I've been feeling all crafty this week, maybe since I am anticipating going to the Cut the Craft! indie craft show in the Manayunk section of Philadelphia this weekend, November 21-22. This show has fewer vendors than Crafty Bastards in DC, but I am confident it will be equally delightful. Some vendors I recognize from Crafty Bastards like Jenny Jen42 and Sardine Clothing Company will be there. These indie shows are not he craft shows you think of with the ubiquitous watercolors of flowers in a vase, scarves with piano keys, and that certain kind of pottery that looks lost in time. It's definitely worth a jaunt over there!
So, I decided to whip up the lumbar pillows I've had planned for the hand block printed fabric I bought from Jenny Nelson at Home Sweet a while back. The fabric is a blend of organic cotton & hemp and is printed with non-toxic ink. The fabric is very soft and smooth (not what I expected of hemp), yet has substantial weight. I ordered a half yard of the minileaves pattern in chocolate which turned out to be exactly enough to make two 16" x 26" pillow fronts (17" x 27" including seam allowance).
I mean, here is the wastage. Was that close or what?
I went with a 22" invisible zipper closure along the bottom seam and no trimmings for a sleek look. You can get a a special invisible zipper foot here that is convertible to machines with different shank types. I always feel like I have dyslexia or something when I read the directions for putting in invisible zippers. There are several tutorials out there if you can't figure out the instructions that come with the zipper. This tutorial by Lara at Kirin Notebook is very good.
Step one, the part about ironing the zipper, is very important. In it's zipped-up state, the coils curl in on themselves. If you don't unzip it and manhandle the coils flat with an iron (you should be able to see stitching next to the coils if you are doing it right) you won't be able to sew very close to the coils and your zipper won't be invisible.
The part that messes me up, though, comes at the pin-on stage. Match right side of fabric to right side of the zipper with the coils pointing away from the edge. Do one side first.Then lay the piece down next to the other side and line up edges. Flip the zipper over and around, pinning right side of zipper to right side of fabric with the coil facing away from the edge again. Once both sides of the zipper are sewn down, zip it up. Hopefully, right sides face out and you zipper is invisible. Once you've done it once, you will think invisible zippers are easier to put in than the regular kind.
Close the rest of the pillow with right sides together. To get up close to your invisible zipper stitching, use a normal zipper foot. Hint: unzip the zipper some before you've stitched all the way around so you will be able to turn it inside-out at the end. The 16" x 26" size is a standard pillow form size available at places like Jo-Ann Fabrics.
Chic and eco-friendly!