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comfy sews tutorial: sunburst pillow tutorial

[Re-posting this tutorial I orignally posted on Luvinthemommyhood/Versus blog a couple weeks ago.]

How about a Comfy Sew for your home?  Maybe something for on a chair, your couch, or your bed?  Well, today I want to show you a really fun pillow to make.  It’s made of really soft and pretty linen with a sunburst of pintucks!  Simple and elegant and modern.


1/2 yard linen (or any solid color fabric would really look stunning as well), you may need up to 1 yard depending on what size pillow form you use
one pillow form 14×20 – the one I’m using is actually from Target, it’s a travel pillow (you’ll find them right next to the regular bed pillows, the best part is that they’re under $5)
thread, pins, etc.
Cutting the pieces:
  • main front piece 20″ wide by 16″ tall (this is cut a little tall for the pillow form, but it’s to leave room for the pintucks)
  • envelope back closure pieces: 14″ tall by 16″ wide, 14″ tall by 12″ wide
Additional measurments for a 12×24 pillow form:  front piece 24″ wide by 14″ tall, cutting down to 12″ tall after pintucking, back closure pieces 12″ tall by 18″ wide, 12″ tall by 9″ wide.
Measurements for a king size pillow 20″ tall by 36″ wide:  front (36″ wide by 22″ tall, cutting down to 36″ wide by 20″ tall), back closure pieces 20″ tall by 26″ wide, 20″ tall by 14″ wide.
Also, I thought I should add that the smaller you cut your pillow sizes the firmer fit on the pillow form.  I usually like a really snug and tight fit, so I often cut my pieces smaller than the pillow form just to get that nice tailored look.
*** I just want to note here that the photos I’ve taken for this tutorial are from making a king size pillow cover, but the technique is the same no matter what size pillow form you use.
Making the sunburst pintucks:
Using the edgestitching foot on your machine (or even your regular sewing foot – you’ll just have to be a little more precise) sew the pintucks.
Take the pillow main front piece and make an angled fold in the fabric, WRONG sides together.  Press.
Stitch fairly close to the fold.  This is where the edgestitching foot comes in really handy.
See that little metal piece sticking down from the middle?  That’ll be where you hold the fold up next to, and it’ll give you a really nice straight pintuck without worry about wobbles.
Again, if you don’t have a machine with that foot, a regular foot will work just fine, just try and make your stitches as straight as you can.  Press pintuck towards the top.  Repeat pintucks by making radiating lines from one side of the pillow (you choose which side – no need to be technical here).
(this seam looks wobbly here, but it’s just the nature of the linen, once it’s pressed it lays flat and smooth)
Just keep making angled folds to guide where your pintucks will be (I did 5 pintucks per pillow), don’t worry about placing them in an exact place, it’s meant to be more abstract.  If you’re not comfortable doing that, just use a water soluble pen to mark the lines where you’ll be folding (just be sure that your water soluble pen still comes out once you’ve ironed over it).  Trim the pillow top down so it measures 20″ wide by 14″ tall.
Making the pillow back:
Feel free here to use whatever pillow closure method you prefer.  I really love a good invisible zipper on a pillow, if you want to try one out, I highly recommend Sew Katie Did’s Invisible Zipper Tutorial.  The easiest and quickest method (and the one I’m showing you here) is an envelope style closure, easy to sew and pops off quickly for washing.
Take one envelope back piece and press one 14″ side over to the WRONG side by 1/2″, repeat.  Stitch close to the fold.  Repeat for remaining envelope back piece.
Assembling the pillow:
Lay your pillow top RIGHT side up on your table.  Place the wider envelope back piece RIGHT side down on top, aligning the raw edges and having the hemmed edge facing the middle.  Next, lay the remaining envelope back piece RIGHT side down, aligning the raw edges.  Pin.
Sew around entire rectangle using a 1/2″ seam allowance.
Serge, zig-zag stitch or leave edges raw.  Clip corners.  Press again, insert pillow form and you’re set.

This also could easily be sized up or down to fit the pillow form of your choice. Now go sew some comfy stuff!

Thanks again Shannon for having me over to duke it out!  Be sure to stay tuned to Luvinthemommyhood for lots more of Comfy Sews vs. Cozy Knits!

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13 Responses to comfy sews tutorial: sunburst pillow tutorial

  1. Lorrie 04.29.2011 at 12:09 pm #

    I love the sunny color combined with the pintucks. Great idea.

  2. Melanie@Crafty Cupboard 04.29.2011 at 12:10 pm #

    How did I not see this earlier!? I did a modern pillow round-up the other day and this would have been perfect. It’s going in the files! Thanks Anna.

  3. Ruth 04.29.2011 at 12:23 pm #

    Thanks for the remnder about this one! I have it bookmarked since it was featured, but I’m going to print off a picture of it so that I can pin it on my wall – as a reminder fo my next project!

  4. Christie @ A Lemon Squeezy Home 04.29.2011 at 12:56 pm #

    Oh Anna! Those are so pretty! I missed them somehow!

  5. Debbie @ OtRD 04.29.2011 at 2:41 pm #

    Love the simplicity! Beautiful pillows!

  6. Katie 04.29.2011 at 3:02 pm #

    I absolutely LOVE this pillow and have it on my “to make” list. I can’t wait to give it a try!

  7. Patchwork and Play 04.29.2011 at 4:53 pm #

    Hey, did you see what the Queen wore to the wedding? Your sunburst pillow must have been her inspiration!! Great pillow!

  8. Bruise Mouse 04.29.2011 at 7:58 pm #

    What a beautifully simple, yet really effective, idea. Thanks so much for sharing.

  9. Cindy 04.29.2011 at 8:50 pm #

    Hi Anna, I made this pillow in burgundy and used a linen-look fabric. Followed your great tutorial and it turned out adorable!! I had trouble finding a pillow to fit it though- my Target or Jo-Ann’s didn’t carry it. So, made my own out of muslin and stuffed it with fiberfill. I made your pillow and the shag pillow on Vanessa’s blog. They look so cute on my sofa!! :)
    Have a great weekend!!

  10. KJ@letsgoflyakite 04.30.2011 at 8:06 am #

    Really like that technique, I am seeing it on clothing too (sort of radiating from the neck down), absolutely beautiful. Details like that really take a project up a notch.

  11. Christa 04.30.2011 at 1:11 pm #

    These are beautiful! I can’t wait to try one!

  12. Laurie Wisbrun | Scarlet Fig 05.03.2011 at 9:23 am #

    Missed these in your previous post so THANK YOU for posting them again. They’re on the ‘to be made’ list now. And…I covet your bench. To die for.

  13. Mitzi Green 07.14.2011 at 11:09 pm #

    i want that bench!!!!

    oh, nice pillows, too. 😉

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