How To Close A Pillow With Sewing Machine

Materials Needed

In order to close a pillow with a sewing machine, the right materials must be gathered first. This can vary based on the type of pillow being closed, but often includes a pillowcase, stuffing, and a suitable thread for the project. As for the type of sewing machine to be used, a standard machine should be more than enough for most cushion projects, but investing in a basic quilting machine may be necessary for more intricate cushion covers.

Pre-Sewing Preparations

Once the materials needed are gathered, pre-sewing preparations must be made. These normally include setting up the sewing machine and threading the needle appropriately. This can usually be done by following the instructions in the sewing machine’s manual. It is important to be sure that the needle is firmly installed and especially in the case of quilting machines, that the stitch size is adjusted to a suitable size.

Stuffing the pillow is important too, and this can be done with whatever filling is preferred; from down feathers to synthetic stuffing. However, It is essential to check the pillowcase size against the stuffing to ensure that it fits correctly. If not, adjustments to the pillowcase may need to be made to make sure the finished cushion looks neat.

Closing A Pillow

Before beginning to sew, it is important to prepare the pillowcase itself by Ironing out any wrinkles and making sure that the edges are straight and straighten. This will make the pinning stage easier and less time consuming since pins can be used to keep the edges even and the shape correct. The pillow should then be sewn, making sure that the right side is facing out to give a neat finish. Depending on the type of cushion, slip stitching or hidden stitching is usually used, as this gives a slightly neater finish.

For a closer, more secure finish, an overlocker machine can be used instead of a traditional sewing machine. This will create a tighter stitch and will ensure that the cushion stays in one piece once the seams have been sewn. The fabrics chosen for the cushion will also determine the type of stitch and thread used for the job.

Finishing Touches

Once the pillow has been properly sewn, it will need to be turned the right way round, so that the seams are on the inside. This should be done with care and attention, paying particular attention to the corners to give a neat finish. A pressing cloth can be used to press the pillow flat and make sure the shape is even and neat.

The last step is to insert the cushion padding back into the cushion cover and adjust it so that it sits comfortably inside. Once this is done, the cushion should be ready to use and is usually finished off with a tie, button or zip on the back.

Using Different Styles Of Pillowcase

When making a cushion, there are a few different styles to choose from, depending on the end result desired. Traditional pillowcases with just one side of fabric are simple and aesthetically pleasing, while those with a closed back are generally more reliable and easier to maintain. For a more creative look, decorative pillowcases can be made with more than one fabric, zippers and even silk ribbons.

Depending on the complexity of the design, it is important to choose the right fabrics for the job. A heavy fabric such as denim may need to be used as a reinforcement for stitching, whereas a light fabric like chiffon will be easier to work with and result in a much softer finish. Coordinating the fabrics and deciding on a design can be the most creative part of the process, but it is important to pick the right fabrics and patterns to ensure that the pillow looks as neat as possible.

Using Appliqués

Appliqués can also be used to create a more personalised cushion, as they can often be bought pre-made or designed. Appliqués are usually embroidered or stitched on to the cushion, and are often used to display monograms or decorative motifs. This can be a great way to give a cushion a unique look, but it is important to make sure that the appliqué is firmly and securely stitched, as otherwise the design may become distorted or frayed.

In conclusion, sewing a cushion can be a creative and fulfilling activity, giving the opportunity to give an otherwise plain cushion a unique look. To make sure that the cushion looks tidy and professional, it is important to use the right materials, carefully measure and cut the fabric and make sure that the seams are firmly stitched.

Stitching Different Fabrics Together

When stitching different fabrics together, it is important to consider how the materials will look and react when stitched. The best way to do this is usually by experimenting with a scrap of fabric first, to get a better idea of how the material will react when stitched. For example, when it comes to heavier fabrics like denim, it is important to use a reinforcing stitch so that the fabric does not fray easily.

In addition, using the appropriate needle is essential for successful stitching. Generally, thinner materials such as chiffon require a finer needle, whereas a heavier material like denim will require a chunky needle with a bigger eye, such as a leather needle.

When stitching two fabrics together, it is usually best to use a small zigzag stitch, since this creates a wider, more secure stitch. This is important as it helps to strengthen the fabric, and also makes sure that the fabric stays in one piece, since it is less likely be pulled apart later.

Installing Closures

In order to finish the cushion, it is necessary to install some kind of closure. This can be anything from a simple tie or button, to a pull string or a zip. Again, the appropriate closure should be chosen depending on the fabric used, as well as the end look desired. Additionally, if a zip is being used, then a special zipper foot needs to be used, to make sure that the zip is securely and neatly in place.

Finally, if a tie is being used, then the ends should be stitched to the sides of the cushion for a neat finish. They can also be pulled to create a bow or a tassel which, whilst not necessary, can give the cushion a more decorative look.

Adding Tassels

Tassels are an easy way to add a touch of texture to a cushion, as well as making it look more decorative. They can be made from a variety of different materials, including yarn, ribbon and even fabric. They usually consist of a long, thin strand of material which is wrapped around the end of the cushion, and then stitched in place.

Tassels can be used to create a fringed effect, much like fringe yarn is used in crochet projects. Alternatively, they can simply be used to give the cushion a neater finish, much like putting a bow on a present. To ensure that the tassels stay in place, it is important to ensure that the fabric is securely and firmly stitched together.

Using Special Techniques

In some cases, other techniques like patchwork or quilting may need to be used when making a cushion. Patchwork involves putting together a number of pieces of fabric to create a larger piece of fabric, usually with a pattern. This requires accurate cutting, joining and stitching skills, as well as the right tools, such as a rotary cutter, iron, and seam ripper.

Quilting is a similar technique but involves adding a layer of filling, such as wadding, between two sections of fabric. This is a more complex technique and requires specialised tools, such as a quilting machine, as well as quilting pins and needles. It is also very important to make sure that the filling is evenly distributed throughout the cushion.

Creating Detailed Cushions

For a more detailed cushion, such as one with complex embroidery or beading, special tools and techniques may need to be employed. Most craft stores will stock a selection of beads and sequins and specialised tools, such as beading needles, and beading thread, which are all designed to help create intricate cushion designs.

Embroidery can be done either by hand or with a specialised embroidery machine. Both methods require skills, as well as the right tools; for hand embroidery, this can include a frame and needle, and for machine embroidery, special software, as well as the machine itself.

Including Embellishments

Finally, additional embellishments can be added to the cushion to give it a more luxurious feel. This could include things such as tassels, pompoms, lace, and ribbon trims. For a more professional finish, these should all be securely stitched in place, so that they are not easily removed.

All of these techniques and materials can be used when creating a cushion, depending on the desired end result. It is important to think carefully about the fabric choice, as well as the techniques to be used, and to make sure that the cushion looks neat and well finished.

Geoffrey Kirby is an experienced author and sewist who has been creating sewn projects for over 20 years. He has a passion for teaching beginners and inspiring more advanced sewists both online and through his writings. Outside of writing about sewing, Geoffrey loves to explore new techniques and styles of sewing that incorporate upcycling fabric remnants into sweet items with personality.

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