How to Sew Ruched Fabric Pillow Shams
High-end, fabric pillow shams can be a splurge when decorating a bedroom. With basic sewing skills, inexpensive white cotton can be transformed into beautiful, designer look-alike shams at a fraction of the cost.
- 3 yards 45" wide white cotton fabric (for two standard shams)
- iron and ironing board
- sharp scissors
- sewing machine
- all-purpose white cotton thread
- quilting ruler or square
Prep and Cut Fabric
Wash and press fabric then spread on a flat work surface. Measure, then mark and cut out the following fabric pieces for two standard shams:
(2) 21" x 28" pieces for pillow back
(2) 4" x 21" pieces for envelope flap (6-8" wide for loftier pillows)
(2) 45" x 28" pieces for pillow front
(12) 13" x 2" pieces for ties
(4) 4" x 21" pieces for trim
Spread one 45" x 28" pillow front piece onto work surface with right side facing down. Line up yard stick or measuring tape along pillow width (28"). Make a pencil mark at 9" and 18". Note: At this point, fabric will be divided into thirds, with one third being 1" wider than other two. (This side will be hemmed in step 6.) Use a quilting ruler or square to draw a straight pencil line at each of these marks down the length of fabric. Sew along both pencil lines with all-purpose white cotton thread — but do not double back at the start or end of stitches to knot (Image 1). Gently pull on thread at one end to ruche fabric (Image 2). Repeat on other stitched line. Once gathered, spread ruches evenly over 20" (Image 3). Repeat with other piece cut for pillow front.
Gather four 4" x 21" pieces cut for trim. Place one fabric piece horizontally on ironing board. Visually divide fabric piece into quarters length-wise. Fold over top 1/4 of fabric and press (Image 1). Fold up bottom 1/4 of fabric and press (Image 2). Repeat with three other fabric pieces. Place one trim piece over each ruched seam with folded edges face down and pin into place (Image 3). Sew along each side of trim to secure (Image 4). Repeat with all trim pieces. Tip: A coordinating or contrasting ribbon can also be used for trim.
Hem Back and Envelope Flap
Gather pieces cut for back and envelope flap. Create a double hem by folding fabric over twice on one 21" side of each piece. Press when folded (Image 1) and stitch hem into place. Repeat until one side is hemmed on each 12" piece. If using a fabric with a "right side", make sure hem is on bottom of fabric piece.
Gather fabric pieces cut for ties. Position one horizontally on ironing board. Visually divide into quarters length-wise. Fold top 1/4" over and press then fold bottom 1/4" up and press. Fold entire piece in half, with raw edges covered in the fold, and press (Image 1). Sew along top and end of tie to secure (Images 2 and 3). Repeat until all 12 ties are made. Trim threads.
Attach Envelope Flap and Ties
Gather both pillow fronts, envelope flaps and 6 ties. Position pillow front on work surface with widest 1/3 fabric section facing towards you (mentioned in Step 2) and facing up. Place envelope flap on top, right-side-down, raw edges facing you. Insert raw ends of three ties, spaced evenly along pillow case edge. Pin everything together, pleating ruched fabric by hand (Image 1). Sew along pin line and remove pins. Fold over and press along seam line. Pin envelope flap and front of pillow together (Image 2). Sew line about 1/8" from seam edge to hold envelope flap in a folded position and create a small trim edge (Image 3). Repeat with other pillow case.
Sew Ties to Back
Gather both back pieces and six remaining ties. Fold bottom raw edge of ties under and pin to inside hem of back piece (Images 1 and 2). Make sure ties line up with those sewn onto front of pillow sham. Sew ties to pillow back (Image 3). Repeat with remaining back piece and ties.
Assemble and Sew Pillow Sham
Place back piece on work surface, face up. Place pillow front directly on top, face down. Ties should be facing same direction and envelope flap should be visible on top. Line up edges and pin three sides, leaving side with ties open (Images 1 and 2). One side will need to be gathered by hand, due to ruching. Sew along three sides, leaving about 1/2" seam allowance. Remove pins and trim all threads. Turn pillowcase right-side-out, insert pillow form and tie ties (Image 3). To create an optional edge, sew along three seams 1/8" in as in Step 6. Tip: Enlarge this pillow case to create Euro or king shams or even a matching duvet cover.
How to Sew a Bedroom Bolster Pillow
Instead of covering your bed with a pile of decorative pillows, try the simple, fuss-free look of a single bolster. This classic pillow is easy to whip up and provides comfy support when working in bed or just curling up with a good book.
How to Sew a Simple Outdoor Pillow
Stitching up an outdoor pillow to brighten up a porch or deck is a great project for a sewing novice. Select materials that are made to withstand bright sun and moisture to keep these custom pillows looking great year after year.
No-Sew Accent Pillows
You'll be amazed at what you can do with glue and hook-and-loop strips.
Pillow a little flat? Add some fringe.
Add a splash of color and pattern to a room by sewing your own pillows.
Batik Butterfly Pillow
Stitch and decorate a pillow with these step-by-step instructions.
Soft Neck Roll Pillows
Create interest and add comfort at the same time by sewing soft neck roll pillows. Get the step-by-step instructions here.
Silk Screened Pillow
Follow these step-by-step instructions for personalizing a leather pillow.
How to Make a Spider Web Pillow
Fuzzy yarn on gray wool fabric is used to make this creepy (but cute) Halloween pillow. This project involves basic machine and hand sewing, so it's a snap to make.
How to Make a Personalized Sachet
Use iron transfer sheets to make a personalized sachet.
Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.
Photo Friday: Cooking and Dining in the Great Outdoors
HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens Aug 28, 2015 by Beth Rucker
This or That: Pick Your Favorite Vintage Find From Fixer Upper
HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens Aug 27, 2015 by Farima Alavi
6 Essentials for the Perfect Tailgate Party + Win the 1 Thing You Really Need
HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens Aug 25, 2015 by Farima Alavi
Discover the Winning Hue in Our Color Vs. Color Competition!
HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens Aug 24, 2015 by Kayla Kitts
Copy This Room: Get Beach Flip Style in Your Living Room
HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens Aug 24, 2015 by Shannon Petrie
4 Ways to Personalize Your Dorm Desk + College Goodie Giveaway!
HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens Aug 21, 2015 by Farima Alavi
The Easiest (and Cutest!) DIY Dorm Roommate Mugs Ever
HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens Aug 20, 2015 by Marianne Canada