Topstitching really makes the difference on this pillow. Be sure to use topstitching thread and lengthen your stitch to 3-3.5. If you can't find topstitching thread in the color you want, then use two spools of regular thread. Thread them together through the machine and through the needle.
- Any Sewing Machine (we recommend the Janome DC3050)
Fabric and Other Supplies
- Simplicity pattern Simplicity 4108
- Faux suede for pillow side and ends
- Tweed fabric for accent panel around middle
- Coordinating fabric for piping
- Pins and other notions
- Bolster pillow form, 9" x 20"
- All purpose thread
- Topstitching thread to contrast with faux suede
- Regular and topstitching sewing needles
If you don't want to buy a bolster pillow form, you can make your own by rolling up quilt batting. Cut your sheet of batting so it's as wide as the finished length of your bolster (for example, 20"). Roll the batting snugly until your roll is the proper thickness (for example, 9" across).
- In Simplicity 4108 find the Bolster pattern pieces: #21, 22 and 23.
- The pattern instructions are for a single piece of fabric for the side piece. To make the multiple pieces like I did, lay out the pattern piece and use it to make sure your three pieces of fabric add up to the correct length and width. Just remember to add your 1/2" seam allowance. As you can see from the photo, this pillow has two pieces of faux suede on either side of a band of tweed.
- Cut out your fabric for the cording. This pattern includes easy instructions for making your own.
At Your Sewing Machine
- Sew the various parts of your side piece together.
- Before sewing on the ends, replace your regular sewing needle with the topstitching needle and thread your machine with a topstitching thread that will contrast with your faux suede.
- Sew two lines of topstitching about 1/2" apart in the middle of both faux suede pieces. (See photo)
- Follow the instructions for sewing together the bolster pieces, including adding in the piping.
- Insert your pillow form and close with a slip-stitch.
- You now have a custom-made bolster.
Hints and Tips
Before sewing on your bolster cover, try out your topstitching thread and stitch settings on a scrap of faux suede.
Other machines suitable for this project include the Pfaff ClassicStyle Quilt 2027 and the Bernina activa 220.