I spend a lot of time with my ironing board. Lately, the deplorable state of its cover has been getting under my skin. Why not make a new one?
Making a new cover couldn’t be easier.
First, remove the old one.
Choose a tightly woven, colorfast material for the top. I pulled a cheerful plaid from my stash.
Using the old cover as a pattern, cut the new material.
Set up the serger for a 2 or 3 thread overcast with the knife up.
Lay about 6-8 inches of cord to the right of the fabric edge (next to the foot) and draw to back of machine.
Starting on one of the long sides stitch a wide overcast around the edge, feeding cord through at the same time. Stop about an inch from where you started sitiching. Leave another 6-8 inches of cord at the end.
Alternately, serge without the cord. With a tapestry needle, thread the drawstring cord through the overcast stitches.
Pop the new cover on the ironing board and gather in place.
After so many relatively complicated projects, it feels great to have a little instant gratification! This project took about an hour (not counting blogging).
When I am not sewing, I enjoy drawing. Some of my favorite subjects are animals, such as this handsome rooster. I really liked how his portrait turned out. It occurred to me that it might make the focal point of a really neat throw pillow, if I could figure out how to go from a piece of paper to a piece of fabric.
Spoonflower is a company that specializes in custom textile printing for the independent designer. People can upload their own designs or choose from an immense collection submitted by others. Designs can be printed on over 20 different types of fabric, wrapping paper, and wallpaper. I have shopped the spoonflower website in the past, but had never tried making my own design.
The spoonflower website has a lot of helpful tutorials, so I won’t go into the nuts and bolts, but they have made the process fairly simple. I scanned my drawing, made a few edits, then uploaded it to my spoonflower account. I used their editing tools to center and scale the image. At this point, I could have my design printed or even publish it for others to use (and get a small royalty for sales). I chose to get a fat quarter of plain quilting cotton as the base, and clicked the Order button. Easy!
It took about 2 weeks to get my order. Everything arrived looking just like the digital preview. The only fault I could find was that the part of the fabric that was not printed was pretty thin. Any color placed behind it showed through. To make it opaque and give it a little more stability, I fused lightweight interfacing to the reverse.
I went through my scrap heap to find a nice coordinating fabric for the pillow back. The material left over from my vintage apron was perfect. Other supplies included a zipper, some bright yellow pom-pom trim, and a 14×14 pillow form.
I love how my pillow turned out. Now that I know how easy it is, I know I will be printing my own designs again.
I have a kind of unusual color scheme in my living room. I have a dark orange sofa, grayish-green armchairs, and walnut mid-century style tables. The whole thing is pulled together by a crazy rug which has splotches of all of those colors and more. I wanted some throw pillows for the couch, but finding something commercially that works with my colors has been difficult. Time to DIY!
When I was on the spoonflower website working on my own design, I took some time to look for throw pillow fabric. Even limiting my search to mid-century and orange, I was kind of amazed to find that there were pages and pages of choices. This design was absolutely perfect. It had all of the colors I wanted, kept the mid-century theme, but was simple enough to harmonize with my chaotic rug. (If you love this pillow and don’t want to make it yourself, Spoonflower’s Roostery business will make it for you. They charge between $35 and $41 per pillow depending on fabric choice.)
I figured a yard would give me enough material to make covers for two 16×16 throw pillows. I considered the fabric options and chose the Cotton Sateen Ultra. The tight weave and slight sheen lend it a high-end feel. Cotton Sateen comes a little wider than I thought (yes, the website does say how wide it is… I just didn’t look), so I was delighted to find that I could cut three pillow covers, not just 2.
I purposely sewed them a little small, taking one inch off the pillow measurement (so 15×15 for a 16×16 pillow form). I like having my pillows a little overstuffed. I used invisible zippers because that’s what I had laying around. I think the hidden zipper works well with the smooth fabric, but it’s one of those things that only the person doing the sewing really notices.
There are plenty of tutorials out there on how to sew pillow covers with zip closures, so I’ll get straight to the results. Ta-da! Quick and simple: three new mid-century style throw pillows! Don’t you just love those instant gratification projects?