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Lumbar Pillow with Front Button Closure

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A horizontal pillow injects an interesting shape into the ordinary pile of pillows. This one features an envelope style opening on the front rather than the back, so we can show off a set of three beautiful cherry wood buttons. The buttons are not only fabulous, they are also keeping the pillow cover closed. Who says beauty and brains don't mix? 

This pillow is part of a set we originally did to celebrate Earth Day (and a few of our favorite song titles by The Beatles). All three pillows in the series feature beautiful, nature-themed fabrics from Joel Dewberry's Modern Meadow collection. Each pillow has a unique shape, and all are stuffed with a bamboo blend fiberfill. To make all three, below are the links to the companion pillows:

Here Comes the Sun

Strawberry Fields

Modern Meadow is an older collection that is no longer readily available in-store or online. As an alternative, we found these pretty new collections, which also boast natural motifs: First Light (arriving in May) by Eloise Renouf for Cloud9 and Shimmer by Jennifer Sampou for Robert Kaufman, both from Hawthorne Threads.

Our pillow finishes at approximately 12" high x 22" wide.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

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  • ½ yard of 44-45" wide fabric for the pillow's right side: we used Joel Dewberry's Modern Meadow in Grass Majestic Oak from FreeSpirit Fabrics
  • ½ yard of 44-45" wide fabric for the pillow's left side: we used Joel Dewberry's Modern Meadow in Maple Acorn Chain from FreeSpirit Fabrics
  • Pillow fill or 12" x 22" pillow form: we used a bamboo blend fiberfill from Fairfield
  • All-purpose thread to match fabric
  • Three 1¼ buttons: we used simple wood buttons in a cherry finish
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and cutting mat
  • See-through ruler
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Straight pins

Getting Started

  1. From the feature fabric that will end up on the LEFT side of your pillow (Maple Acorn Chain in our sample). Cut ONE 13" high x 12½" wide rectangle and ONE 13" high x 11" wide rectangle.
    NOTE: Ultimately, these type of design choices are up to you, but if you choose a fabric with a directional, ‘stripe-like' print, as we did, we recommend running the pattern vertically.
  2. From the feature fabric that will end up on the RIGHT side of your pillow (Grass Majestic Oak in our sample). Fussy cut ONE 13 high x 20½" wide rectangle and ONE 13" high x 17" wide rectangle. We fussy cut in order to keep our rows of trees appropriately centered.

At Your Sewing Machine

  1. Place the 12½" wide rectangle of left side feature fabric (Acorn Chain in our sample) on the left and the 20½" wide rectangle of right side feature fabric (Majestic Oak in our sample) on the right, with the wrong sides of both fabrics facing up.
    Click to Enlarge
  2. Fold and press a 2" simple double hem on the adjacent sides. To make a double hem, fold the raw edge of the fabric back 2" and press. Fold back another 2", press again and pin.
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  3. Edgestitch the hem in place close to the inside fold on both rectangles. 
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  4. Following the directions for your sewing machine, sew three buttonholes on the hem of the left side feature fabric, spaced 3½" apart.
    NOTE: We used Janome's Automatic Buttonhole foot, which allows you to place your button in the back of the foot and stitch out perfectly-sized buttonholes over and over. Love it!
    Click to Enlarge
  5. Overlap the two finished rectangles, with the buttonholes on the top and the hems aligned.
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  6. Machine baste the two pieces at the top and bottom within the ½" seam allowance. You need just a short line of basting across the hems - just enough to hold the two pieces in the correct position.
  7. Thread a hand sewing needle with matching thread and sew the buttons directly under the buttonholes.This completes the pillow cover front. Set it aside.
  8. Find the remaining rectangle of left side feature fabric (Acorn Chain in our sample), fold the raw edge of the fabric back 2½" and press.
    Click to Enlarge
  9. Find the remaining rectangle of right side feature fabric (Majestic Oak in our sample). Place it over the folded edge of the piece you just pressed, right sides together and matching the raw edges. Pin in place.
    Click to Enlarge
  10. Sew through all layers of fabric, ½" from the overlapped raw edges. This completes the pillow cover back.
    Click to Enlarge
    NOTE: This step might feel odd, because you're sewing across the middle of pillow cover with fabric on both sides of the needle. But... you're actually creating a cool, folded ‘flange' on the back of the pillow to match of the envelope opening on the front of the pillow. And, not only will the back flange match the front flap, the two lines of stitching will also match. Oh my, you are so clever!
    Click to Enlarge
  11. Place the pillow cover front and the pillow cover back right sides together, matching the folds of fabric.
  12. Stitch around the entire outside edge of the pillow, using a ½" seam allowance. Clip the corners diagonally, and turn the pillow cover right side out through the buttoned opening.
  13. Using a hand needle and thread, we slip stitched our Sew4Home label to the back flange.
    Click to Enlarge
  14. Insert a pillow form or filler (we used the bambo blend fiberfill, and button the front closed.

Contributors

Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Michele Mishler

Section: 

Comments (3)

Lee Minor said:
Lee Minor's picture

Pretty, but buttons on the front of a lumbar pillow wouldn't be very comfortable.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Lee Minor -- Glad you like the look of the pillow. It's definitely meant to be decorative rather than for lounging 

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