Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Decorative Dog Pillow with Fabric Banding

Silhouettes of dogs are becoming quite popular and I can see why.  They're classic, cute and add a personal touch to any room in the house.  I thought it would be fun to frame this one out with a fabric banding.
I made the banding on this pillow 1" wide and I placed it along the crown of the pillow so it would be completely visible.   Follow along as I show you how to make and apply fabric banding.

What you'll need:
1 yard of fabric for the pillow cover
1 yard of contrasting fabric for the banding
matching thread

This pillow is 24"x24"

Step 1.  Cutting-Cut pillow front 25"x25",  Cut pillow back 26"x26", Cut 2 bias strips that are 2" wide.  Cut your bias strips twice the width of your finished banding.
  Instructions for cutting bias strips can be found here.

Step 2.  Preparing banding- After stitching your bias strips together, press the seams open.  Press up 1/2" along the long edge of your bias strip.
Now press the other raw edge to meet up with the first.
Step 3.  Banding placement-  I pinned  my dog silhouette to the front of my fill to find the "crown" of my pillow fill.  The "crown" is the part of the pillow that is flat and can be seen when looking at the pillow from the front.  I marked the crown edge with a couple pins.
Then I measured to see how far from the outer edge I needed to mark for my banding.  In my case it was 3 1/2" from the raw edge.  Using sewing chalk or a pencil, draw a placement line 3 1/2" in all the way around your pillow front .
Step 4.  Stitching the Banding to the Pillow-  I always start at the bottom right corner when adding banding to a pillow.  Place a pin in the exact corner of your placement line.  Cut the end of your bias strip straight across and place the edge right in the corner.  Top stitch along the outer edge of the banding with the banding barely over your placement line.

Before you get to the next corner, place a pin in the exact corner.  This helps mark exactly where your sewing machine needle will go down  and where you will pivot your pillow to turn the corner.
Top stitch all the way up to your pin without crossing it.  Pause with your needle down, lift your presser foot, pivot your pillow, and  lower the presser foot again.
Continue top stitching and turning corners this way until you are approaching the final corner where you started stitching.  Pause a few inches from the final corner with your needle down and cut the end of your bias strip off 1//8" past the corner.
Tuck this 1/8" under and top stitch to the corner taking a few back stitches to secure and end your stitching.
Push this top layer of banding out of the way and begin top stitching the inner edge of your banding.
Before you reach the first corner, again, pause with your needle down.  Push the banding over to the left, then fold the left banding over the it forming a miter.  You may need to fold more under to form a perfect miter in the corner.  Put a pin through the 2 layers at the corner to keep it secure until you stitch around the corner.
Stitch up to the corner, leave needle down, lift presser foot, pivot around corner, lower presser foot and continue stitching around the other two corners this way.
When you approach the final corner, pause with the needle down.  Keeping the 1/8" folded under, fold the end under diagonally forming the final mitered corner.  You might have to put more pins in this one to keep the end secure until you stitch it.  Back stitch to secure.  With needle down in the inside corner, pivot pillow again and top stitch along the diagonal part of the mitered end.  This keeps it secure and flat.

I always go around and stitch the rest of  miters to keep them flat.

Step 5.  Pillow construction-  You can find the remaining instructions here:

Fabric banding is a fairly easy detail that you can add to any of your pillows to give them a custom look.  I always cut mine on the bias because they tend to lay flatter and turn corners better than if they were cut on the straight grain.  
What will you do with Fabric Banding?
Hope you enjoyed this tutorial and stay tuned for more Custom Tutorials.
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  1. Replies
    1. Hi Heather, glad you liked my dog pillow. I'm going to be doing a bird one soon, so stay tuned.

  2. Hi - linked over from Ginger Snap Crafts. Love your pillow, especially since we have a sweet Scottie!!! I'm now a follower, and look forward to more of your tutorials and ideas. If you'd like, come over and visit me at

    1. Hi Doreen, So glad you liked the pillow. I made it for a friend of mine who loves her dog oh so much! I'm planning a lot more tutorials so stay tuned in.

  3. What a cute pillow! I love it! Great Job and awesome tutorial :)

    1. Hi Erin,
      Thanks, i thought it was cute too. i made it as a gift for a good friend of mine. I'm planning a lot more tutorials so stay tuned.

  4. Love this pillow. Thanks for sharing at this week's BFF Open House!

    1. Glad you like the pillow. Thanks for hosting, it really helps newbies like me!

  5. Great instructions. Love the dog sillouette you used. Visiting from Bacon Time. ~Kimberlee, The Spunky Diva

    1. Hi Kimberlee, Thanks, found that silhouette on the internet, I thought it was cute. Gonna do a bird silhouette next.

  6. So adorable!! Thanks for linking up! Just a reminder to register for my giveaway...

    Ramsign Giveaway: Porcelain Enamel Sign {up to $99 value}

    XO, Aimee

    1. Hi Aimee, Thanks for hosting. I'll pop on over and check out your giveaway.
      Thanks, Jules

  7. Love the pillow! Will have to give it a try with a chocolate lab, Addy! Thanks so much for sharing at the Tuesday To Do Party!

  8. This is a great tut. I have a puppus of my own that I think needs a pillow. (saw you on Confessions of a Stay at Home Mommy)

  9. ADORABLE. What a cute lil' doggie! Thanks for linking up to Refresh Your Nest Friday over at Making Lemonade, and hope to see you back tomorrow!

  10. I just love this pillow! I can't wait to try it! The doggie is so stinkin' cute!

  11. This is soooo stinkin' cute! Love the black dog against the crisp white!

    Thanks so much for linking up with Feature Friday FREE-FOR-ALL!


  12. How cute! My childhood dog was a Scottie mix, so this reminds me so much of her. :-)

    Erin at

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