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5 days of favorite projects {day 3}

    So, I hate to disappoint you regular readers, but there is no What I Wore post today. Believe me, you wouldn’t want to see anything I wore this past week anyway.  And it was sort of nice to have a break from awkwardly posing in front of a flimsy mirror while trying to decide if I smile or squint or put my hand on my hip or what.  One of my friends at church this weekend said her husband walked in and saw her looking at my WIW post and thought it was really dumb that I take photos of my outfits. I totally agree, Anthony, it is dumb. But it forces me to get dressed everyday so that I look presentable for all my ladies here and that makes it worth it.   Plus you all say nice things to me and sometimes a girl likes a compliment.


    Did that sound rude? I didn’t mean for it to. And my friend at church and I were joking about it so I was not offended. I think I didn’t say that right.


    How about we skip right to day three of the

    favorite projects

    Today I thought I’d show you how to make a fabulous


    Here is what you’ll need:


    :: fabric {I used a cotton curtain panel from IKEA}

    :: pillow form

    :: scissors

    :: pins

    :: tape measure

    :: sewing machine & thread

    STEP ONE: cut out the pillow front & back


    My pillow form was 12 x 16, so I cut two pieces of fabric to be 13 x 17 {giving me a 1/2″ seam allowance on all sides}



    STEP TWO: cut strips for the ruffles


    There is no need to be exact here. Just eyeball the strips to be approximately 1 3/4″ wide. Your length will depend on the height of your pillow – I cut five strips at 57″ so that I could cut them in half once ruffled to give me a total of 10 ruffles.  If you make the length about two times the height of your pillow, you should be fine.


    STEP THREE: ruffle the strips


    with your machine set to the longest stitch {check your sewing machine manual if you aren’t sure how to do it}


    sew down the middle of the strip, making sure to leave a long thread at the beginning {and not backstitching to start}


    then pull the bobbin thread {or which ever one seems easiest to pull} and ruffle the fabric.

    Continue with all of the strips until you have a delightful pile of ruffles.


    STEP FOUR: pin the ruffles to the pillow front


    Starting in the center, pin a ruffle down the front.


    Since I made my strips long enough for two lengths, I cut it once it was pinned to create a second ruffle.


    Continue to pin the ruffles as close together {or apart} as you like. Just be sure to leave room on either side for your seam allowance.



    STEP FIVE: stitch on the ruffles


    With your machine set to a regular size stitch, begin with the center ruffle and sew down from the top {using a backstitch to secure}.


    Use the stitching down the center of the ruffle as your guide, backstitching to finish each row. Continue until all rows of ruffles have been stitched down.


    STEP SIX: trim the excess


    here is what your pillow front will look like:


    STEP SEVEN: sew the front & back together


    With right sides together, stitch around the perimeter of the pillow {make sure to leave a wide opening in the side to insert your pillow form}.


    Backstitch to secure the opening.


    STEP EIGHT: trim the extra fabric


    and cut a diagonal at the corners



    STEP NINE: turn the pillow inside out




    STEP TEN: insert the pillow form & hand stitch shut



    Of course, if you wanted to do it the right way, you could add a zipper.  My mom {the expert seamstress} is probably appalled that I didn’t put one in, but stitching it closed is easier. Plus, since I didn’t ‘finish’ the edges of the ruffles, they will fray like crazy if you put them in the washer & dryer, so no need to make the pillow cover removable.




    Obviously, you can vary the fabric & ruffle number & width to create a totally unique pillow.




    {three wide ruffles}


    {very frayed blue organic cotton canvas}

    The same method of ruffling was used to make the curtains in the nursery



    as well as my sweet ruffle headbands



    Another option: add a double layer to a personalized tote bag



    So many possibilities with a simple little ruffle.

    Have you enjoyed our week of tutorials so far?

    I hope so!

    Tomorrow’s project is another ruffle-y one – only this time not made with fabric.

    Hmmm : what could it be?

    Come on back for day 4 to find out.

    If you like this tutorial share it with your friends on facebook: Share

    49 thoughts on “5 days of favorite projects {day 3}”

    1. I have to say this ; Dumb is such a creative critique. Ha! ;) If it inspires, harms none, and adds beauty to the world, it is anything but.First pluck the “lint “(rafter) from your own eye, then the “thread” (splinter) from thy neighbors. Us women need and enjoy shared inspiration and shared enthusiasm for life. How else do you think we are able to stand by creatures who inadvertently utter such belittling words. Green is not a color that suits everyone. ;) You are an amazing woman, let no one play that down in ANY WAY, EVER. You truly bring joy, and hope to many. Let none be the stumbling block, on any level, at any time. You are a rare gem. No detail is too small in Gods eyes. Put on your darling outfits, hands on hips…whatever, if it helps others, who is to judge?!? Blessings to you and yours ,from Me and mine. Hugs& Thank You. Keep up the positivity , the world needs it, we all need it!

    2. If you pull the bobbin thread, the ruffle is easier to gather. I enjoy your blog very much and find you undaunting and fearless! Keep it up!

    3. oh my gosh! soo weird.. Here I am going cool.. looking through all the pictures. and then i get to the nursery picture. instantly i go: that looks familiar. racking my brain for why i think: a long time ago i was looking at interior design stuff and happened upon this baby audrey’s room. no.. it can’t be that same room.. yes. yes it is! the wallpaper, the ruffled curtains, it is! In fact i saved it manyyy a time ago under my interior design inspiration album (because my baby’s room WILL look like that.)
      This is just soo weird to me that i happened upon that! small world :):)

    4. I’m going to do it! Yes….a pillow is in the works!
      I *strongly dislike* my sofa pillows….they came with the sofa…yuck! Why have I persisted in keeping them? Because I couldn’t find anything that worked. I’ve removed the covers and will now make a lovely Emily inspired pillow. This is so exciting! (My life sounds boring if making a pillow is exciting – huh?) Creative hat…I’ve missed you…let the play begin!!!

    5. I just found you through the new emagazine and am I ever happy I did. :) Love this tutorial for the ruffles and will hopefully get to try it out someday. My sewing machine isn’t cooperating lately, so I’ll file it away for another time.
      Please enter me in another time towards your May giveaway. :) It looks quite lovely. I too will be doing a giveaway soon, so if you care to take a peak one day next week it should be available.

    6. Just made one of these with white fabric, but with cream and green toile ruffles. It turned out super cute. Going to use them on my back patio once the sun comes out and stays out. Thanks for all of your fun projects. You inspire me and help de-stress me when I can be creative.

    7. I have been so inspired by some of your tutorials!! I am a designer myself and have been in a bit of kink. As a new mommy to a lil girl (due in June) , a aunt to 2 nieces and having numerous friends w/ lil girls, I have had a ball making your ruffle handbands & poly silk flowers!! Everyone loves them! I have also been inspired to finish some design projects that have been lingering for a few years. Thanks so much for you fun posts!

    8. Thanks so much for this tutorial! I love the way my pillows turned out using the method you shared! I can’t wait to share your link and my pillows on my blog next week! :)

    9. Emily,

      I so adore looking at your site… I look almost everyday and get so excited when you post new tutorials… new pics of what you wore… All of it is so inspiring. As I was reading about your not posting what you wore that week, then saw Anthony’s name, I can’t help but wonder if that was you and I chatting at church. I SO love seeing what you wear, and though Anthony doesn’t get it, we all love it, so keep it up! Blessings my friend!

    10. Emily,
      I just want to tell you how beautiful your ideas are and that because of you my sister has been re-inspired to get back into her art and creating her own beautiful things

    11. love all these ruffle projects. let’s talk about that pink round ruffle pillow. and i love your outfit diary. it’s one of the only things i have to go by to stay up with what’s “in.” i have like a thousand kids and never leave the house. (that’s a BIT of an exaggeration….) Work it! :)

    12. Can you please do a tutorial on that cute circular pink ruffly pillow where you are showing the curtain ruffle image? please please please?

    13. I would really love to try to make a headband like your sweet little girl is wearing in this post! I love it :) Where on earth do you find those skinny little headbands… all I can find in the stores are those huge crocheted ones and they are just too big on my little girls head!
      Love your blog :)

    14. after seeing this tutorial… I jumped up with a scrap of pink fabric from my stash and made a shabby ruffled pillow.

      I haven’t had much ruffle success in the past, but looking at your photos made me want to try again. So glad I did. Cu-ute!! Thanks for the inspiration!

    15. I am so excited that I am redecorating our home a bit and you have inspired some serious creativeness in me!
      P.S. Love Love the beauty you are bringing to ordinary things!!!

    16. No, no, not rude at all. ;) It was evident it was a joke, but it is no joke how seriously inspirational your “what I wore” posts are. I did go to Banana Republic last week and discovered that they do indeed have a sale rack just like everywhere else and found a couple cute things that fit nicely into my budget. But if the “What I Wore” is to be bumped for one week, this pillow project is most satisfactory substitute. So nice of you to share your secrets and inspiration! Thank you again.

    17. ok since I have no sewing machine, nor do I have any inkling how to sew- how about you just whip me up one of those FABULOUS pillows???? ;) Pretty please! :)

    18. I love these pillows and it inspires me to get out my sewing machine!! Now, if only I had an IKEA close by:) Thanks for the tutorial!

    19. You are my favorite blog to read to date and can’t get enough of your posts. You are part of my daily morning routine (while the kids watch Sesame Street) and sip some tea. Thanks for doing the tutorials and I will ALLOW you a week off from WIW. Men really don’t get it and my husband would most likely agree with what Anthony said (though I don’t understand why your friend relayed this to you), however, I love them and encourages me to dress up as well since I’m home all day. Keep up the good work and I LOVE your sense of style!!!!!

    20. I continue to adore you and your blog!!! You inspire me! I hope you don’t get too popular though because then you won’t have time to write sweet thank you emails back to me. :)

    21. YES!!!! FINALLY the PILLOW!! Now this means I have to go out and buy a sewing machine. (Remember I told you i want to learn how to sew along with many other things!) You have NO idea how many stores I have gone to lately looking for the perfect pillows for my moms home. Sue and I did buy our canvases and glue yesterday. I actually bought canvas sheets that I am going to use inside of some OLD antique frames from james’s parents ~ I cant wait. I may also do the sheet music one too!
      thanks so much……

    22. you are amazing!! your ideas are amazing!! i’m in love! seriously, i’m not going to get anything done anymore. i’m still stuck on those adorable flowers from day 1!! i made 6 yesterday and ran out to get fabric in every color!! now ruffles! be still my heart. thanks for the time you put into your tutorials and all the great inspiration. i LOVE your blog!!!

    23. Adorable! I can’t wait to make mine. I already made my little one a new flower clip for her first day of preschool.

      Thanks for these great tutorials. I’m going to be sad when this week is over!

    24. Thanks so much sharing! I so enjoy the inexpensive items you are sharing! I love going to your website each day and being able to learn a new ways to decorate! Love your tutorials. I’m so glad this week isn’t over yet! Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!

    25. I was hoping you would do a ruffle pillow tutorial this week :) Thanks for making such a detailed, descriptive tutorial for a craft-challenged person like me. I plan to buy a new sewing machine and this is going to be my first project. By the way, men definitely don’t get the WIW thing. My husband is a good sport about it, but he thinks it’s pretty weird. If you love clothes, then you get it. You have great outfits so thanks for sharing.

    26. Jo in New Prague, MN

      This is absolutely fantastic!!! I love it and can’t wait to try. We are going to the Mall of America tomorrow, which is just across the road from Ikea. Guess where we’ll be stopping. Thanks so much.

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