Burlap, also known as Hessian cloth has always been a utilitarian type of fabric. In the past, burlap was more known for its uses in sandbagging, wrapping exposed tree roots for transportation and for shipping coffee and tobacco. More recently, lowly burlap has completely reinvented itself into a shabby chic fabric used in weddings, home decor and accessories.
The latest burlap designs are bright and cheery and perfect for crafts, and easy sew projects. A burlap pillow is easy to make and even easier to embellish. Wrap lace, ribbon or vintage fabric pieces around the pillow for a quick way to add color. If a more permanent finish is required, audition the embellishments on the front pillow piece and stitch in place prior to construction.
Use burlap to make the Petite Planters as seen in the Apr/May 2014 issue of Sew News. Download the pattern and herb label designs for FREE at sewnews.com/web_extras!
- Use a liquid seam sealant to prevent edges from fraying.
- Use a lightweight interfacing such as a fusible knit interfacing to prevent excessive stretching of the burlap.
- A serger can be used when making items with burlap, and gives a clean finish. If there’s no serger available a zigzag stitch on a sewing machine will finish the edges sufficiently.
- When ironing burlap use a cotton or wool setting with light steam for removal of wrinkles.
- Lightly spot clean any soiled items, don’t wash burlap projects.
Here is an easy project to update an outdoor living area, a sunny living room or a guest bedroom.
- 1 yard of burlap (See “Sources”)
- Coordinating thread
- Needle: 80/12
- Fusible knit interfacing (see “Sources”)
- Serger (optional)
- From the burlap cut one 16 1/2”x17 1/2” piece for the pillow front.
- Two 11″x17 1/2″ pieces for the pillow back.
- With the right side down on a flat surface, layer each corresponding piece of interfacing over each pillow section. Following the manufacturer’s instructions apply the interfacing to the back of each burlap pillow sections.
- Fold one pillow back long edge 1/2” toward the wrong side; press. Fold the edge another 1/2” toward the wrong side; press. Stitch close to the fold. Repeat to construct the remaining pillow-back piece.
- With the right side facing up, place the pillow front on a flat surface. Place the small pillow back right side down, aligning the lower edges; pin.
- Align the remaining pillow back with the pillow-front upper edge; pin.
- Trim all edges even. Stitch the pillow perimeter twice, and then clip the corners. Turn the pillow cover right side out and insert the pillow form.
The pillows below were created by Sarah Grey. Sarah is the proprietress of Grey’s Fabric and Notions in Boston’s South End, where every Wednesday night she hosts Crafty Foxes Sewing Club, complete with wine and snacks. Her favorite things to sew are dresses with invisible zippers and she will not be parted from her beloved Pfaff machines. You can find her on the web at greysfabric.com.
Pellon, Fusible Knit Interfacing, www.pellon.com
Soft Touch pillow form, www.poly-fill.com
Crochet flower, www.simplicity.com