Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Paper Daydream Sews!.....custom pillow shams

Hi friends!  I am excited to share a home dec project with you today that involves sewing!  On occasion, I sew.  I confess a love hate relationship with's never really been my thing but I sure LOVE that I can do some basics with confidence.  To pay tribute to this handy skill, I'd like to present this in "segment" form so without further ado, the inaugural posting of "Paper Daydream Sews!"

Without a doubt, I dedicate "Paper Daydream Sews!" to my sweet and talented mama who taught me way back when how to sew.  Starting back before I can even remember, she can tell a story of how she taught my curious toddler self to stay away from the cutting mat and the seamstress pins.  She still uses the poorly strip quilted and round quilted potholders I made as my first projects in her kitchen.  They are now in good company in the drawer with projects made by my girls under their Nanni's patient instruction.  She made clothes back when it was actually more affordable to make them yourself and there is not a single childhood friend of mine who didn't have a homecoming dress or a bridesmaid dress altered by my mom.  I was fond of "designing" and "altering" ready made dresses and somehow she could turn my fisted wad of material into a real and wearable dress.  And then there was that time I fell off of a chair during my velvet prom dress fitting because I *had* to take a peek in the mirror and ripped a skirt panel right down the CANNOT repair velvet, it is unforgiveable...but somehow she saved that dress!  So, here's to you, my talented mama...I owe all my sewing knowledge to you! *mwah*

We've been under construction off and on for years.  These past weeks, it was the master bed and bath's turn.  I picked up a gorgeous sham and bed coverlet months ago on clearance.  Sadly there was only one sham but along the way I thought of a solution and TODAY I finally brought that plan to life.  It all started with two thrift store 40 inch x 40 inch square linen table cloths...
These cloths had minor stains and showed a tiny bit of wear like you can see above.  I was careful to work around these blemishes or hide them in seams.

I ran a size check with my old pillow sham and the tablecloth folded in half was the perfect width. 
Here is my map for cutting the tablecloths.  The "x"ed out piece will be scrap that I used to make flower embellishments.

 I folded the cloth in half, ironed the crease, and cut up the middle.  I continued to follow my measurement map.

The first item of business is to attach the 5"x20" piece to the front of the pillow (the 25" x 20" piece).

I will topstitch this piece to the front of the pillow as a decorative element.  I love that I can use the built in finished edge of the table cloth for this!  I lined up the raw 20" edges facing the back of the decorative strip to the front of the pillow.  Off to the sewing machine to sew just inside the finished edge of the table cloth.  Go slowly, remember that this is top stitching, meaning the stitching will show in the finished product.

Once the decorative strip is sewn to the front of the pillow, it's time to really get down to pillow making business!  On the bottom of this stack in the pillow front with the front (or "right") side facing up at me.  Next comes the 20"x20" piece with the finshed edge to the middle of the pillow and the "right side" of the fabric facing down away from me.  Last is the 15"x20" panel with the finished edge to the middle of the pillow and the "right side" of the fabric facing down again...this piece will overlap the 20"x20" layer by five inches.

Pin all the layers together and head back to the sewign machine to sew a straight stitch all the way around the pillow border.  Go slow, hold your breath when you get nervous....then breathe so you don't pass out!  ;)  Just kidding, it's not hard, just don't act like you are a nascar driver with the sewing machine pedal.

Once I finished sewing the seam, I trimmed of the points of the corners before I turned the pillow sham right side out.  Trimming the corners like this lessons to wad of material that can bind in the corner and will give your pillows sharper and more distinct corners!  (thanks mom!)
 See what I mean?  I love that one tailored looking edge panel on the right!  I could have stopped there but nah!

I wanted to demonstrate how nicely the overlapping panels turned out in the back of the pillow.  First off, the pre finished tablecloth edge looks so sharp without any work on my part.

Secondly, check out what a difference that five inch panel overlap can make versus the store bought 2 or so inch overlap....

I am so proud that my pillow looks nice and neat.  On the other hand, the store bought sham looks like a post Christmas dinner shot with it's pillow bulging out!  eeek!

 I added 3 handmade flowers to each of my shams.  I will show you some steps on how to make these in a later post.  In order to make these flowers removable, I simply hot glued some pin backs to each flower.

This way, I can remove them for washing and re pin them on the shams later.....or pin one to my jacket for a custom flower brooch! hah!

So after all that cutting, pinning and sewing of two 40" square tablecloths I was left with just a small pile of scraps.  This project worked perfectly for me and at the price of 25 cents per tablecloth, I didn't have to break the bank to give a custom look to my new bed comforter set.
Thanks for joining me on my maiden voyage of "Paper Daydream Sews!" just never know what I will have to sew next! ;)



Kelleigh Ratzlaff Designs said...

Absolutely GORGEOUS!! I am so inspired to try this! I can't wait for your tutorial on the flowers, too!

Andrea M said...

Dana, WOW!!! You bring your beautiful, chic style to these pillow shams! WOW!!! Those flowers are fab! Seriously, does anyone do fabric flowers better than you?!?! I think not!
Can't wait to see more of these gorgeous sewing projects :)

Elise said...

Extra, extra - READ ALL ABOUT IT! PaperDaydream really does SEW! Oh, honey, baby, sweetheart! YOU da seamstress with the MOSTEST! I love this! Oh, you are going TO adore growing old {er} with these babies! SO fabulous! Talk about a gift that keeps giving - these will literally "hold" you! How WONDERFUL! Can't wait to see what you do next with this incredible talent, that you DO come by so honestly! {You're SWEET MAMA! What a fabulous legacy! } You guys are FULL of inspiration! YIPEEEE!