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Faux Cowhide Pillow is Casual Chic: Gifts in a Jiff with Fabric.com

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You needn't be a cowboy or cowgirl to fall in love with this excellent accent pillow. The faux cowhide is 100% polyester with a heavy, velvety feel. Continuing our theme of imitation as the greatest (and humanest) form of flattery, we've paired it with a thick, rich faux wool, also 100% polyester. This combo is another marvelous example of the wide variety of fabric types and textures available from Fabric.com. The design is very chic yet super quick. You could whip out a whole herd of pillows in a single afternoon. 

Available in realistic tans and black (we chose a Guernsey brown) as well as fun colors, like blue and pink, the "Udder Madness" upholstery weight is a super fun finish. A polyester mesh backing makes it smooth and very easy to sew. 

The Harper Home Faux Wool collection was also wonderful to work with. It has an almost cashmere-like hand, very soft and pliable. It comes in eight elegant colors, from the deep Saddle we selected to a vibrant Chianti

Rather than simple front and back squares, we put on our cowboy boots and kicked it up a notch. Both sides are made from two rectangles seamed down the center and highlighted to either side with bold topstitching. It's the same kind of finishing detail you'd see on genuine leather accessories or upholstery. 

We went with a full 20" x 20" pillow form, which allowed us to easily make all our cuts with just a half yard of both the 54" wide heavyweight faux leather and the 58" wide faux wool. But - why not get a full yard of each and make one for you and one for a Gift in a Jiff for a friend?! Or adjust your pillow size to make even more.

Our thanks to Fabric.com for sponsoring the Gifts in a Jiff series. If you haven't visited Fabric.com before, today is a great day to start. But be prepared to lose yourself for a few hours in the amazing variety. If you're already a Fabric.com shopper, you know there's always something new to see, like the Deal of the Day on their home page or Just Arrived. And, check out their new alphabetical search by Brand or Designer, available along the top of every page.

Our pillow finishes at approximately 20" x 20" and is designed with a loose fit to allow a "karate-choppable" softness. 

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

NOTE: Inventory shifts constantly, and some fabric may not be in-stock when you first visit. However, there are other color options as well as re-stock dates listed when appropriate for each fabric at the Fabric.com site

Getting Started

  1. From EACH of the two fabrics, cut TWO 11" x 21" rectangles
    NOTE: As mentioned above, neither of our fabrics was directional. If you have a strong directional print, cut 11" wide x 21" high rectangles, which means you will need at least ¾ of a yard of each fabric. 

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

  1. Place the two front rectangles right sides together, aligning one 21" raw edge of each. Pin in place. 
  2. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch together.
  3. Press the seam allowance open. 
  4. Flip to the right side. 
  5. Re-thread the machine with heavy thread in the top and bobbin. Increase the stitch length substantially; we used 4.5mm.
  6. If possible, attach a Quarter Inch Seam foot. 
  7. Topstitch ¼" to either side of the center seam. 
  8. Be very careful to make sure both lines of topstitching are an exact match.
  9. Repeat to stitch the two back rectangles. And, topstitch as above. 
  10. Your stitch length and seam allowance should be the same as for the front panel. 
  11. Place the front and back panels right sides together, aligning the raw edges all around and being especially careful to line up your center seams. 
  12. Pin in place all around, leaving an approximate 8" - 10" opening along the bottom edge.
  13. Using a ½" seam allowance, sew around all four sides. Remember to pivot at the corners and to lock your seam at either side of the opening. 
  14. Trim all four corners at a diagonal. For more about corner-cutting techniques, see our full tutorial
  15. Turn the cover right side out through the opening and press flat, turning in the raw edges of the opening used for turning so they are flush with the sewn seam. With these faux fabrics, adjust your iron to a lower heat.
  16. Insert the pillow form through the opening. Gently fluff it into each corner, working from the farthest side out toward the opening. Pin the opening closed.
  17. Thread a hand-sewing needle with matching thread and slip stitch the opening closed. Use small stitches to keep your work as unnoticeable as possible. 

Contributors

Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Leah Wand

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