One half is cool cotton, the other half soft faux fur. When placed side-by-side and back-to-back, you get a pillow with plenty of personality. Mixing textures like this is a fun way to create a unique look. We dare you not to smile at these happy polka dots. So fast and easy, these pillows can stitch together in under an hour.
With the playful polka dots, bright colors, and shaggy faux fur, our fabric combo has a casual feel. It would be super cute in a teen bedroom. A few fresh pillows can give a room a new look in no time.
If you’d like a bit fancier finish, consider using a denser faux fur, like the Mink collection from Shannon Fabrics. Pair it with a striking geometric or a lush floral.
Rather than a traditional thin interfacing, we use a fusible fleece to back the cotton side of the pillow. This gives the cotton a bit of extra depth to help it better match the thickness of the faux fur.
If you’re new to working with faux fur, you’ll be pleasantly surprised that it’s easier to handle than you might think. In fact, it’s particularly forgiving thanks to the deep pile that conceals any less-than-perfect stitching. For more tips and techniques, check out our tutorial on Sewing with Faux Fur.
Stitching with a Walking or Even Feed foot or engaging your machine’s built-in fabric feeding system, such as the AcuFeed™ Flex System we love to use on many of our Janome studios machines, will make quick work of all the pillow’s seams. Whenever you’re combining dissimilar substrates, flat cotton with fluffy faux fur in this instance, it helps to be able to feed the layers from both the top and bottom. The fabric will move smoothly under the needle with little shifting, eliminating twists and puckers in the finished seam.
Our pillows finish at approximately 18” x 18” and are soft and cushy rather than taut. To get this finish, we cut our starting squares at 20” for 18” pillow inserts. For larger or smaller inserts, simply add 2” to your pillow size for your starting squares. For example, a small 12” pillow would start with 14” squares and a generous 24” pillow would start with 26” squares.
These pillows make a great gift idea. Whip up several as a housewarming gift or to use them to brighten up your own space.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing Machine and standard presser foot
- Walking or Even Feed foot; optional; we used the built-in AcuFeed™ Flex fabric feeding system
Fabric and Other Supplies
The amounts shown below are for ONE pillow. Although, with a width of 44”+, you can actually make two matching pillows from the cuts shown below.
- ⅝ yard of 44”+ quilting weight cotton; we used two bright polka dot fabrics – check out the Robert Kaufman "Spot On" collection
NOTE: ⅝ yard is enough for a basic square; if your motif requires very precise fussy cutting, get ⅔ - ¾ yard.
- ⅝ yard of 44”+ faux fur; we used a Luxury Shag Faux Fur in White from Shannon Fabrics – there are many options in luxury and fun faux fur from which to choose
- ⅝ yard of 45” fusible fleece; we used Thermloam Plus by Pellon
- ONE 18” x 18” pillow form
- All purpose thread to match fabric
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Pressing cloth; optional but helpful when working with faux fur
- Rotary cutter and mat
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Hand sewing needle
- From the cotton fabric, cut ONE 20” x 20” square.
- From the fusible fleece, cut ONE 20” x 20” square.
- Place the fusible fleece against the wrong side of the cotton square. All sides of both layers should be flush. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse in place.
- Cut across the square on the diagonal. We fussy cut between rows of dots.
- You now have two fused triangles.
- Draw a 20” x 20” square on the back of the faux fur.
- Using scissors with a sharp point, cut along the drawn lines through just the backing.
- Still working from the back, draw a diagonal line through the square.
- Cut along the diagonal line, again snipping just through the backing so the nap of the faux fur remains intact.
NOTE: Don’t forget to check out our tutorial on Sewing with Faux Fur for details on cutting, pinning, and more.
At Your Sewing Machine
- Pin one cotton triangle right sides together with one faux fur triangle along the long inside edge of both triangles.
- When pinning the layers, push the nap in and away from the raw edges.
- If possible, engage your machine’s built-in fabric feeding system or attach a Walking foot.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch together.
- Steam the seam allowance open or press using a pressing cloth.
- Repeat to attach the remaining cotton and faux fur triangles.
- Place the front and back panels right sides together, matching up cotton to cotton and faux fur to faux fur.
- Pin all around.
- Leave an approximate 8” opening along one faux fur side for turning.
- As above, remember to push the nap of the faux fur in and away as you pin.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch around all four sides. Remember to pivot at each corner and to lock your seam at either side of the 8” opening.
- We used our Janome built-in AcuFeed Flex™ feeding system throughout the project to best handle the faux fur.
- Clip the corners.
- Press open the two cotton sides, and finger press open the two faux fur sides.
- Turn the cover right side out through the opening.
- Gently push out the trimmed corners from the inside to make nice, square corners on the outside. Use your finger or a blunt-end tool, like a large knitting needle, chopstick or point turner.
- Fold in the raw edges of the 8" opening so they are flush with the sewn seam.
- Insert the pillow form through the opening and fluff the corners into position.
- Slip stitch the opening closed. The stitches will disappear into the nap of the faux fur.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild