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- About 2 yards bias tape, 1/2 inch single-fold or 1/4 inch double-fold
- Scrap piece of fabric for stem
- Fabric to make a pillow cover (I used a linen-y fabric, similar to a drop cloth)
- Pillow form (I used a 15.5-inch one, which is a good size for pumpkin in the template below).
- Bias Tape Pillow Template (<—click to download)
- Basting glue, or Xyron 1.5-inch sticker maker and repositionable adhesive refill
- Ruler and rotary cutter, scissors
- Washable pen
- Lightweight tear-away stabilizer
- Lightweight iron-on interfacing
- Iron and ironing board
- Sewing machine and thread
- Directions:Cut out your pillow fabric, depending on how you want to make your pillow. I’m making an envelope-style pillow where I cut a rectangle of fabric and overlap the ends so I don’t need a zipper. So for a 15.5-inch pillow form, I cut a 16×44 inch rectangle. If you are making a pillow cover with a zipper (or if you’re going to stuff it and hand-stitch the opening), just cut two 16×16-inch pieces. If making an envelope-style pillow cover like I did, determine the front of the pillow, i.e. where you will be adding the pumpkin, by centering the pillow in the rectangle, and folding the fabric over it. Remove the pillow form without disturbing the fabric. What should result is a 16-inch square of fabric. Press the folds and that’s where you will be centering your pumpkin. Download, print, and cut out your Bias Tape Pillow Template (note: I used a “draft” of my template while taking pictures for the tutorial, so it looks different in the picture than in the download where I made some improvements). Trace it onto your fabric with washable pen, in the center and slightly lower towards the bottom, as you’ll need to save a little bit of room at the top for the stem. On the template, you’ll see these little notches along the top and bottom. That’s where you will place your pumpkin “stripes” in the middle. Mark them on your fabric. Set the pillow fabric aside. Note: you can also save the image below instead of using the download, if you want to change the size of the pumpkin. If your bias tape is single-fold, fold it lengthwise down the middle to make it double-fold and press. The result should be 1/4 inch double fold bias tape. The bias tape is quite thin and curves a bit, so it might be difficult to use pins to keep them in place. You can use basting glue to adhere temporarily adhere the bias tape to the fabric. This time, I’m doing a little experiment using my Xyron sticker maker with repositionable adhesive in place of pins or basting glue to apply the bias tape to the fabric before sewing. Will the adhesive goop up my sewing machine needle? If it works well, then we have an easier and less messy way to create shapes with trims on fabric so they stay in place for sewing! I’ve used my Xyron to adhere trims to paper, to wood, and to each other, but I’ve been concerned about how the adhesive will affect my sewing machine. I don’t want adhesive to gum up my needle and possibly clump up inside my sewing machine and make it mad at me. And, I’m using repositionable adhesive in the hopes that it will be less sticky than the usual permanent adhesive that I use. So, if you don’t have a Xyron sticker maker, you will have to be sure to buy a repositionable cartridge because it will come with a permanent one. I have two yards of bias tape, so that will use up a lot of adhesive. So instead, I’ll loop the bias tape around, and feed both ends into it, making sure the bias tape is laying flat and on the same side, i.e. there are no twists in the bias tape to cause the adhesive to go on the wrong side. I used my fingers to guide the bias tape as I slowly pulled the adhesive strip out the other end. Now to apply the bias tape to the pillow cover. First I’m going to do the four stripes in the middle. You will want the opening of the bias tape to face “out” of the pumpkin. So the two on the left will have the opening on the left, and the fold on the right. The two stripes on the right will have the opening on the right, and the fold on the left. Starting at the mark from the template, press down the bias tape in a curve, parallel to the sides of the pumpkin. End at the bottom mark, and trim. Press down so the adhesive sticks, but don’t worry if it comes off; you can reposition it as you sew. Repeat with the other stripes. Then, place a press cloth over your strips and iron, to help the adhesive dry. This is something I didn’t do: prepare the fabric for sewing with stabilizer. Use a lightweight one, maybe an iron-on one like I used here. This will prevent any puckering of the fabric. Then, open the bias tape and sew right next to the fold, on the half that is down on the fabric. Sew all four stripes. I must say that the Xyron adhesive is making it very easy to sew down the bias tape. Crossing my fingers and hoping my needle doesn’t get too gummed up! But if you ironed it before sewing to dry the glue, here’s hoping that won’t happen. Then, apply the outline of the pumpkin. Start at the top (the ends will be covered with the stem). Go all the way around the pumpkin. You do not have to follow the exact curves from the template at the top and bottom. As you can see, I did not. Just make sure the outline overlaps the stripes so the raw edges of the stripes are hidden. Again, open the bias tape and sew right next to the fold. Make sure that as you sew over the stripes, their folds are closed. All done with the pumpkin! Now to add the stem. I used a piece of 2-inch bias binding that I also found at the thrift store. I cut about a 5.5-inch piece and folded in one end. Then I folded the whole thing in half so that the raw edge on the other end is hidden underneath, creating a 2×2.5 inch rectangle for the stem. I folded in the corners to make sure they wouldn’t slip out. Press the whole thing flat. Or, you could cut a piece of fabric that’s about 3×5.5 inches, and fold each long side in and press. Then fold it in half as I did. Top stitch the stem onto the pillow, overlapping the pumpkin about 1/4 from the bottom and making sure you cover the raw ends of the pumpkin’s bias tape. If you used stabilizer, tear it off, and then if you wish, fuse on some lightweight interfacing. You can use a small piece just to cover the pumpkin, or cover up the entire front surface of the pillow cover. Up to you. Now finish sewing up your pillow cover. Again, I did mine envelope-style. Here’s the back. And here’s the front. You can fluff out the bias tape if you would like the fabric to stand up a little bit, to see some texture. All done with the pillow! My pumpkin is on the minimalist side, but you can make it fancier. Some suggestions:
- Make your own bias tape with pretty fabric.
- Cut out a piece of patterned fabric in the shape of the pumpkin, and sew some contrasting bias tape on top of that. Or instead of fabric, use some shiny metallic paint.
- Make a curvier stem and applique it to the pillow.
- More suggestions: make different shapes, like a leaf, and instead of a pillow, you could do a hanging banner with some lettering.
- Oh, and here’s what my sewing needle looked like after I sewed on my bias tape with the Xyron adhesive. It did cause lint to stick to my needle. So, if you are going to use Xyron adhesive, I would clean my sewing machine first of any lint, which you should do anyways (I am so bad at remembering to do that). I also opened up the bobbin case to look for any evidence of goo and I didn’t see any. So, it does make your sewing needle a bit sticky. I would use it for small projects such as this again. I would just remove the needle afterwards and wipe it with a damp lint-free cloth. Plus, ironing your project after you’ve used the Xyron adhesive will help it dry and prevent any build-up.It seems that I like pumpkins. More pumpkin crafts here: Pumpkin Thank You Card :: Chalk Painted Pom Pom Pumpkins :: An Easy Way to Carve Real Pumpkins :: Bias Tape Pumpkin Pillow (you are here) :: Vintage Spool Pumpkin Mason Jars :: Pumpkin Yarn Embroidery Hoop Wreath :: Easy Twine Striped Pumpkins
Author and Crafter at The Silly Pearl
Stephanie Chan is the crafter behind The Silly Pearl. She has been creating since childhood, inspired by her creative parents. Today she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her handy IT Guy husband, sweet twin girls born in 2007 (Year of the Pig), and a fuzzy tabby cat named Sherry. Current obsessions include watercolor, mid century modern design, Harry Potter, and of course, cats and pigs!