Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pretty Pillow Shams - a (really!) simple tutorial

For Mother's Day this year, my husband built us a bed.  We were using an antique one that was my Great-grandmothers, and we loved it, it's just kinda creaky.  So it's now in our guest bedroom.  Ryan found a great knock-off plan over on Ana White's blog and built this Pottery Barn Farmhouse Bed.

The original is around $1200.00.  Ryan spent $40.
All of the wood was reclaimed wood - he got a bunch from a pile at a lumber yard - so all he had to purchase was the stain, wood filler, nails, and screws.

Isn't it pretty?  Thanks hubby!
Well, I've been wanting to show it to you for a few weeks, but the pillow situation was SO embarrassing I couldn't do it.  I HAD to make some shams first.
and so I did.
and I made a tutorial in case you are in the same plight I was in.
Shams can be made in many many ways, but since I wanted to keep it simple I made them pillowcase style.  If you use 56" wide fabric this works out perfectly because you can use the selvage for the edge of the pillow and you don't even have to finish it!  I also left the edges of my embellishment raw because I was lazy thought that's what Anthropologie would do.  Right?  Pretty sophisticated silk - embellished with bright, textured fabrics with a raw edge.  I know it's not everyone's style, so if you hate the raw edges (mom) just sew all four pieces together then stitch the whole thing on the pillowcase.
Here is what you will need (these measurements are for a queen size, but they're not really tall, so feel free to adjust the measurements to your liking). 

11/3 yard of 56" wide fabric
Fabric scraps in your color palate 2 different colors 6 1/2' x18"- fat quarters would work well, or just something from your stash
Sewing machine/thread
Scissors/pins/yard stick

Step 1:  Cut out the pieces.  Cut four pieces 19"x 26" out of your main fabric.  (Best to do this by folding the fabric selvage to selvage (the width from selvage to fold will be 26") then just measure 19" from the edge, cut and another 19" and cut).  Out of your embellishing fabrics cut 8 pieces 3 1/4" x 9" (4 of each color).

Step 2:  Turn your pillowcase pieces right sides together, and sew around the three sides that are NOT the selvage.
Clip the corners and turn right side out.

Step 3:  Pin the first rectangle to the front (be sure to only pin it to the top piece!).

Top stitch it on about 1/2" from the edge.

Pin the second rectangle on - and place it right up next to the first one so that the seam allowances will stand up - like this:

Sew around that piece.

Continue in this way until all four piece are sewn on. Like I said before, if you would like, sew all 4 pieces right sides together to create one big rectangle.  Then press all the edges under and topstitch that on.

Step 4:  Stuff your pillowcase with a pillow - I just used a regular queen sized pillow from Target.  That's it!
4 easy steps to a better looking bed - AND it looks so custom with that bolster which you can find the tutorial for here.

Happy Sewing!


  1. @Melody R. yes my furniture is antique and was my great-grandma's - crazy that you have the same ones! Good luck with learning to sew - you can DEFINITELY make those shams!

  2. I'm glad I'm not the only one who asks, "What would Anthro do?". We should make up bumper stickers for ourselves. haha.
    LOVE the shams Jessica - they're gorgeous. I really like your quilt too - did you make it?
    Also - hubby did an amazing job on the bed!!!

  3. Did your hubby and my hubby channel each others' carpenter energy or did they just secretly have a discussion while we were crafting? The hubs made a head borad for me for Mother's Day TOO! WHAT? And now I have a great tute for more pillows (which I now desperately need YAY!)Love it girl!

  4. What is the fabric that you use on the edge of the shams and on the bolster pillow? Beautiful colors and texture! Those are the most georgeous shams and bolster that I've ever seen!mlocker @ bwoodtx {dot}com

  5. Nice post, thank you for sharing. You have really imparted useful knowledge on

    pillow shams


Thanks so much for commenting! If you have a question, make sure your email is in your profile or leave it in a comment so I can answer you. Otherwise email me at jessica(at)sewhomegrown(dot)com - Have a lovely day!

You may also enjoy...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...