May 5, 2011

#92- What a Sham

Pillow shams might be the biggest sham of all time.  I'm going to tell you a secret... they are just pillow cases. It's true! Just a pillow case with a little pocket in the back.  But somewhere along the line people got the idea to call them a "sham" instead of a "case", and somehow we all thought it was reasonable for Pottery Barn to charge $79 for one. 

So when it came to the finishing touches on Ryder's big boy bed, I knew I was going to have to do a little DIY. (Who's got 2 thumbs and hates to pay for over priced home goods?  This guy.) If you remember from this post, I bought this awesome robot duvet from Land of Nod:

I love how the orange throw blanket and pillow sham break up the white and add color to the room.  But at $160 for the twin blanket and one sham (Nope, that's not a joke, true story), it seemed a little ridiculous for just a pop of color.  So back when we were still living in The Bungalow and I was desperate to get started on projects for The Lodge,  I looked at a number of different stores for something similar, but could never find the right shade, style or size.  I struck out on about my seventh attempt, this time at Ikea, and left the bedding department borderline crabby.  Lucky for me I stopped in the "As Is" section on the way out, and found this little bad boy:


A big, soft felt, orange & gray blanket. Perfect. I'm not going to lie to you, the strange cut out circles around the border said, "No wonder I'm in the As Is section," but the $5 price tag screamed, "Put me in your cart and figure it out later."  So I did. 

We went home, put Ryder down for a nap, and I went to work.  I started by cutting off the ugly circle perimeter with my super sharp, fabric scissors.  I bent back the trimmed off portions as I cut as a guide to keep a straight, even line.


Then I cut off a piece the width of the blanket, and 36" high and set this aside for the sham.  Since this blanket was for a double bed, and Ry's bed is only a twin, that still left plenty of blanket left for a nice throw.  Then I used my old scraps as a guide and cut a curve at each corner.

This might have been the easiest sewing job ever, since the blanket was made of a super soft, thick felt, I didn't have to worry about any fraying of the edges or hems.  I simply stitched a simple zig-zag about 1/4" from the edge for a finished look.  The orange thread looked great on the reversed gray side too.  


Next it was time for the sham.  I took the piece I set aside, and cut it into 3 pieces, one 36" x 24" for the front, and 2 that equaled 36" x 24" when put together with a 3" overlap.  It doesn't matter exactly the lengths of the pieces, unless you want the fold on the back to be directly in the center, then cut them each 21" x 24".  

Here are my three pieces, with one back piece flipped to the reverse gray side to show you how they overlap.
I lined up my 2 back pieces overlapping so that they were the 36" wide, and placed my front piece perfectly lined up on top of them, right sides together.  I pinned the edges to hold it all together, and trimmed the curves around each corner as I did with the blanket.  Then I simply stitched all around the perimeter, about 1/4" from the edge.  When pulled the fabric back right-side-out, I had a big orange pocket.  

Then all that was left was to pin a line 3" from the edge all around the sham, and then sewed along that line to create the "flap" around the sham.  Here's how it looked from the back so that you can see the pocket.


At this point we were about 1:30 into nap time, and I knew we had about 30 minutes left, so I got a little cocky.  I had yards of orange and gray scraps, and had a vision of creating a robot throw pillow.  What I didn't have was fabric for the pillow, but I was feeling pretty thrifty after only spending $5 on both a pillow sham and throw blanket, so I dug through an old box of Ryder's baby blankets and found this little guy:


It was also felt, which I didn't want to over-do, but it was the right color, right size, and FREE.  Plus, Ryder has a much larger version of this same blanket that he still uses, this was just a smaller piece that came with it that had always ended up on the bottom of the drawer.  I did a little Edward Scissor Hands with the scraps, and came up with this:


I pinned the pieces on and stitched around all the borders for a nice clean edge.  I positioned the robot on the bottom half of the blanket, so that the other half could be used for the back of the pillow.  Once the robot was all sewn on, I folded the blanket in half, right sides together, and sewed all around the edge, leaving a 3" opening in the bottom to pull it right side out and stuff.  Since the name of the game was free on this little guy, I took the stuffing out of an old throw pillow that I knew we wouldn't use anymore.  Once stuffed, I just hand stitched together the opening.  Like clockwork, the moment I finished the last stitch Ryder woke up, so I brought him downstairs where I had laid out the finished product:

The orange looks much brighter here then it actually is, mostly because my camera's settings have it out for me.  In reality the color is much closer to the orange sham and throw from Land of Nod than "Hunter Orange."

He was so excited, that I couldn't keep him off the blankets to take a picture.  On second thought, the photo is much better with his happy little face in it. 


So that's the story on how I made a pillow sham, throw blanket and throw pillow out of one $5 As Is Ikea blanket.  Have you guys ever found any treasures in the As Is department?  I once purchased a $25 Mystery Cart there, and was thrilled with over $200 worth of great items!  I don't know if you've ever purchased a Mystery Cart before, but it may be the secret to happiness.

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