If you’ve ever gone shopping for accent pillows you may have noticed how pricey they can be–especially when you have to settle for something less than perfect for your space. This alone is a huge reason to invest in custom pillows for your home. Yes, they will probably end up costing you more than those subpar ones at the department store, but you’ll be getting exactly what you want. Let’s take a look at what’s involved when it comes to custom made pillows.
Choose the Shape & Size
The first thing you need to do is decide on what shapes and sizes pillows you want and how many of each you need. There is a variety of shapes–square, rectangle, circle, bolster (neckroll)–as well as a variety of sizes to choose from. Once you figure this out, you’ll be ready to move onto fabric.
Picking Out Fabric
Woven fabrics are great for pillows. Some top picks include cotton, silk, velvet and linen. Repeated washing and drying can cause some fabrics to shrink, so be sure to look over the care instructions before you buy. You’ll also need to decide if you want to use a single fabric for the entire pillow or use different fabrics for front and back.
In regards to prints and patterns, it’s important to match the design of your fabric at the seams. This is incredibly important if you’ve chosen patterns such as stripes, plaids, and geometrics. The repeat is the distance between where a pattern begins and ends before beginning again. It may require extra fabric to center a motif or match up the pattern appropriately at the seams.
Scale is also important to consider. As a general rule, larger prints work better when used on larger pillows and smaller prints on smaller pillows. With that said, mixing up the scale can be visually interesting–just make sure it looks intentional.
In most cases, 1-2 yards of fabric will work for the average decorative throw pillow. You can easily find yardage calculators online that will allow you to enter your pillow measurements, along with the width of the fabric. This fabric calculator is extremely easy to use.
Finding a Seamstress
If you’re planning to have something custom made then it’s worth establishing a relationship with one. A knowledgeable seamstress will be a valuable asset when it comes to any sewing projects you need to be taken care of. You can easily find seamstress online, but you can also find one in places like a fabric store or dry cleaners.
Closures & Inserts
Many pillows are simply sewn shut–especially if you are using a delicate material–but others can come with a sham or zipper closure. A sham closure is an opening between two overlapping pieces of fabric. A zipper closure is usually placed in an inconspicuous spot along the base or seam of a pillow and comes in two looks: invisible and standard. An invisible zipper usually falls on the seam and works best on light- and medium-weight fabrics. A standard zipper looks best when positioned at the base of a pillow and works really well with heavier fabrics.
When it comes to inserts, it really comes down to personal choice. Synthetic inserts may cost less but feather-and-down blend inserts can last a lifetime when properly cared for.
How Much Will it Cost?
The cost will vary depending on the pillow size and the fabric chosen. On average, you’re looking at a minimum of $50 per pillow. More, if you include extras like trim and the inserts. If you already have the insert, a custom pillow cover will suffice. Every seamstress will charge differently, so shop around until you find a price range you’re comfortable with.