When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Sewing (Pink) – FREE PRINTABLE

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Sewing (Pink) - FREE PRINTABLE via cottagemagpie.com

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You know I wouldn’t make one of these without making a pink one, too, right? Of course not!! Inspired by the “Keep Calm” posters that are all over the blogosphere, I decided that yes, indeed, there was room for one more. 🙂 I am planning to print one for my sewing space, I hope you print one, too. If you do, please leave a link or share a photo on Pinterest and let me know. Thank you!

If you’re more of a modern type, there’s also a sassy, rainbow-colored version of this printable!

~Angela :-)

A Pillow Cover for Fall

A Pillow Cover for Fall via cottagemagpie.com

A Pillow Cover for Fall via cottagemagpie.com

While spending the summer going through someone else’s things isn’t exactly what I’d call the funnest summer ever, there are sometimes perks. For example, my Dad had bought each of us kids a $100 US Treasury Bond back in the 70’s. I had forgotten all about them, but we found them in the bottom of a box, and voila! Some fun money.

I was going to use it responsibly, to pay bills or something, but Mr. Magpie said not to. He said I should take it and buy something special, as a reward for all the hard work I’m doing this summer. It didn’t take long for him to convince me. So I promptly ordered some bedding for my bed and then got myself to the local quilt shop to see what I could find. [Read more…]

All Cleared Out, Where Do We Go?

All Cleared Out, Where Do We Go? via cottagemagpie.com

All Cleared Out, Where Do We Go? via cottagemagpie.com

When I declared so boldly that I was going to finish my living-room-slash-sewing-space once and for all, I forgot I was going to have to pack the whole room up and clear it out. Ugh!! Isn’t that just the hardest part ever? Having to figure out where to put all that stuff so that it doesn’t (a) swamp the rest of the house, yet (b) is still accessible is just hard. Haaaaard!!!

Okay, it wasn’t that bad, it just took FOR EVER. But I’m happy to say that not only am I don’t clearing the room but we’ve actually done the first teeny, tiny bit of work! Yay! So, given our current rate of progress, we should be done in, oh, say, 37 years! Woo hoo!!

Kidding. I’m sure we’ll [Read more…]

How To Make an Ironing Surface

How to Make an Ironing Surface via Cottage Magpie

How to Make an Ironing Surface via Cottage Magpie

I don’t know how many of you sew, but there’s a lot of pressing involved. Getting the seams nice and crisp gives you a great result. I find that to be true whether I’m quilting or making pillowcases or any other project. Since sewing is one of my favorite therapies (along with gardening and reading), I sew almost daily in the wintertime, and I really don’t want to keep a full-size ironing board set up in my workshop all the time.

Enter the ironing surface. The ironing surface small, completely flat, very very slightly padded surface that you can iron on. My new one is only about 17″ x 25″ which is just the right size for me to press almost anything I’d need to and leave room on my console for other things like my made over radio cabinet and my lamp. I am certainly not the first person to create such a thing, there are tutorials all over the Internet. But I added a little twist of elevating mine off the cabinet top with “legs” and I thought you’d like to see how I did it. Read on for all the details! [Read more…]

How To Sew A Throw Pillow Cover In 10 Easy Steps

How To Sew A Throw Pillow Cover In 10 Easy Steps

I admit, I tend to change my mind frequently. My husband would call it fickle. I just call it “ever evolving design tastes.” Whatever you call it, it means that I really love decor that has built in flexibility such as pillow covers that can be removed, washed, or changed. The best thing about pillow covers is that they are so easy to make. Here’s how I make a cottage-style throw pillow cover in 10 easy steps.

You will need:

  • A yard and a quarter (1 1/4) of 45″ fabric, or a yard (1) of 55″ fabric
  • Two and a half (2 1/2) yards of trim
  • A drinking glass and pencil
  • A sewing machine, iron, ironing surface, pins, scissors and thread
  • Optionally, you may want a rotary cutter and mat for cutting your fabric.

Step 1: Pillow Cover

Step 1
Cut your fabric into three pieces. For the front of the pillow, you will need one square 21″ x 21″. For the back, you will need two rectangles, 13″ x 21″ each. Note: Measurements given are for a 20″ square pillow. The formula for other sizes is at the end of the article.

Step 2: Pillow Cover

Step 2
To ease sewing and turning, we will round the corners of our pillow cover slightly. Trace a glass with a pencil on the wrong side of your fabric. Mark all four corners of the square piece of fabric and two corners on one long edge for each rectangle (see the picture at Step 4).

Step 3: Pillow Cover

Step 3
Cut along the pencil lines. To save time, I often double-up corners and cut two at once.

Step 4: Pillow Cover

Step 4
To prevent fraying but also avoid bulk at the seams, we will finish our raw edges using a zig-zag stitch or an overlong stitch if you have one. Finish all edges except the straight edge on each rectangle.

Step 5: Pillow Cover

Step 5
Since the straight edges of the rectangles will be exposed, we’ll use a more polished hem. Fold about 1/4″ – 3/8″ of the edge over twice to completely encase the raw edge and stitch it down with a straight stitch.

Step 6: Pillow Cover

Step 6
Next we will pin in our trim. On the right side of the square piece of fabric, start at the bottom of the pillow and carefully pin your trim, making sure the sewing band is to the outside and the trim to show is toward the inside of the square. Pin frequently, making sure not to stretch the trim. It should not have any tightness to it, or the pillow will pucker on the edges. Butt the ends together so the trim appears continuous, adjusting the length as necessary.

Step 7: Pillow Cover

Step 7
Next, we’ll pin the entire pillow cover together in preparation for sewing. Place one of the rectangular pieces face down, rounded corners to the outside as shown. Line the corners up and pin carefully, again, making sure not to stretch the fabric or trim.

Step 8: Pillow Cover

Step 8
When the first rectangle is completely pinned, place the second rectangle, face down, on the other half of the project. The hemmed straight edges will overlap. Again, beginning with the corners, pin the rectangle down carefully, making sure to remove any pins that might hide under the overlapping fabric and cause problems when sewing.

Step 9: Pillow Cover<

Step 9
Sew all around the pillow, using a seam allowance that matches the sewing band on the trim. For example, the sewing strip on my pom-pom trim was 5/8″ wide, so I used a 5/8″ seam allowance. For very bulky trims or piping that are close to the seam, you may need to use a zipper foot, but for flat trims such as fringe, or trims that hang away from the edge, your regular presser foot might work fine. If in doubt, sew a test using scraps of trim and fabric until you are comfortable with how the material will run through your machine. Finally, make sure to remove pins before you sew any given section of fabric! Sewing over pins can break your needle or even damage your machine. I usually pull the pins out of the 1″-2″ right before the presser foot and sew in small sections.

Step 10: Pillow Cover

Step 10
You’re almost done! Your project should now look like this. Next, turn the project inside out and press. Then, all you have to do is stuff the new cover with your pillow form.

Insert Pillow Form

Stuffing the pillow form into the cover is easy, just like you would put a pillow sham on a bed pillow. Smoosh it around and shake the corners until it looks right, and then, you’re done!

Finished Pillow Cover

Voila! One cute cottage style pillow cover. Now that you know this simple trick, you can change all the pillows in your house whenever the mood strikes. If you’re like me, that will be often!

My very best,

~Angela :-)

P.S.If you want to make a pillow cover for a pillow form other than the 20″ pillow I made here, you can figure your fabric sizes as follows:

  • Your square piece is the size of the pillow form plus 1″ square. So if your pillow form is 14″, your square piece of fabric should be 15″ square.
  • Your rectangle pieces are the same length as your square piece on the long edge. For the short edge, they are half your square piece plus 2.5″. So, if your square piece is 15″ square, half of that is 7.5″ and plus 2.5″ is 10″, so your rectangles should be 10″ x 15″ each.