If you’re looking for a first sewing project you really can’t go wrong with a flanged pillow. Samantha and I made this one together.
What makes the flanged pillow perfect for beginners is that it’s so straightforward to make, so forgiving, and so good-looking when finished that it will certainly inspire confidence and motivation to continue with sewing. Samantha chose this fabric from my stash; it’s one of the newer IKEA designs that you can find on so many of their products right now (glassware, kitchen towels, bedding, etc.). To help her know where to stitch, I used a dressmaker’s chalk pencil to mark the stitching line.
I usually make covers for pillows and make the pillows themselves separately (of course you can also buy standard-size pre-made pillows). It just makes so much more sense for washing, particularly if you use a pillow fill that is not washable like kapok. But I thought doing that would quash the fun and immediacy of this project, so I was willing to dispense with doing things the right way. After all, always doing things the right way will only get you so far in life and the polyfill I used is washable, so the whole thing can just go in the wash. Keep in mind that you’ll need to leave an approximately 4″ opening for both your pillow seam and your flange stitching line in order to stuff your pillow. I used machine stitching to both close up the pillow and complete the flange edge. If you’re wondering, a flange is simply a projecting edge – in this case, a decorative fabric one.
Here are the directions for making an approximately 13-1/2″ x 18″ finished pillow.