Recently, I’ve become obsessed with sewing. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve likely seen some of my latest sewing projects. Though I’m just a beginner, I’m hooked on this hobby. But, since I’m a beginner, my expertise is limited. Let me tell you what, though, I’ve become a pretty decent pillow maker. To broaden my horizons in sewing, I scoped out Pinterest one night for some new projects. I came across these amazing Starfleet insignia pillows by Greg McKinney:
Aren’t these amazing? I looked at these pillows and thought that I might try my hand at making some of these bad boys. So, I grabbed some cute fabric and piping, and started working. All I can say is that I LOVE the results! Take a look and see what you think:
From your utility belt, you’ll need:
- Sewing machine
- Thread (in the color of your fabric and piping)
- Needle (for hand sewing)
- Fabric Scissors or Rotary Cutter
- Straight pins
- 1/2 yard of fabric
- Poly-Fil or stuffing
- Large sheet of paper or poster board
- Marking chalk
- Cutting board
- Piping (1 package)
- Large buttons
- Heavy duty thread or embroidery thread
The first thing that has to be made is a pattern for your pillow. I made mine out of poster board. I began by measuring a square 18″ wide and 17″ tall. I drew a line straight down the middle (9″), then drew a diagonal line from the top center to the bottom right and bottom left corner to make a triangle. Then I traced a round object (in my case, a spray paint can) on all corners of the triangle.
Afterwards, I cut out the entire square with the triangle inside. Now, bear with me on this section, because I’m going to explain it as best I can: I sketched a curved line from one of the bottom points, connecting it at the top point. I took my square, folded it in half so my markings were on the outside, and then cut along the markings I had made. Think of the same process you used to make those paper hearts for Valentine’s Day. When unfolded, each side was completely even. This was my pattern I used. You can make yours whatever size you choose.
Grab your cutting board and your fabric. Keep your fabric folded, and securely pin your pattern to it. Once it’s pinned in place, cut around the pattern through both layers of fabric. When you’ve finished, you’ll have two pieces of fabric. These will be the two sides to your pillow.
Take your piping and start pinning it to the right side of your fabric, with the raised part on the inside. Leave about an inch unpinned at the start and at the end.
Once pinned, you can move your piece to the sewing machine and sew on the piping. (Have the piping foot installed before sewing.) Make sure to leave that inch on each side unstitched until a later step.
If you’re not used to sewing piping, I recommend taking a look at this video. It’s a great sewing guide, and the guy who leads the tutorial gives some useful tips. I did some steps slightly different than he did, but we both had the same results.
Pro tip: use thread tat’s the same color as your piping. That way, it won’t be noticeable.
Once your piping is sewn on, take your other piece of fabric and pin both sides of your pillow with the right sides together. After they’re pinned, follow your previous stitch on the piping to attached both pieces. Leave an opening where the loose piping is. Tack down your stitch on both sides of this opening. When you’re finished sewing, turn what’s now your pillow case inside out so that your right sides are showing.
On one side of your pillow case, mark the area with chalk where you would like to attach your buttons. Taking either embroidery thread or heavy duty thread, loosely tack your buttons down through both sides of your pillow case. These buttons, when your pillow is stuffed, will give a cutesy effect.
Fill your pillow case with Poly-Fil (or whatever kind of stuffing you choose to use). Fill to your desired thickness.
Using thread that’s the same color as your fabric, stitch up the opening with a simple straight stitch.
Place your pillow in your desired location, because you’re done!
It’s an easy project to do that adds a little bit of nerdy to your everyday life. Personally, I am supremely happy with the results. I think the fabrics I chose give my pillows that retro 1950s-1960s look, which fits so well with the sci-fi theme.
What I like most about these pillows is that they can be easily customized to suit your taste and compliment your space. You can also make them smooth-edged pillows by leaving out the piping, or forget the button for a more traditional cushion. You can pretty much make them whatever you want.
What do you think about this DIY? Ready to start creating? Let me know in the comments below so we can nerd-out together! And remember: sharing is caring. If you like this post, then spread the love!
Don’t forget! You have until June 30th to get 25% off at Jordandené! Use code “NERDILYBLOG” at checkout.
Life was meant to be lived nerdily, so what are you waiting for?