Lighten Up Pillow Transformation Part 2

Lots of LIghtened Up Pillows!

Lots of Lightened Up Pillows!

What do two beautiful pillows and a Bedskirt need?

More pillows…

All were sewn from Stash fabrics.  A 40″ remnant in a coordinating blue/bold polyester damask was just the right size for two bed pillow covers.

The damask designs on the two fabrics were very different, but the colors were surprisingly close!

Two Damask Fabrics.

Two Damask Fabrics.

The pillow edges were piped.  The piping was sewn from a pale gold dupioni – also from The Stash.

Monogram F Pillow

Monogram F Pillow

The Stash also contains yards of even weave linen and aida cloth. A few years decades ago, it was purchased for counted cross stitch and/or blackstitch samplers.

The first attempt at the monogram used 18 count aida.  Easy to stitch on, but the final design would only be about 7″ tall.  A piece of not-quite-even-weave linen was the final choice.

Blue and gold damask

Blue and gold damask #2

The 8.5 ” tall monogram is a modification of one of the beautiful French monograms found here.  The color is DMC 927.

The 16″ square monogram pillow was finished with the same pale gold duipioni covered piping, and backed with a solid blue polyester fabric from The Stash.

Total cost of the Lighten Up Project thus far..

….  76 cents.

For embroidery floss.

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Bedskirt with Wrap Around Pleats

Tailored Bedskirt - Lightened Up

Tailored Bedskirt – Lightened Up

The first Lighten Up Project was a Bedskirt.

Two requirements – it needed to fall to within 1″ of the floor and hang close to the bedposts the corners (space under the bed is storage – but no need to announce it by making it visible!)

This post is a Summary Tutorial (assumes sewing skills) for making a Bedskirt that meets those requirements.  The wrap-around pleats prevent the gap at the foot end of the bed.

1.  Wind two bobbins. Yes. Two.

2.  Cut Top: 

Measure:  Remove mattress and lay a sheet over the box springs placing sheet hem along top (head of bed) edge.  This hem forms the top edge of the Bedskirt so don’t trim it.

Cut:  Using the box springs as a pattern, cut the sheet. Follow curve at corners at the foot of the bed.  Keep corners straight at head of bed.

3.  Cut Bedskirt Pieces: 

Measure: Measure distance from top of box springs to floor.  Add 3″.  That measurement is length.  Measure width of box spring’s side and add 12″ (side width).   Measure along foot of box springs and add 6″ (foot width).

Cut:  Cut three pieces of fabric:

  • Two side pieces that are length * side width
  • One foot piece that is length * foot width.

For a 60″ * 80″ Queen bed with a 18″drop, this would then be

  • Two side pieces that are 21″ * 92″
  • One foot piece that is 21″ * 66″.

4.  Hem Bedskirt Pieces:  Finish bottom and side edges of all three pieces using serger or other method.  Turn up 2.5″ along lower edges and Press.  Hem using a blind hem stitch or stitch of choice.

5.  Finish Side Edges of Bedskirt Pieces:  Fold in 2″ along each short edge of all three pieces and Press.  (Do not sew.)

FIrst Fold for pleats.

First Fold – 6″ – 8″ of fabric.

6.  Sew Side Pieces to Sheet:  Pin side pieces to sheet right sides together starting at sheet top edge.  Using 1/2″ seam allowance, sew side pieces to sheet stopping and backstitching at start of small curve at the foot of bed.  There should be approximately 6″ – 8″ of bedskirt left unsewn.

Fold under to form second pleat.

Fold under to form second fold.

7. Create Pleats: 

Fold 1:  Take to ironing board and lay wrong side up.  Fold remaining bedskirt at end of stitching – wrong sides together.  Press to form first fold.

Fold 2:  Fold edge of bedskirt under until it meets Fold 1 and press to form second fold.

Align folds 1" apart to form pleats and press.

Align second fold 1″ from edge to form first pleat and press.

Allow to cool and press again to set fold.

Pleat 1: When cool open second fold and align it approximately 1″ from side edge to form first pleat. Press.

Allow to cool and press again.

Pleat 2:  When cool, align first fold approximately 1″ from second fold to form second pleat. Press.

Pin Pleated section to curved edge of sheet and stitch.

Pin Pleated section to curved edge of sheet and stitch.

Allow to cool and press again to set Pleats.

Finish sewing side to sheet:  Pin pleated section around curve of sheet and stitch.

Repeat for other side section.

8.  Attach Bedskirt Foot Piece.

Bedskirt Foot section pinned and overlapping Side by 1"

Bedskirt Foot piece pinned and overlapping Side  piece by 1″

Pin top edge of bedskirt foot piece to sheet matching centers.  It should overlap 1″ or so of bedskirt side piece.

Stitch using 1/2″ seam.

9.  Finishing:

Reinforce seam by stitching again 1/8″ from first seam, serging or zigzagging. (Thus the need for the second bobbin!)

Hand tack side hems.

Wrap-around Pleats

Wrap-around Pleats

9.  Place over box springs…and enjoy!


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Lighten Up Pillow Transformation 1

Lighten Up Project  - Pillow Transformation

Lighten Up Project – Pillow Transformation

Nothing adds light and reflective textures to a cave better than silk damask!

The first layer of pillows has been completed.  In the cave these 26″ square pillows were covered in a black/brown paisley.

The Lighten Up Project has transformed them with a Stash silk damask in a gold and blue.

This fabric is just sumptuous!  The colors seem to be highlighted against the brown cave wall!

The gold backgound has a satin weave sheen to it.  The blue is woven in a more matte finish.

Fabric Detail

Fabric Detail

I have no idea where or when I originally found this 2.5 yard remnant, but it is the showcase fabric for this transformation!

Sewing the pillows followed basically the same process as that outlined in the Flanged Pillow Tutorial.  Linings, cut from scrap quilting cottons, were added as the fabric is fairly lightweight.

Photos alter the blue color slightly.  The best description I can come up with is a blue-green sage.

Silk Damask:  sheen and matte textures.

Silk Damask: sheen and matte textures.


It is obvious from the upper photo that a new wedding photo collage is a necessary element to this room redo!

But first – more pillows!   The next layer will be sewn from another Stash damask in similar colors.


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Lightening Up – The Destashification Method

The brown and black bedroom.

The “Cave Period” brown and black bedroom.

Brown, Black and Gold.

Home Dec colors of choice 8 years ago.

I now refer to that time as my “Cave Period.”

… time to lighten up.

I found some great blue/gold damask wallpaper to cover the dark brown area over the headboard.

Only $500!!

Apparently, wallpaper is lined in gold or some other precious metal.

Even the Dust Ruffle is Brown

The only thing missing is a Cave Painting.

I did not realize the other occupant of the bedroom had regressed to a Cave Dweller – and was not willing to give up his brown wall.

Apparently, Cave Dwellers also prefer not operating within a cash monetary system for decor improvements.

So, no wallpaper. Or new Coverlet.

New carpet was not an option.

(I didn’t even mention re-tiling the bathroom.)

After the requisite sulking and pouting, I came to the realization that the wallpaper truly was bizarrely expensive.  It would actually be less expensive to “cover the wall” with a flat screen TV.

So, it was off to The Stash to explore other (more cost effective) options.

Wallpaper and Stash Silk Damask

Very Similar Wallpaper and Stash Silk Damask

The Stash included a 2.5 yard piece of silk damask that greatly resembled the wallpaper.

It also contained several other pieces of linen and silk that were in the same color family.

No Damask on the wall = lots of Damask on the bed.

Nothing works better to improve The Destashifier’s mood than Pillow Replacement Therapy.

Fabrics for Lightening Up Project

Fabrics for Lightening Up Project

First Lightening Up Project was the Bed Skirt.

The Linen Damask piece under the embroidery thread (DMC 927) was used to replace the dark brown cavewall-colored bedskirt.

Tailored Bedskirt - Lightened Up

Tailored Bedskirt – Lightened Up

The next post will include a Summary Tutorial on sewing the bedskirt.  The curve-around pleats provide complete coverage on the corners.

Wrap-around Pleats

Wrap-around Pleats

The room looks lighter already!














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Destashification Boho Top

Destashification Boho Top

Destashification Boho Top

It appears Boho Chic is “all the fashion” now.  Oddly, by definition, Boho cannot be Chic.  “Boho Chic” translates to “Non-conformist Fashion Follower”!!!

All those flowing tops and dresses with the embroidered and embellished necklines – in sizes and cuts for everyone from pre-teen to mature women!!

Making one of these tops seemed like a simple task….unfortunately, finding a suitable fabric was not.

Cotton Voile is not an easy fabric to find….even when one has The Stash.

This handerchief-weight copper-brown and white print piece started life as a curtain.  It has spent an unknown period of time successfully hiding among my other Stash Fabrics.  I just found it!

Simplicity 1461

The pattern selected was Simplicity 1461, with modifications:

  1.  Yokes and linings were cut along “Sew Trim Here” lines.
  2. Button loops added to center front of yokes.
  3. Neckline was lowered and finished with bias binding.
  4. Sleeves were omitted.
  5. Body was lengthened and hem curved.
  6. Additional waistline shaping along center back and side seams.

The embroidery on the yoke fronts is simple counted cross stitch.  The yokes were cut from a scrap piece of even weave fabric in The Stash.

Folkloric Counted Cross Stitch

Folkloric Counted Cross Stitch and Button Loops

The counted cross stitch design is a modification of one of the beautiful historic designs included on this page.

I wish I had found the fabric earlier this summer.  Cotton voile would have been nice to wear during the 110+ degree days.

However, the color pallette works for the current 90 degree days of early fall!

Destashification Boho Top

Destashification Boho Top

Wearing white (sandals, pants or leggings) past Labor Day is always permitted in Arizona – In fact, it might even be permitted past Halloween!!!!



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5891 + 8854 = One Stash Couture Shirt

Butterick  5891 - the perfect neckline!

Butterick 5891 – the perfect neckline!

The neckline of Katherine Tilton’s Butterick 5891 is my current favorite.  It has just enough more fashion to be unique!

Butterick 5891

The (very) short and A-lined bodice of the top is, however, well, too short and too A-lined. Even after lengthening it several inches in this top and this top, I felt the need for a a “more vertically oriented” bodice.

Vogue 8854

Vogue 8854

The decision was to attempt to “Frankenpattern” the neckline and shoulders of Butterick 5891 and the length and width of Vogue 8854.

Stash Buttons, one white, one black.

Stash Buttons, one white, one black.

I selected a stretch striped shirting fabric, in stark white with grey and black. I had about 3 yards which would allow for limited redos, should any recutting be required.

The Tilton top is asymmetrical, both fronts and backs.  After a few hours spent deciding how best to approach the puzzle, matching center fronts and bust points seemed the best way to meld the two patterns.   I also added 2″ to the side seams to ensure “verticality” did not equate “too tight.”

Finished Top, vertical side seams and unique neckline.

Finished Top with vertical side seams and unique neckline.

The contrast fabric required purchase.  The Stash has several whites that I thought would work – but they were warm whites – and looked ecru next to the stark white of the stripe.  The contrast has a narrow shadow stripe.

It took several fittings to arrive at the final side seams.  The 2″ additions to the side seams were eventually cut away.   If I were to resew this combination again – and I probably will, I would move the back seam to the center and add some shaping there.

The curved hems of the Vogue pattern were too long, so they were re-cut as straight, although the front and back remained at different lengths.  The hems and fronts were faced with the contrast fabric as the stripe showed through.

Neckline Detail

Neckline Detail

The top is extremely comfortable – owing to the great armholes and neckline of Tilton pattern.

Back View

Back View

It is long enough and narrower enough to wear with knee length leggings – perfect for a cooler fall day!

Side View - Asymmetric Hems and Side Slit

Side View – Asymmetric Hems and Side Slit


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Smocked Top for Adults

Smocking for Adults

Smocking for Adults

Love smocking!

I feel an artistic push to experiment with smocking on more adult garments!  The “long top over leggings” look seemed promising.

Teal LInen Top Back View

Teal Linen Top Back View

The muslin (actually a teal linen blend) for this experiment was completed a few months back.  For both garments, Vogue 8472 served as the pattern.

Vogue 8472

The body of the final version was originally lengthened 10″ and made of a very lightweight copper colored linen cotton blend.

Front view of top.

Front view of top.

The center back smocked panel for the final version is quite wide (31″ pre-gathers).  The teal linen panel was much narrower (13″ pre-gathers.)

Back view with smocking.

Back view with smocking.

The smocking gathers bunched to some degree, but were workable.  Two strands of a medium blue embroidery floss was used for the smocking.

After completion, the hem of the top was curved.  The length in the front (from shoulder seam) is 24″ while in the back it reaches 30″.



The buttonholes were bound with the same copper linen/cotton fabric.

Lining Fabric

Lining Fabric

The yoke and fronts were lined with a blue and brown fabric from The Stash.  The buttons are doubled – the larger button is a Bluish grey coat button and the upper button a copper metal with sun design.

I plan on wearing the top with white cropped leggings.

Wearable adult smocking! YAY!

Wearable adult smocking that is comfortable and lightweight!  Double YAY!



Posted in Clothing, Embellishment, Scrap Couture, Sewing, Stash Couture, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments