needle?  Because it was just faster and easier.  So, that is what I’m gonna recommend.

Cut three strips ~ no fussy measuring, it doesn’t matter how perfect hey are.  2-3 inches wide, and at least a foot long or so.


Fold in half, but don’t iron, keep that folded edge soft.


Turn corner down like this.


Crinkle up a bit for the “center of the flower”. 


IF you are using fabri tac, squeeze a little dab here and there as you go and pinch in place.



IF you are using needle and thread, take up, simple stitches to keep things in place, nothing fancy, no worries.



Kind of tuck the fabric in and attach it as you curl it around your “center”, folding a bit and squishing it up like this.






Keep going until you get to the end, fold down that last corner, and stitch or glue in place.  Voila!



Now, IF you used the glue, you need to let it set up. I wrapped it in a hair band I had layin’ on my sewing table.  Remind me not to put that in my hair, eh?


If you stitched you are ready to move on.

Take a piece of scrap cardboard and pop it inside your pillow to keep the fabri tac from getting on the form inside.




Decide where you want your flowers.P9280062

Spread some fabri tac and position your flowers.


Now look what you made in just 3 days 2 hours!


Happy Crafting and have a beautiful day!

Don’t forget to visit my new Facebook page The Bluebirds Nest!!



  1. That is so incredibly adorable my friend! Great job. Make me one! LOL!
    Love ya!

  2. So pretty! And you make it sound so very easy! Wouldn't even want to post a photo of what my pillow would look like if I tried it. Best to leave the craftiness to those who know how to do it...and do it well :)
    Peace and blessing to your day!

  3. How did I not comment on this? I saw it in my reader way back. You made SUCH an adorable pillow!! Too much work for me - LOL! But that would be such a lovely gift for shabby chic lovers. I have a few friends that have their entire houses done in shabby chic - really cute! I like to look at it all, but for some reason I don't like to live in it. If I could have a house that looked like a cabin with lots of wood and reds/greens/browns I would be a happy camper. :) Good job crafty friend!!