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Sew A Bolster Pillow For Your Collection of Throw Pillows
When you browse through home decorating literature or magazines almost all of the bedrooms have a collection of throw pillows somewhere in the room. Since you sew you can sew shams and covers that create a collection at a small fraction of what it would cost to buy them... and have them in the colors and textures you want instead of settling for what is available.
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- Bolster pillow form in the size you want. (The forms shown in this article were purchased at Pillowflex.com, which... offers a vast assortment of sizes.)
- Fabric - the amount will depend on the size you choose. You will need enough fabric to go around the form
- Thread How to Choose the Correct Color Sewing Thread to Match Your Fabric
- Piping or Cover Cording to Create Your Own Piping -- Enough to go around the pillow twice (for each end)
- Optional - Invisible Zipper
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Calculations and Cutting
These directions will guide you through how to cut your fabric for any size bolster pillow.
Note: All directions will use a 1/2" seam allowance.
The Pillow Ends:
- Find the distance across the end of the bolster pillow form and add 1" for seam allowances. Cut out two circles that are the distance across the end plus 1". Use a compass or one of the many circular templates you have around the house to obtain a circle. Dinner plates, dessert plates, bowls, pans and more are all usable... templates.
- Stack the circles and mark the exact same spot on one edge of both circles. This will be the mark to begin and end the piping and the mark to line up the seam on the body of the bolster pillow.
The Body of the Pillow -The body of the pillow will require a rectangle of fabric
- One side of the rectangle will be the length of the pillow form plus 1" for seam allowances.
- (Don't panic, math skills can be very weak for this.) Using the original diameter of the pillow form (without the seam allowance) times 3.14 (Pi) Plus 1" for seam allowances.
- For Example; For a bolster pillow form that is 9" x 14", the length of the form is 14" so one side of the rectangle is 14" plus 1" which equals 15".
The diameter of the pillow is 9" so the other edge of the rectangle is 9 times 3.14 which equals 28.26 plus 1" for seam allowances is 29.26 ( or 29 17/64 but I would round it to 29 1/4")Handy Fraction/Decimal/Metric Conversion Chart
Using these calculations - a 9" by 14" bolster pillow will require
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- two 10" circles for the ends
- one rectangle 15" by 29 1/4" for the body of the pillow
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The Ends of the Pillow Cover
- Starting at the mark on each circle, sew the piping to the right side of the fabric using a 1/2" seam allowance. Clip the seam allowance of the piping seam allowance. Even though it is cut on the bias, clipping the tape will allow piping tape to lay smoothly. More About Creating and Sewing Piping
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- Match the edges that are the length of the pillow plus 1"
- Optional: Insert an invisible zipper... leaving 1/2" at the end of the seam. Sewing an Invisible Zipper - Step by Step Photo Enhanced Instructions | Tips to Sewing in an Invisible Zipper
- Sew the seam, leaving an opening in the seam if you have not sewn in an invisible zipper.
- Apply a seam finish
- Press the seam
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Attaching the Ends
Working with the tube of fabric that is right sides inside...
- Bringing right sides together,match the mark on the circle to the side seam of the sewn tube of fabric.
- Pin the circle in place on the end of the tube of fabric.
- If you have sewn in an invisible zipper, open the zipper.
- Repeat for the other end of the tube.
- Sew the circles to ends of the tube of fabric.
- Trim the seam allowance
- Apply a seam finish.
- Press the seams.
- Turn the pillow cover right side out.
- Press and insert the pillow form inside the... pillow cover.
- If you left an opening in the seam, hand sew the opening closed.