• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • paul wheaton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
  • Mike Jay
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Devaka Cooray
garden masters:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Dave Burton
  • Dan Boone
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Mandy Launchbury-Rainey
  • Mike Barkley
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This is a badge bit (BB) that is part of the PEP curriculum.  Completing this BB is part of getting the sand badge in textiles.

In this project, you will make a small pillowcase.

To complete this Badge Bit, you must:
  -  Post a before picture of your fabric
  -  Post a picture of your pillow in progress
  -  Post a picture of you stuffing your pillow
  -  Post a picture of your completed pillow!

  - Must be stuffed with a natural material: bedstraw, straw, feathers or wool
  - Fabric must be either reclaimed from an old tee-shirt/sheet, or be a natural material (hemp, cotton, wool, linen, silk, etc)
  - Be at least 10x10 inches
  - It can be machine sewn, as you can probably already sew by hand if you can use a sewing machine!

Here's a quick video on sewing a pillow

If you've never sewn before, I have a more in-depth tutorial down below!

Here's a tutorial on how to sew!


Measure and Cut the Fabric

Generally, it is useful to first WASH the fabric, as it will shrink when washed. Though, if you're never planning on washing your pillow, this isn't really necessary. And, if it's an old tee-shirt or sheet you're re-purposing, you don't need to wash it, either.

Once the fabric is washed and dried, you'll want to iron it flat (not as necessary in a little pillow, but it's a good thing to get in the process of doing when sewing most anything)

Now lay it on a flat, preferably smooth surface and measure and cut it.

If you don't have the fancy clear ruler and slicy-thingy, no worries! Use any sort of straight edge to draw the line you'll cut. Find the sharpest pair of scissors you have, and cut on the line! (You can also buy a brand new pair of scissors and devote them soley to fabric so they stay sharp. Threaten your family with dire consequences if they use your precious fabric scissors for anything that's not fabric. Hide the scissors from them, too, if need be!)


Pin the Fabric and Thread the Needle

Pin the pieces of fabric together

Thread the Needle

Tie a knot at the end of the needle


Sew It

You might want to use a pencil and draw a line 1/2 inch from the edge of your fabric. This is where you'll sew. Make sure to NOT sew the whole pillow. Leave a gap to turn the thing right side out, and to stuff it.

You can Either sew it with a running stitch

or the back stitch. The back stitch is a bit more secure.


Turn the Fabric Right-Side Out and Stuff It

Reach your finger through the hole you left, and grab some fabric and pull it through the hole. Just like when you turn your pants right side out.

Shove your stuffing through the hole. Push the stuffing into the corners first, then keep putting more stuffing in. And more stuffing. And even more. Because it will compress.


Sew the hole shut!

For this, you need a blind stitch

master steward
Posts: 9066
Location: Pacific Northwest
hugelkultur kids cat duck forest garden foraging fiber arts sheep wood heat homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Finally got a chance to make my pillow! I used an old dress shirt and knit shirt (two layers in hopes that it would keep the feathers from poking out), and stuffed with wool and duck feathers that I picked up from my duck house. I tried to surround the feathers with wool so that they had a harder time poking out.
[Thumbnail for 20190708_123600-1-.jpg]
old shirt
[Thumbnail for 20190708_125820-1-.jpg]
other old shirt
[Thumbnail for 20190708_131334-1-.jpg]
Both sewn and turning the purple one right-side out
[Thumbnail for 20190708_131625-1-.jpg]
Put the green liner inside the purple (and you can see the feathers in the jar)
[Thumbnail for 20190708_135728-1-.jpg]
Stuffing it
[Thumbnail for 20190708_140502-1-.jpg]
sewing it with the blind stitch (My least favorite part of pillow-making)
[Thumbnail for 20190708_141432-1-.jpg]
finished pillow!
Staff note (r ranson):

"I certify this badge bit is complete."

master steward
Posts: 15055
Location: Left Coast Canada
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I dug through the GoodWill pile and found this old skirt with some lovely twill fabric.

I had some wool that is too fragile to make into yarn, so I lightly carded it for the filling.  If I used the wool as it is, I would have lumpy filling which makes for a lumpy pillow.  
[Thumbnail for IMG_7176.JPG]
[Thumbnail for IMG_7177.JPG]
[Thumbnail for IMG_7178.JPG]
[Thumbnail for IMG_7183.JPG]
[Thumbnail for IMG_7201.JPG]
[Thumbnail for IMG_7203.JPG]
all done
Staff note (Nicole Alderman):

I hereby certify that this Badge Bit is complete!!! (And looks very nice, and very soft!)

We're all out of roofs. But we still have tiny ads:
Hope in a World of Crisis - Water Cycle Restoration
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!