Ring Pillow How-To
This linen ring pillow is decorated with pin tucks and an edging of pleated ribbon. You can use pre-pleated ribbon (buy a length of matching ribbon to use for the ties). Bride, Eunice and her friend, Tricia made their own edging from seam tape, but most thin ribbons would work well, if you want to make your own; with pleats every 1/2 inch, you'll need at least 3 yards of 1/2-inch-wide ribbon.
What You'll Need:
1/4 yard linen fabric
1 yard plus 2 inches pre-pleated edge trim
1 yard matching 1/8-inch-wide ribbon
Thread to match the linen
1 bag fiberfill
Sewing machine and sewing supplies (including tailor's chalk)
Rotary cutter and mat
1-inch circle template (or other round household object, such as a jar lid)
How-To Make the Ring Pillow
1. Make the pillow top. Using your rotary cutter, cut 1 rectangle of linen measuring 8-1/2 by 12-1/2 inches. To mark the pin tucks, lay the fabric face up, with one long edge toward you. Starting 2-1/2 inches from the left edge, use the ruler and chalk to mark 16 vertical lines on the linen, spacing them 1/2 inch apart.
Starting with the first two chalk lines on the left, make the pin tucks: Lift the fabric between the first two lines, and slide the lines together underneath and match them; pin, and sew along the chalk line (see Eunice's diagram, here). Iron the excess fabric toward the left edge of the pillow. For the next pin tuck, bring the third and fourth lines together and sew; repeat until you have created 8 tucks. The pillow top should now measure 8 1/2 inches square.
On the wrong side of the pillow top, mark a line 1/4 inch from each of the edges. If you want rounded corners, trace around the circle template.
2. Attach the edging. Using your rotary cutter, cut one 8 1/2-inch square of linen for the pillow bottom. On the right side, mark a stitching line 1/4 inch from the edges. Round off the corners as before.
Place edging around the pillow on the right side of the fabric, with the sewn edge outward and the pleated edge toward the center; use the chalk stitching line to position the edging so that its sewn edge is within the pillow's seam allowance; leave a 1-inch overlap. Pin in place. Starting about 1 inch away from the overlap, sew around the pillow bottom using a 1/4-inch seam allowance; stop about 1 inch before the overlap. To finish the ends of the ribbon edging, fold cut edges under, and hem by hand. Use the machine to sew the remainder of the edging down.
3. Assemble the pillow. Lay the pillow top on the bottom, with right sides facing (the pleated ribbon will be caught between the two layers). Align edges, and pin. Starting about 2 inches from the corner on one of the non-pin-tucked sides, sew around the pillow on the chalk line (1/4 inch seam allowance), leaving a gap wide enough to slip your hand into. Trim the corners to be rounded, leaving a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Turn right side out (the pleated edging should form a ruffle around the outside of the pillow). Fold the raw edges of the gap along the chalk lines (1/4 inch in from the edge), and gently press the folds flat with the iron to set them in place. Stuff the pillow with the fiberfill. Using a slip stitch, hand-sew the gap closed. Brush off any chalk that still shows on the pillow.
4. Add the ribbon ties. Cut two pieces of the 1/8-inch-wide ribbon about 1 foot long each; using small, neat stitches and a tidy knot, sew the centers of the ribbons to the center of the pillow top.
Photograph by Emily Nathan