Flange Pillow with Distinctive Edge

I recently taught an overlocker based class at Sew Expo in Puyallup, WA. Being that my visual design preferences are for lines, colors and textures . . . with practical results, I opted for a decorator pillow where the front is made of woven strips of duck cloth (texture), edged with a thick ( 12 wt. ) cotton thread on an overlocker  (more texture!) in a bright color palette. The strips were fused to a fleece to make a panel. The rest was simply following the pattern instructions to complete the double flange pillow.

The advantage of using an overlocker to cover the edge of the fabric strips (as opposed to using, say, a satin stitch at the sewing machine) is that the overlocker loopers can lay down a heavy thread and cover the edge perfectly without disturbing it. It’s also way faster in getting all the strips done :-).

Flange Pillow Tutorial

The 1-2-3’s of the Pillow

  1. Simple Double Flange Pillow Pattern by Susan Beck
  2. Weave strips of fabric to make your own décor fabric 
    • Add texture and dimension
  3. Use the Overlocker to edge fabric strips
    • Fast and efficient
    • Even, consistent and professional finish
    • I sewed on a BERNINA L 450

Preparing the Fabric Strips for Overlocker

Cut 22 Strips of Fabric

Cut each strip 2 inches wide x 24 inches long.

Note: These will be slightly longer than what is needed to form a full 20″ x 20″ panel while making it easier to weave them together.

Flange Pillow Tutorial-cutting the strips

The strips will be processed in 3 groups of 4, 16 and 2 pieces each.

Flange Pillow Tutorial-preparing the strips

Reserve 2 strips for later (to serve as headers).

Flange Pillow Tutorial-4 strips

Set 4 strips aside: they will be edged on ONE side only.

Flange Pillow Tutorial-16 strips

The remaining 16 strips will be edged on BOTH sides.

Flange Pillow Tutorial-preparing the srtrips

When all Strips are Edged

Flange Pillow Tutorial-Press with steam

Press with steam. Swipe along each strip for a quick press.

Edging Strips at the Overlocker

Flange Pillow Tutorial-align the fabric

Align the right edge of the fabric strip with the presser foot marking furthest on the right.

Flange Pillow Tutorial-lift the toe of the presser foot to make fabric positioning easier

TIP: Lift the toe of the presser foot to make fabric positioning easier.

Flange Pillow Tutorial-Stitching along the strip

Stitch along the entire length of the strip.

Flange Pillow Tutorial-edged strip

Flange Pillow Tutorial-edging the strips

One or both sides according to the strip.

Weaving the Strips into a Fabric Panel

Flange Pillow Tutorial-taping and pinning

Tape down a ‘header’ strip (overlap tape to strip by 1 inch).

Flange Pillow Tutorial-10 vertical strips

Pin 10 vertical strips to the header. Strips # 1 and 10 are single edged, raw side to the outer edge.

Note: Outer edges (left and right) are raw.

The ‘Warps’ Are in Place

Begin Weaving

Flange Pillow Tutorial-begin weaving

Peel back every other strip toward you, e.g. even numbered strips.

Insert the First ‘Weft’ Strip

First strip has a raw edge.

Align raw edge with the edge of the header.

Insert the Remaining Weft Strips

Flange Pillow Tutorial-Insert the remaining weft strips

Return peeled back strips to flat position.

Peel back the other 5 strips (odd numbered).

Insert the next ‘weft’ strip (double edged).

Flange Pillow Tutorial-weaving

Continue alternating warps as you insert wefts 2-9.

Weft # 10 (last strip) has a raw edge.

Flange Pillow Tutorial-holding strip

Insert the last strip with the raw edge facing the outside.

Flange Pillow Tutorial-pin

Pin the remaining Header strip at the end of the weave—with the edge of the strip following the edge of weft #10.

The full Weave With the Wrong Side Up

Fusing Down the Weave

Holding the weave by a header strip, carefully flip it right side down (wrong side up).

Flange Pillow Tutorial-tuck in outer weaves

Tuck in outer warp strip if needed.

Tip: Use your finger nails.

Flange Pillow Tutorial-fusing

Place a 20″ x 20″ piece of the fusible fleece against the weave:

  • Fusible side against the weave
  • Center the fleece square against the weave (leave an equal margin of weave on all sides). Check that the outer warp strips are tucked in.

TIP: The weave will be larger than the expected 20″ x 20″ you might expect from adding the mere width of the strips. This is normal.

  • Verify that the fleece is fusible side against the wrong the weave: Check twice . . . fuse once

Flange Pillow Tutorial-pin corners

  • Pin the fleece in the corners and center to hold in place.
  • Transfer the weave to the ironing station and fuse the fleece.
  • Iron on Cotton setting, high steam.

Trim the Weave to the Pattern Size

NOTE: Remove all pins before trimming the main panelThis will release the header strips: Remove them at this point.

Flange Pillow Tutorial-trimming the weave

At the Rotary Cutting Station

  • With the panel right side down, fleece side up.
  • Make sure the loose ends of every other strip are not flipped over.
  • Rotary cut the panel to size using the edges of the fleece as your cutting lines

Flange Pillow Tutorial-front panel of weave

  • Flip right side up. This is now the front panel/fabric for your pillow.

The Rest of the Process

Follow the main pattern instructions for the rest of the project. See downloadable pdf at the beginning of this post.

Making the 2 Panels

Flange Pillow Tutorial-Fuse fleece to back panel

Fuse fleece to the solid fabric for the back panel.

Flange Pillow Tutorial-pin, stitch and fuse lining

Flange Pillow Tutorial-pin lining

Pin, stitch and apply lining fabric to both panels: Front/weave and back.

Flange Pillow Tutorial-Stitch lining right sides together

Stitch lining right sides together, leaving a long (10″) opening on one side (to turn right side out later).

Flange Pillow Tutorial-trim fabric

Flange Pillow Tutorial-Trim main fabric and fleece seam allowances to reduce bulk except at the opening

Trim main fabric and fleece seam allowances to reduce bulk except at the opening.

Flange Pillow Tutorial-trim corners

Trim corners (45 degrees).

Turn right side out. Push out corners and press (pin opening closed).

Flange Pillow Tutorial-edge stitch lining

Edge Stitch Lining

  • Straight Stitch, Length = 2.5
  • Foot # 10D, engage Dual Feed
  • Needle Position- 5

Assembling the Pillow

With broth front (weave) and back (plain fabric) panels lining sides together:

  • Stitch along 3 sides (2 sides and bottom)
  • 3 inches from the edge
    TIP: follow the 3″ seam guideline on the machine extension table
  • Stitch Length = 2.5 / Center Needle Position
  • Backstitch at both ends to secure the seam
  • Stuff the pillow to desired firmness with loose polyfill
  • Stitch the opening closed (top side) and fluff the pillow

OPTIONAL

Before sewing the sides and bottom,  insert a 14″ zipper at the top first: This will allow you to service the pillow more easily. You can then use a 14″ pillow form if desired.

Flange Pillow with distinctive edges

Difficulty level: Intermediate
Time to Complete: Evening
Used Material: 12 wt Mako, fabric
Projects: home décor, pillow
Seasons: spring, summer
Techniques: serger

2 thoughts on “Flange Pillow with Distinctive Edge

    1. Hi Mara,
      Note: the ‘Flanging” seams are done 3 inches from the outer edges of the pillow. Since the pattern starts at 20×20 inches, that leaves a 14×14 inches pillow fill area, perfect for a 14″ pillow form.

      The pattern instructions call for sewing the flanging seams on the sides and bottom first, fill the pillow and sew the last flanging seam at the top at the end to close the pillow.

      To make the pillow more serviceable, you can substitute the top flanging seam with a zipper (inserted 3 inches in from the top edge of the panels. To do so:
      * sew a 14″ zipper 3 inches below the top of the panels and close the zipper (one side on each panel)
      * sew the side-bottom-side seam to close the pillow
      * open the zipper and insert a 14″ pillow form

      This way, the pillow form can be washed or replaced if it flattens out

      I hope this helps clarify the zippered option

      Sylvain

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