Wednesday, July 21, 2010

ruffle pillow tutorial

i just got back from a great trip visiting my family in missouri and kansas, so i've been a little scarce this last week.  i also started back to work this week, summer break is over...  but i still have lots of projects on the horizon and almost finished my summer list!  so here is the long ago promised tutorial for the ruffle pillow i made this summer.  it was a much more involved process than i had planned, not difficult, just lengthy!

ruffle pillow tutorial
you need:
1 1/2 yards of fabric
dental floss
pillow stuffing 
sewing machine

1.  start by cutting two squares of fabric an inch larger than you want your finished pillow to be.  i went with 19 inches.

 2.  cut strips of fabric that are the pillow's length and a half (so mine were about 30 inches long).  depending on the size of your pillow, you can decide how wide the ruffles should be.  you can also do them longer if you want your pillow rufflier (is that a word?).  i cut my strips five inches wide so they would stick off the pillow about 2 inches after being sewn on.  i hemmed the edges by folding them over twice, ironing them down, and sewing them which left me with a 4 inch wide strip.  i used 7 strips, but again, this depends on the size of your ruffles and the size of your pillow.

3.  there are many ways to gather a ruffle, i tried just doing two parallel baste stitches, but my thread kept breaking, so i found a dental floss trick that worked very easily!  set your sewing machine to a zigzag stitch as shown.  then you just lay the dental floss down the middle of your strip (doesn't have to be perfect) and you zigzag stitch over it, leaving the floss running down the middle between the zigzags.  make sure the dental floss is a little longer than your strip before you sew.  after you have sewed the zigzags, you can pull on each end of the floss and slide the fabric to gather it.  you've got ruffles!

4. now you're ready to sew your ruffle on.  take one of your fabric squares and place the ruffle where you want it.  i didn't even pin it on because i didn't want it to look to straight and measured.  i sewed right down the middle of the ruffle where the dental floss is on each ruffle and made sure i didn't leave too much space between ruffles so it looked full. 

5.  once you have your ruffles like you want, lay your two squares together and pin the sides.  be sure to lay the ruffles face down since you'll be turning the square inside out.  stitch around the edges leaving 6 inches or so open so you can turn the square inside out.

6.  now all you have left is to flip the pillow inside out so the ruffles are on the outside.  stuff it to the fullness you want with filler and then i folded over and sewed that last six inches closed on the machine.  all done!

if you make your own pillow, please link it up so i can see your work!


  1. So cute! I've been looking for a fun little sewing project- maybe I will try this!

  2. I saw one like this at Home Goods for $30, but figured I should keep looking! Now I think I will try it myself! Great job!