Introduction: DIY: Appliqué Pillow

About: Fairgoods is an online shop that sells a curated selection of accessories, housewares, apparel, decor, and type — with a focus on goods that use type. For more DIYs, visit our blog:
How to make your own fabric appliqué sticker — which is a great way to customize a pillow and show off a favorite typeface or design, and perfect for beginner or intermediate sewing skills.  

Enter our giveaway for the Fairgoods Appliqué Pillow!

Step 1:

What you’ll need (for a 16 to 20” pillow cover):
  • 5/8 yard base fabric (I used 100% cotton outdoor duck cloth. Choose a heavier weight, tightly woven fabric)
  • 3/8 yard accent fabric (I used 100% cotton sateen)
  • Zipper, invisible or standard
  • Thread in base and accent colors
  • Iron-on adhesive (I used Heat'n'Bond)
  • Patterns in your choice of typeface (letters must be printed backward)
  • Mark Simonson’s Bookmania typeface (used to create the F)

Step 2:

To prepare the iron-on paper, trace the design onto your iron-on adhesive paper. (I put the design under the adhesive paper and traced over the lines.) Carefully cut out around the traced lines. Remember: If you’re using lettering or anything that is read left-to-right, you’ll have to print them out backward.

Step 3:

Iron the iron-on onto your accent fabric, lined up with the selvage edge (lengthwise grain) of the fabric.

Step 4:

Cut out the design, around the transfer paper.

Step 5:

Prepare the pillow cover. Cut or tear the fabric to 1 inch wider than your pillow. I used an 18-inch pillow, so I cut a 19-inch square. This will allow for half-inch seam allowances and a tight fit on the pillow for a more professional look. Cut two pieces.

Step 6:

Fold both pieces in half and then in half again to find the centers (or measure carefully). Mark the centers with pins.

Step 7:

Position your appliqué on the center of the pillow (or wherever you want it). Peel the paper backing off, reposition it, and iron it down.

Step 8:

Attach the appliqué more permanently to the pillow. Set your machine to a wide, short zigzag stitch, using thread that matches the contrast fabric. Zigzag around the outer and inner edge of the design. (Capture the appliqué under the needle on the left side, and put the needle down just outside it on the right. This will finish off the raw edge with what looks like half of a buttonhole stitch.) For a very curvy design, it helps to use a slightly narrower stitch.

Step 9:

Repeat appliqué steps for the other side appliqué.

Step 10:

Now you’re ready to make the pillow cover. On the bottom edge of the pillow, insert the zipper using the manufacturer’s instructions (I used an invisible zipper). Press fabric around zipper flat. Open the zipper.

Step 11:

Folding the bottom-edge seam allowance back on itself, sew the other three sides of the pillow closed. Snip the corners and press these seams open as much as possible.

Step 12:

That’s it!

If you're like our Fairgoods appliqué pillow, enter our giveaway.