I just received a question via Home Dec Beck on why pillows don’t look square when complete. The answer to this is: the pillow cover is not square! Stay with me hear… I know it sounds crazy.
Let’s start with the pillow forms (or inserts). This is what gives shape and form to a pillow. First, I never rely on the measurements printed on the bag the form comes in—they many times are wrong. I always measure both the length and width of the pillow to determine the cutting dimensions for my pillow cover (regardless of the shape of the pillow). To both the length and width measurements, I add 1 inch for the seam allowances. For example, if my pillow form measures 16 inches square, I cut my fabric 17 inches square.
To address your concern that your pillows never look square (I always refer to the curved lines as “smiles” and the resulting floppy corners as “ears.” In fact, this is a problem that all sewists experience at one time on another that there is even a template made specifically for this.
- Place the pillow front and back (including the fleece type batting and muslin) with right sides together. Line up the see-through template with the cut edges of the fabric.
- With a water erasable fabric marker, trace along the template’s curved corner edges. Also mark the new corner pivot point provided on the template.
- Repeat this process at the remaining corners.
- Cut the fabric on these marked lines through all layers (the centers of each side remain unchanged). Stitch around the pillow following the newly cut edges.
Now turn the pillow cover right side out. The cover will look odd, but once the pillow form is inserted, the pillow will appear square.
You will be smiling, and your pillow will be perfect!
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Donna Babylon is a DIY and sewing guru. Her latest book is Decorating Sewlutions: Learn to Sew as You Decorate Your Home. Learn more at www.MoreSplashThanCash.com