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bow pillow (tutorial)

bow-pillow-diy

A simple, understated pillow, with classic detailing and menswear-inspired fabric? Yes, please.

One of my favorite pillows I’ve made is an oversized bow pillow (which you can see in the background of this picture and in this post about pillows). The inspiration came from those silky bow blouses from the 80’s, but with a slightly more masculine feel with the gray plaid of the original pillow. It’s such an easy one to make that I thought maybe you would like one in your home, too. I’d love to show you how.

bow-pillow-gray-stripe

SUPPLIES //

bow-pillow-supplies

fabric (medium to light-weight so the bow will lay nicely) / scissors / pins / needle + thread. Not shown: iron, sewing machine

MAKE THE PILLOW //

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1 / cut two pieces of fabric 1″ larger than pillow form size. My form is 12 x 18 so I cut my fabric to 13 x 19. This will give you 1/2″ seam allowance.

2 / pin fabric pieces right sides together

3 / stitch around the perimeter, angling a few stitches on the corners and leaving an opening in the bottom center.

4 / trim extra fabric on corners

Turn right side out and you’ll have this:

bow-pillow-turn-right-side-out

MAKE THE SASH //

bow-pillow-sash-steps-1-4

1 / cut long strip of fabric for sash. Your length will depend on how long you want your finished bow. I like the tails to just hit the bottom of the pillow. My sash was cut to 40″ long. The width is 5″.

2 / fold sash in half and iron flat

3 / starting on the folded side, angle the stitches to create a nice finished edge of the bow

4 / stitch along open edges of sash to close –  leaving an opening in the center (see below). Repeat steps 3 + 4 on other end of sash.

bow-pillow-sash-step-5-8

5 / trim ends

6 / be sure to leave a small opening in the center of the sash

7 / turn sash right-sides-out. Using a pencil or skewer can help.

8 / not shown: iron sash flat for nicely crisp edges

9 / hand-stitch opening close. Your finished sash will look like this:

bow-pillow-bow-sash

TIE THE BOW //

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1 / make a loop, leaving about 1/3 of the sash as the tail

2 / loop the other end of the sash up over the loop

3 / pull through center loop

4 / pull gently to tighten, adjusting the bow loops and tails to lay nicely

ADD BOW TO PILLOW //

bow-pillow-steps-9-12

1 / hand-stitch back of bow to hold together

2 / stitch to top left corner of pillow cover (make sure you only stitch through the front piece!)

3 / insert pillow form (I prefer down-filled like this)

4 / pin opening and hand-stitch to close

And here’s the finished piece:

bow-pillow-tutorial

Try it in a light-weight flannel, silk, or fabric found in the apparel section of the fabric store. It looks cute as a smaller lumbar shape, but also great on our sofa in a large square.

bow-pillow-gray-stripe-tutorial

This is a great project for a beginning sewer as there are only a few straight stitches! Give it a try …

7 Responses to bow pillow (tutorial)

  1. tish* October 30, 2014 at 4:48 am #

    So cute, I love it* Can’t wait to see your tutorial on that awesome puff ball blanket you made! It’s adorable.

    • emily October 31, 2014 at 9:26 am #

      it’s coming …

      • tish* November 3, 2014 at 6:39 am #

        Yay! thank you*

  2. erin October 27, 2014 at 7:43 pm #

    I received a sewing machine for Christmas last year and was super excited. It was “unboxed” this summer with the craft room/study redo. Now, my new machine sits out and looks great…never touched. I think I’m just intimidated and overwhelmed to get started. This tutorial is just the trick. I think it’s even ok if I mess up as I can simply try again on the straight lines of the pillow. Thank you!!

  3. Debbie Howard October 27, 2014 at 11:44 am #

    Your pillow turned out really sweet! Great tutorial too!

  4. Eva October 27, 2014 at 9:51 am #

    I literally just got a sewing machine and was hoping to find some projects.. Perfect timing! This looks easy enough for a beginner like me!

  5. Helen October 27, 2014 at 9:40 am #

    This is so lovely! Stylish with a bit of a difference. I’m going to try it with some old shirts from the op shop (as we call thrift stores in Australia). Thank you for all the great ideas & inspirational posts

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