Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tutorial: Accent Pillow with Cording

A little something for the mom's today . . .

And a little something green.

Not because it's St. Patrick's day, but just because it happens to be, well, green.

Back in December my husband and I ran into a couch and love seat set that we instantly fell in love with--and they were at an incredible price. We justified that we could buy them if they were our only Christmas present combined, and went for it.

And we love them.

But I wasn't lovin' the accent pillows that came with the couches. Too dark. And not really my style.

I decided I wanted the room to go in the direction of neutral browns with green accents. I looked every where for green damask pillows (and I mean everywhere) but couldn't find anything I liked. Once I concluded I would just have to make the pillows I had a really hard time finding a green damask fabric, but finally found exactly what I wanted at Thank goodness.

I had bought my pillow forms at Joanns for 50% off and was really pleased with what I had paid.

But then . . . then . . . I was Ikea. If you need pillow forms go to Ikea! 20x20 inch batting filled pillows cost only $3! I went for the nice duck feather ones for only $6 each. What a steal! Ikea never lets me down.

Making an envelope pillow is so, so easy. It's a great project for beginning sewers because all the lines are straight.

I started out by making a 20x20 inch pattern out of tissue paper (actually . . . I use that paper that covers the exam table at the doctors office. That's what we used in my clothing design class in college to make our patterns. It works great! A roll lasts forever, so I still have some.) When I measured the pillow it was actually 19 inches. I added a half inch seam allowance to each side making my pattern 20x20. Then I cut out my pillow fronts.

I wanted to fancy my pillows up a bit by adding some cording to the edge. I use to be afraid of cording but since I have figured out how to do it I love to use it when I can. I pinned the cording on the right side of my fabric 1/2 inch from the edge. When you get to the corner give it a little snip to help you turn it, but don't cut past the stitching.

Once I had it all pinned, I basted it on, stitching right on top of the stitching that is already on the cording. I used my zipper foot when sewing on cording. See how the cord fits right in the gap? It works perfectly.

I then cut out my pillow back pieces. I cut two 20x16 inch pieces. I wanted to make sure there was plenty of overlap.

On one of the pieces I cut off an extra two inches, but saved it to help me finish the edge with some cording.

One of the back pieces I finished by doing a simple hem. On the other I finished it with cording.

I then laid the back side with the cording on top of my front, right sides together.

Next I placed my other backside on top and pinned all three pieces together.

When I sewed them together I stitched right on top of my basting stitching so I was sure to be accurate. I then cut the corners, finished the raw edges with a zig-zag stitch, turned it right side out and pressed it.

I stuffed my fluffy duck feather pillow inside and was so happy with the results.

A lovely envelope pillow with a nicely finished back side.

The smaller green pillow I made using the instructions over at Just Another Hang Up. When I saw Suzanne's pillow featured on Ucreate last year I knew that I would have to make it. Visit her blog for a great tutorial.

I'm just loving my new living room!

I'm linking to these parties this week.


  1. Your pillows are beautiful together. The damask you chose is wonderful and the little green pillow -- well, maybe I'm a little partial. Love the weight of the fabric you chose for both -- a little heavier fabric makes such a difference in a pillow! Thank you so much for giving me a heads up so I could pop over and see your creations. Your tutorial was fabulous too!

  2. Thanks so much for this tutorial. I have a scad of pillows to make for our playroom and have been reluctant to just jump in. I'm not a beginning sewer, so I should be able to tackle these no problem. Thank you!

  3. LOVE IT!! I'm especially diggin' that green damask fabric you used!!

  4. I love both these pillows! Great tutorial! Thanks for sharing.

    I'm hosting a Throwback Thursdays Party, and would love it if you swung by and linked up something you made/bought/did from before blogging. I can't wait to see what you bring.

  5. Ok, those are beautiful and totally great. Wish I had that kind of an eye for decorating (let alone the skill to make something like that).

  6. The pillows look great! I know how to sew, but do not have the patience for it. Probably because I make so many mistakes when I am doing it!

  7. Your pillows turned out so beautifully! I LOVE the fabrics you chose, and now am no longer content with my Joann pillow form deals.

  8. Thanks for the great tutorial! I am going to bookmark this!

  9. These turned out amazing! I'm a new follower and I saw your link up over at Tatertots and Jello.

  10. Georgous pillows! I love the damask fabric!...

  11. Hi Amy, I'm beside you at Sunday Showcase party. This is an excellent post. I have made pillows with cording and also pillows with an envelope back...but I love the part about putting the cording on one of the back pieces. I never would have thought of that. I just discovered the pillow inserts at IKEA as well. Can't believe the price. Come visit my blog if you have time. Your blog is darling! ~Ann

  12. I love these pillows! Thanks for sharing.
    I'm with you on IKEA- esp for the small things that dress up a home!

    Have a great weekend
    Stop on by!

  13. These turned out beautiful. Thank you for sharing. I hope you stop by DIY Home Sweet Home and link up to More The Merrier Monday.

  14. Thanks for the tutorial! I am so afraid of cording! The pillows are adorable.

  15. Your pillows are gorgeous!!

    I hate sewing (with a machine), but I have hand stitched piping onto napkin pillows I made once. Yeah, definitely took way longer. LOL

    I envy you sewers. :)

  16. Your pillows are gorgeous! The combination of fabrics and textures is wonderful!

  17. Beautiful pillows! I have the same green/cream waverly fabric on a chair. I found you on Tip Junkie! Great job!

  18. I love the way duck feather pillows look, there is just something so luxurious about the way they sit on a sofa. Thanks for the Ikea tip!!!!! I gotta make a trip out there soon, its been how your pillows turned out.

  19. I love this pillow, and thanks for the tutorial... I am going to have to try this !!

  20. Love the pillow!!! Great color.

  21. very nice and great tutorial! thanks so much for sharing on Craft schooling Sunday!

  22. I LOVE this! Its PERFECT for you to Link up at my Linky PAR-TAY,

    Whassup Wednesday!!!

    And I have a party button you can grab so your friends can come too:)



  23. I just finished my own throw pillows with cording and found your tutorial very helpful! Thank you for posting this. I'm not scared of cording anymore!

  24. This is just a little off topic, but I'd love to know where you got that zipper foot. I can't find one like it. I have a Brother brand sewing machine and am not happy with either of the zipper feet I have for it. Thanks!

  25. Darcy,
    My zipper foot actually came with my sewing machine, it's a Viking. Sorry I can't be of any more help.

  26. I'm definitely getting some pillow forms on my next trip to Ikea!! This is gorgeous! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful projects at my Throwback Thursday party. I hope to see you again this week! :)

  27. Thanks so much for sharing your post at our linky party this week!
    I love the fabric design you chose.

  28. Love Love Love the pillows! I’m hosting a new linky party at
    I would love to have you!