Pillow Parade #1: Ghostly White Elephant

Hi y’all!  Well, it was time for me to sew a Little-Happy-Stuff project.  It was time to throw some stash fabric and scraps together without being obsessed with garment fit, fine finishes and couture hand sewing. Occasionally, a fast project like this refreshes one’s sewing chops.


In the interest of being less wordy that usual, I’ll try to keep this post short.  But you know me; once the words tumble out, they keep coming.

The main fabric is a poly cotton purchased at an antique mall in Virginia. The fabric is not antique, of course, but the fresh green with white polka dots made me think of a certain polka dot enthusiast who also loves elephants. She knows who she is….

When beginners start to learn sewing, they’re taught how to make a pillow cover (or cushion cover), which is two squares sewn together, turned inside out through an opening.  As the sewing skills progress, there is much more to sewing pillow (or cushion) covers, and one can go as haute couture as one wants!  Here’s how haute I went with this pillow – not much, because my focus was on having fun with scraps, and use things I had on hand.  It’s so much fun diving into the fabric and notions stash – awesome stuff emerges.

The appliqued elephant shape was traced from a store bought pillow which sits on my daughter’s couch.  I picked out scraps of white cotton, ecru lace, Sulky’s Sliver (not silver) thread and some Steam-A-Seam fusing web — and went bananas.




The ghostly elephant is outlined in satin stitch with that other worldly Sulky shimmery thread, then used it to freehand stitch the ghostly eye of the elephant. The feet are edged with a decorative stitch and totally look like elephant feet!  I thought of adding gems and pearls to the elephant’s head-cover and the “saddle”, but refrained. A pillow should be something you’re not afraid to put your head on.

The front layers: the pillow front consists of the top appliqued square, fusible fleece and another bottom fabric layer. The fusible fleece is there to add some “beef” and contribute to the plumpness of the pillow.


The pillow back has the opening, and consists of two pieces of fabric without fleece, the middle of each one folded over and sewn into a wide “hem”. The two hems overlap in the center and become the opening through which you can stuff the pillow form. The photo should make it clear if my words don’t.

Note that I did not use piping, or ruffles or any edge treatment on the pillow. Because…. simplicity and speed were in play.  The goal here was to make something nice looking without too much effort, and get a break from fussy sewing.

Keep warm, people! Cold days are perfect sewing days, but Spring is just around the corner.




4 thoughts on “Pillow Parade #1: Ghostly White Elephant

  1. Really fun pillows. You are so right, a fast project can be refreshing. But, you did a great job fitting that elephant onto the pillow.


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