Yesterday you learned how to make delicate organza flowers. Let's put them to use with this Turquoise 2010 project. You'll also use your new skill of inserting concealed zippers. Why ... it's like three projects in one! We love the swirling pattern on this brocade. Very elegant, and yet it doesn't detract from the beautiful flowers.
Read more about 2010's favorite color and see some of our other favorite turquoise fabrics.
Sewing Tools You Need
Fabric and Other Supplies
- Fabric for pillow front panels: ½ yard of 45" wide fabric PER PILLOW: we used Intricate Scroll Brocade in Turquoise (we found ours at Jo-Ann Fabric)
- Fabric for highlight strips: ¼ yard of 45" wide fabric: we used Sew Essential's Anti-Static 100% Polyester Lining in Dark Turquoise (also from Jo-Ann Fabric)
- Three organza flowers
- 12" x 12" pillow form
- 14" concealed zipper
- All purpose thread
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Hand sewing needle
- Straight pins
- For the 12" x 12" pillow, cut two squares 13" x 13" for your main pillow fabric (Intricate Scroll Brocade in our sample) .
NOTE: Two things to remember if you use a brocade for this project as we did, 1) it looks very different on the right side and wrong side, so make sure you know which way is up; and 2) the edges really, really ravel, so be careful when you're cutting and make sure you have a solid edge and not a frayed edge to sew with.
- NOTE: I like to cut my pieces to position the selvedges on the side where my invisible zipper is going to go. Selvedges don't fray and create little wispy threads that could get caught in your zipper's teeth. You could also finish your raw edges with a zig zag or overcast stitch.
- Cut two 3" x 14" strips from the highlight fabric (Dark Turquoise lining fabric in our sample) .
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- Press under the long edges of both strips ½".
- Place the strips on the right side of one of the fabric squares, following our picture for placement. Of course, you're welcome to criss-cross them in another pattern if you'd like.
NOTE: If you used my 'selvedge trick', make sure the selvedges are along what will be the bottom of the pillow before positioning your strips.
- Pin the first strip in position.
- Edgestitch the first strip in place.
- Trim the ends of the strip even with the pillow front square.
- Repeat to attach the second strip in position.
If you're new to invisible zippers, check out our tutorial, Invisible Zippers Are Your Friends. You'll notice this is the pretty pillow we used to do that tutorial.
- Pin the zipper to the bottom edge of the FRONT pillow square by placing the zipper tape right sides together along the edge. The top stop should be about 1½" from the top raw edge, at but not into the ½" seam allowance.
- Stitch all the way down the side, stopping about 1½" from the bottom raw edge.
- Pin the zipper to the bottom edge of the BACK pillow square, also right sides together, and also starting and stopping at the same points.
- Now that the zipper is in place, you have to close the ends so there isn't a gap between the zipper and the seam.
- To stitch the reminder of the seam, close the zipper. Change from the concealed zipper foot to a regular zipper foot. Adjust the zipper foot to the left position. Lower the needle carefully and get as close as possible to the last stitch you made with the concealed zipper foot. Sew to the end of the fabric square.
- Adjust your zipper foot and complete the top seam in the same manner.
- Zip it closed to check your placement.
- Take a few hand stitches around the zipper teeth to create a stop at the bottom of our zipper opening (remember from above, this is about 1½" from the raw edge) and trim off the excess zipper.
NOTE: The reason I had you leave 1½" on either end (steps 1-3 above), is because you don't want your zipper to start or end right in the corner. That would make it hard to open and close and it just wouldn't look right. A good rule of thumb is to have the start and end points at least 1" from each finished corner. Since we're using ½" seams, that means you need the start point 1½" from the top raw edge and the stop point 1½" from the bottom raw edge. If you're making a jumbo pillow or cushion, with a side seam that is larger than any standard invisible zippers you can find; it's okay ... you can still use one. You would simply increase the distance from the top and bottom stops to the corners. It might need to be 2½" or even more.
Finishing the pillow
- Open the zipper (if you forget to open the zipper, you won't be able to turn the pillow right side out; invisible zippers are REALLY hard - if not downright impossible - to unzip from the back side) and stitch the remaining three sides of the pillow with a ½" seam allowance, making sure to capture the edges of the highlight strips as you go around.
- Clip the corners and turn right side out.
- Place three organza flowers close together at the intersection of the highlight strips and stitch in place by hand.
- Insert the 12"x12" pillow form and zip it up.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Kathy Andrews, What Sew Ever
Other machines suitable for this project include the Bernina activa 210 and the Elna 2300.