Thursday, August 25, 2011

How to Make a Pillow Sham with Piping

I think this might just be my very first, actual, sewing tutorial EVER! So, get excited! The pillow sham!

The very first thing I actually sewed was a pillow. That grew to making more pillows and then I made some pillows with adding piping edge. This past weekend I finally decided to make a sham for our bed using some fabric I found at Hancock's while searching for fabric for the flip house curtains awhile back!

This is just for ONE sham...double if you are making TWO. You will need:
  • 1 yard of pretty fabric, more if you want the front and back of the sham to have the same fabric
  • 1 yard of plain fabric (for the backing)
  • 2.5 yards of the piping (you want to have enough to go all the way around the on the safe side and always have extra)
  • fabric scissors or rotary cutter
  • pins, thread, sewing machine
  1.  Use your existing sham as a pattern and reference. Measure it and measure your pillow. In general you want to cut your fabric to the size of your pillow because it will look fuller. Mine was a King Size pillow that was 20 x 36 finished size, so I added 1 inch for the hem, but looking back I should have just cut it to the size of the finished pillow, so it wouldn't be so baggy. I just hate it when I cut things too small!
  2.  Next measure the back of your pillow sham. You are going to want the back two pieces to overlap at least 5 inches, so that your pillow won't come through. I overlap mine more... I guess I'm a cautious seamstress!
I measured two pieces that were 22 inches. I added 3 inches, so I would have a good overlap in the back. You should end up with one piece of fabric 37 x 21 inches (front piece) and two pieces of 25 x 21 inches (back pieces).
Cut out all pieces of fabric.
Next, cut out your strips for the piping. To find out how much fabric you need, wrap the fabric over the piping and cut a small slit. You will need at least 3 strips of the longest side of the remaining fabric to go around the piping cord.

Next sew together your piping strips. You can do it on the bias, but it will look fine if you just sew all your pieces together. Press seam flat.

Alright, now that everything has been cut out...iron down your hems on the back two pieces. Fold 1/2 inch, then fold again, so you get a nice crisp hem to sew on.
Sew your hems down.  I double top stitched mine, since I like a nice wide hem. I think it just looks better. HINT: If you want to double top stitch on both sides, then, press the MIRROR button on your sewing machine to move your needle right and left to sew closer to the fabric edge on the left or right side. Then your fabric can be ran right along the side of the foot as a guide to keep things straight. Just make sure you move it back to the left for the other side. Reverse sew on both ends of the fabric.

Like this...
Attaching the piping: If you have never attached piping before, you might want to practice on something and watch some you tube videos on it, first. It's a lot easier to watch a video than look at pictures, but I will try to explain!

Wrap your fabric around your piping cord and pin to the right side of your front piece of fabric.
Leave some space at the top of the cord, maybe 1 - 2 inches. You will need a little space at the end when closing the fabric up around the cord.

I have learned when doing piping that I actually prefer to use my regular foot when attaching the piping to the front piece of fabric and then using my zipper foot later when sewing all the pieces together, but you can use the zipper foot both times if that is easier for you as you guide the piping on. I think this is what most people do.

Now, you need to just sew your piping onto your front pillow fabric. Feed it nice and slow through and onto the fabric. Some prefer to sew their fabric strip around the piping cord first, then attach the fabric wrapped piping to the pillow fabric, but I just sew mine right in as I go. Do what you like, just sew it onto the right side of the fabric and end up with it like this...
When going around the corners, you can cut little notches to help turn the fabric easier, if need be.

When you get to the end of the where the other cord end is, cut your cords off so that the ends meet. Then, tuck a little bit of fabric under on both ends and overlap one side over the other and sew down. Watch this SailRite video if you haven't a clue what I am talking about here.

Lay your remaining back fabric pieces on top of the front fabric, keeping right sides together and overlapping the pieces to create the envelope back. Pin everything down.

Sew all the way around the edge of the fabric pieces. Turn right sides out. Stuff with a pillow and SHAM-WOW! You just did it!