Friday, November 11, 2011

Pottery Barn- Inspired Pillows

The PB Inspiration

Love these PB sweater pillows ! Knocking off PB accessories has become somewhat of an obsession and these look pretty easy.

My knock-offs

Thrifted the sweaters - all the thrift stores have rows of sweaters, so finding some that work is easy.    I had planned to make all red ones, but I couldn't find two shades that matched. Non-matchings reds is a bridge too far for me, so I went with two off-white sweaters and one red for accent.  I like to mix up the texture, so chose three different knit patterns.

First, I washed and dried the sweaters to make sure they could take it! Mine are all cotton, but you could use wool or any blend - just follow the care instructions inside the sweater.

Then on to cutting the sweater.  I tried to place the sweater on one side seam, leaving only 3 sides to sew, but that's not crucial.  (You might not be as lazy!)  I cut around the pillow form, leaving about a half-inch for a seam allowance. Then turn the sweater inside out, so the right sides are together,


I recommend using some kind of tape to stabilize the seams.  The cut edge of sweater knit is very stretchy and some twill tape / hem binding or even some ribbon will keep the square pillow from morphing into something weird.  ( I know this because pillow # 1 "grew" as I sewed, hence the twill tape for the others)!  Pin the tape along the seam edge and sew through the tape - use about a half inch seam allowance.   Leave an opening for the pillow form - about 4-5 inches, depending on the size of your form.  My off-white ones are 16x16, the red 14x14. 

I zig-zagged the cut edges to prevent any fraying .  As you can imagine, cut sweater fabric unravels pretty easily.

Turn the pillow cover right-side out again, gently pushing the corners out from inside.  I fold the pillow form in half and slip it into the cover.  Push the form into the corners, and straighten it inside the cover - sometimes a good whack or two helps to get it settled into the cover!  Slip stitch the opening closed with matching thread.

Pillow is done, but no need to stop there!  I sewed two large brown buttons from my stash in the middle of one of the off-white ones.  On the other, I made some flowers by coiling a piece of the sweater fabric.  The other flowers are made from the ties from the packaging on a set of sheets from Anthropologie - this is why I don't throw anything away!  The posies are just slip-stitched onto the pillow.  So far, the red one is sans embellishment - think the cables are enough.

Depending on the sweater you select, there are lots of ways to finish off these pillows.  On the pillow in the center, I used the hemmed edge for the top and just did a rough pick- stitch every half inch or so to hold it together.  If you use a cardigan, you could have button trim without the hassle of adding them.  You could cut parts from different sweaters - add the button half of a cardigan to a plain color sweater.

Now if I can just figure out how to keep the cat off these !

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