Hide the Ugly!

Hello to you! It’s time for another weekly post, and I’m still in craft-mode so prepare yourself for another exciting read.

As you know, we’ve had to replace our old couch (which we sold in Lajes) because Ninja #1 was allergic to our lovely beagle (and our lovely beagle had rubbed his dander all over our old couch – it was too much to completely clean). Our new couches came with four throw pillows covered in a gloriously hideous fabric in a most unbecoming shade of brown. But, I was raised to waste not.

How can you salvage such atrocities, you ask? You put your big-girl panties on and endeavor to make four slipcovers in fabric that is not as offensive. I present Exhibit A, a close-up of the disturbing fabric, to support my case:

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In my past I have made a fair share of throw pillows, which I stuffed myself (ahem, I made 23 last year whilst my husband was deployed). But I have never made a slipcover for a pillow that has already been stuffed. The idea of planning the logistics for this gave me great anxiety, but I bravely accepted the challenge in the hope of saving my family from viewing the brown atrocities for longer than necessary. To JoAnn Fabrics, I went! Their home decor fabrics were discounted by 60 percent, and I got an additional 10 percent off because the husband is military (it’s so nice when that happens)! In the end I saved $77 on fabric, and I am so proud. The husband even talked me into getting Star Wars fabric to make him a pillow to go with the pillows I made for the Ninjas during his deployment.

Let the crafting commence! First thing’s first. Wash your fabric. When it’s clean and dry (I like to hang mine to dry if possible), IRON. Once those two steps are done you can start to measure, cut, pin, and sew to your heart’s content.

The pillow inserts inside the brown atrocities were approximately 23″x23″ so I used just under a yard of fabric for each slipcover. The next few steps were not as complicated as I thought they would be:

1) Pin the short ends of fabric in (remember, when sewing a pillow, always sew with fabric inside-out, so your stitches are inside when you finish the pillow), and sew your hem. I generally do a 1/4″ hem. If you’re new to sewing, always remember, you need to back-stitch the beginning and end of your hem or your stitches will come out.

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2) Lay fabric out (I set mine out on the floor because I was busy watching Ninjas. Using a table would have been much easier), pretty side up – remember you want to sew the pillow case inside-out. Place pillow insert in center of fabric, and fold fabric over so that the slipcover opening ends up in the center of the insert. Carefully remove the insert and pin the ends of the slipcover (the unfinished ends, not the opening of the slipcover where you would insert the pillow). Sew hem on both sides, 1/4″. Again, remember to backstitch the beginning and end of your hem. Don’t want you going back to do it all over again!

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3) Turn slipcover right-side out, check seams and push out corners. Put pillow insert in new pillow slipcover to check fit. I left mine a little roomy because I wanted to do an extra 1/4″ hem on the outside of the slipcover, all the way around it. But, if you’re happy with the fit, you’re done!

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Now you can enjoy your newly covered throw pillows, and rejoice in knowing that when your Ninjas spill something on your pillows, you can simply remove your spiffy slipcovers and throw them in the wash! Yes, it’s a brilliant-parent moment, be proud of it!

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