Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Make Shaped Nursery Pillows

petit pan fabric pillows
It has been a little over a year since my awesome baby boy came into my life. This last week is the first time in over a year that I have had more than 3 hours sleep, literally he fed every three hours until last week. I have to say as exhausted as I was, (still am), I cannot complain my life is richer every moment he is in it. Working full time, no maternity leave for the self employed, I have learnt many things. I have learnt how to work when my baby sleeps, to make use of 3am when Seb has drifted back of to sleep and I am wide awake, I have even managed to keep the constant worry and guilt that comes with the parenting gig at bay 40% of the time. I have not managed to learn how 'they' do it. 'They' being those other working mothers, bloggers, writers who manage to be so brilliant. They have clean stunning homes, they look amazing and they still craft, cook and blog. Well I started off feeling like a failure then I remembered two of my favourite bloggers, who are also parents. These two women are, in my opinion the most creative women on the world wide web but why their blogs are my favourite is their honesty, their honesty that allows readers to engage with them and reminds readers we are all human. Rachel and Mandi will share no make up selfies and show you pics of the non photo styled messy area of their homes. Last year Mandi wrote my favourite blog post of the year which you can read here.

I remembered the words of my photography tutor who said, "Ansel Adams does not exhibit his bad photos", then I remembered the words of my friends; "how do you do it" and I realised we are all living up to unrealistic goals me included. So to everyone out there I have this message; I only clean up when people come over, I only take outfit photos when I am in make up and just by fluke look okay that day, I feel like a monumental failure most of the time, I am always chasing my tail. It has taken me over a year to make these nursery pillows, and guess what I still have three to finish.
fabric stash
I have two favourite stores in Paris one is Nature & Decouvertes and the other is Petit Pan. Petit Pan is a mercerie (haberdashery) but in fact it is so much more. It sells stunning fabrics, home linens made up from their stunning fabrics, artisan tissue paper lights painted by hand, tiles, clothing and books of inspiration. It is also the place that I cannot help but spend money in. When I was pregnant I would spend forever gazing at the fabrics and dreaming of the dresses I would make for myself when I was back to normal sized. This is yet to happen due to the distinct lack of time. I did however buy a few fat quarters and wanted to use them to make bright coloured pillows for Sebastian. Armed with my fat quarters and some textural fabric for a sensory experience from my stash, some of which came to Paris I set about making my pillows. 

I drew large fun shapes onto brown paper, it is cheap and my favourite way to make fast patterns. I drew a pac man shape, a cloud, a guitar, a cactus, a whale, a star, a giraffe, a crocodile that looks more like a strange monster, a pear and a jigsaw shape. When you are thinking about shapes like this consider how it will look as a silhouette. If you can't imagine that type whatever shape you have in mind followed by silhouette into Google images. The shape needs to work visually without any details. 

Using the paper templates as a guide I cut out my shapes in the cotton and in the textured backing fabric.
cloud pillow tutorial
With the right sides together I stitched them up on the machine leaving a gap large enough to turn them the right way out through and to put the filling into. as you can see my designs were filled with curves. Before you can turn the cushions the right way out you will need to cut small notches in the fabric so that the curve stays a curve and lays flat, you cannot skip this step and have a nice pillow.

After stuffing the pillows to the amount of squishy that you would like close the opening by hand using ladder stitch. There you have it beautiful nursery pillows in a little under a year and counting. Of course you can complete this in your own time.
craft tutorial shaped cushions for children

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