Simple Silhouette Pillow

Monday, June 29, 2009

I was back at the sewing machine this week with a bit less success. This time I wanted to practice piping/welting, so I went back to the envelope pillow idea and added the trim. Sweet mary, it was a lot harder than expected and the inside seams look like I made it while high on crack. But no matter, it got done. And it looked like this.
SiloPilo1
But this post isn't about making a pillow, its about making a Silhouette Pillow!! So either you can sew your own pillow cover or buy one readymade, it makes no difference. This is all so simple I even feel a little silly "explaining" it.

Now on to the silouette part. In my case, I had them in digital format because I had made them for our 2007 Christmas mailing as seen here.
ChristmasMailing07c
But if you are like most people and don't happen to have a copy of your shadowy form, no worries - I'll explain how to do it at the bottom of this post.

The original intention was to take these and make fabric appliques. I spent a ridiculous amount of time transferring and painstakingly cutting out shapes, etc.. only to realize there is NO WAY I can sew a zigzag stitch around the detail. (Im sure there is a way for a better seamstress, I just couldn't get it.) So I scraped that plan for a much easier solution. IRON ON FABRIC TRANSERS!

The next step was to print the silouettes out on a single sheet of iron on paper and cut out. That took about 15 minutes.
SiloPilo2
And yes, that is our cat! Got a problem with it????

Following the directions on the back of the iron on package, I affixed each head carefully. Before it completely cooled, I peeled the paper off. I know the package says to wait but in my experience, you get better coverage when the ink is still hot. That took another 10 minutes.
SiloPilo4

I stuffed the pillow inside and I was done. Hurrah. Finally a fun project that didn't take all afternoon.
SiloPilo5

Because this was so simple and straight forward, I know I'm going to be making these again. You can do all sorts of shapes aside from floating heads - pretty much anything you can cut out will work.
SiloPilo6

Postscript about making your own silhouettes: If you google this, you'll find loads of tutorials but I'm going to give you quick and dirty one now. Trust me, this really is simple! The first thing you should do is take a photo of your subject against a white or constrasty background. Any wall will do. You can do this in your pajamas and in your nightime mask if you want...just make sure your hair is reasonably in shape. All you are aiming for is the outside line. (For chidlren or pets, you'll probably need to hold them for a second to get the profile shot off but thats okay, no one will know!) Print out the photograph and trace along the outside edge of your hair, neck and face. Feel free to add in or take out what you don't like. (Be gone flyaway hairs or double chin!) Now take your iron on transfer paper and print out a big black rectangle large enough to fit your traced head in. Place the photograph over the black rectangle and using a sharp scissors, cut along the details carefully. Guess what? You now have your very own head ready to iron on to a pillow. See, I told you that was easy!!

37 comments:

  1. Mrs L, I'm starting to develop a complex around you...is there anything you CAN'T do? I've never heard of silhouette pillows and now I WANT several.

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  2. I LOVE this idea! The pillow turned out so well! I might have to yoink this project for myself (if I ever get some free time...).

    Re: adding piping to the pillow - have you ventured into the land of cording? (I couldn't tell from the pic) It makes the piping even all the way around and is much easier to sew. Here's a good tutorial if you need one!

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  3. Mrs Limestone, yet another fabulous project! I'm amazed that you already made several beautiful items in such a short time. Pretty soon you can sew your own drapery and such!

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  4. oh my gosh, Mrs L! I love the pillow -- I love your old Christmas cards even more so! Did you print them yourself or did you design them and have a company print them for you? Lovely!

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  5. Suzanne - thanks. I designed them myself and had a printer make the cards.

    Inthetweeds - I did use cording, surrounded by bias tape. I'll have to check out the tutorial b/c I probably did it the wrong way. I tend to have to learn my own mistakes :)

    Joyce - If i ever get around to cleaning out the box room completely, Im going to make a roman shade in there.

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  6. Well aren't you talented?! I love it!! I keep sewing by hand and thinking about taking the plunge and buying a machine...your pillow posts are pushing me towards taking that plunge.

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  7. Great pillow and great tutorial about silhouettes. I have been wanting to do one of my daughter and now I have no excuse.
    I love your fabric choice. I have the same - dark blue in my family room and bright green in my bathroom. Love it!!

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  8. Awesome! Its so pretty, love that pattern combined with the bold black silhouettes (and I like that you included your cat - pets are part of the family)!! You are becoming quite a seamstress, way to go:)

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  9. What did you say? You want to make those pillows for me as well! Oh Mrs. Limestone. You're my favorite! LOL! Great project and love the way they turned out. Too bad I don't own a sewing machine. . . yet! You make me want to run right out and get one. Especially since Jo-Ann's Fabrics is closing stores. Great deals to be had on fabric I'm sure.

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  10. Hello there. I was wondering if you sell any of your Christmas Card creations in your onilne shop? Or at the very least if you could lmk where I can find the silver tin Cd cases you used one year. Much appreciated :) I'm crazy bc I'm already thinking of Xmas cards in June!

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  11. Fabulous job on the welting!!
    I was gonna ask if you used your zipper foot to attach the welting?
    Love the silhouette pillows.

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  12. koodeker - yes, I do sell my designs but I do most everything custom. My site is www.sonicstefdesign.com

    Preppy - I don't think I even own a zipper foot so maybe thats the problem! :)

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  13. It's an Olan Mills pillow!

    Love it!

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  14. Brilliant Mrs.L. You are a true DIY goddess.

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  15. A zipper foot would make doing the cording a bit easier. But it turned out great!!

    Nice job!

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  16. Great idea! I love silhouettes! I actually have that same fabric in brown and cream!
    Michelle

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  17. Such an original and fantastic project! I love that you added your kitty cat! No problems here! :)

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  18. That looks great!

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  19. Oh what a cute project! I'm going to have to try it.

    cozystyle.blogspot.com

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  20. Wow! It looks amazing. I love following you on your sewing projects. I need to my machine working again so I give my try at a pillow now.

    You have inspired me! The pillow looks amazing and I love that you included the cat!

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  21. I just had Maggie (my dog) pose for a silhouette a week or so ago, so no; there is nothing wrong with yours. :-) My plan is also for a pillow...as a project to "learn" my sewing machine (and how to use it). I don't expect that blog post any time soon...So (sew) little time to learn new tricks!

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  22. Wow...again......every morning that I sign in I say Wow.

    Love the pillow, it looks great and yes I like the Cat being involved too.

    Thanks for the tips, you make it sound easy :-0

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  23. The pillow looks great! Congrats! And I love this post... I laughed out loud with your comment on your cat's silhouette. I'm very tempted to do a pillow with our dog's silhouette now!

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  24. okay i really really love this and totally want to give this a try - perhaps with other shapes...like butterflies. you've really inspired me to get out my sewing machine - i just gotta find the foot pedal thingy :)

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  25. What do you use to create the piping? I'm very impressed with your new venture into sewing.

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  26. Thanks everyone.

    Naz - I used black bias tape and cording. I think thats the way its done but Im not entirely sure...it seemed to work well here.

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  27. OMG..i LOVEEEEE it!

    my baby shower on saturday had a bird/silhouette theme..little silhouette cards on the favors..i just love them..so classic!

    YOU DID A GREAT JOB!

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  28. This is so great, I love this idea!! I've made framed silhouettes but never iron on ones, I'll have to try this next time.

    Oh, and where did you get directions to do the piping? that is somethign I need to learn to do and yours looks great :)

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  29. Love the silhouette pillow idea. And I think you did a fabulous job. I might try this using the profiles of my dog and two cats. I think it would make a cute addition to our livingroom :o)

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  30. Incredible! For someone who is new to sewing you sure are great at it! Hugs from Conroe, TX!

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  31. ADORABLE! I will be making these for each of my boys. Love this idea!

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  32. I love this and the addition of the cat seems so regal.

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  33. What a beautiful piece! I so want to do this. Thanks for sharing :]

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  34. Great job! I love the black and white!

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  35. Ada @ New York7:12 PM

    I love how u included your cat! How adorable!!!! 

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