fbs8: veal stock + pillow talk


So it’s Sunday…actually, Sew it’s Sunday [yes, I’ve been waiting for the perfect moment to whip that one out].  As mentioned in my previous post, I’ve taken on a sewing job.  As a congratulatory housewarming gift for my friend Shereen, in honour of her new condo and because I love assisting in beautifying ones living quarters, I’ve made her throw pillows; like a million of them.


I love pillows!  They are easy to make, can add a fun pop to any space, and are a great low cost way to incorporate prints and colours into a room without having to commit to those full blown prints and colours.  Fabric selection is my favourite part of the process.  When creating a “pillow story” I always incorporate prints with solids and textures.  I like to start by finding a colourful bold print  and breaking it down to its key colours.  Then, I hunt down these colours in solids and other printed fabrics.

For me, pillows are more decorative than functional.  It takes time to find the perfect fabric and sometimes, when you find it, you sacrifice durability and washability in fabrication for aesthetic.  Mike begs to differ.  He wants nothing to do with pillows that can’t be used to prop each of his limbs while watching TV; especially on Sundays.  Mike has single handedly reduced the decor life of all our couch pillows.  Once plush and pristine, they are now lumpy and off coloured.  Perhaps I need to make him his own set or fashion some sort of airplane type neck pillow for him; either way, both must be made from washable and durable fabrics of course.


fabric_01For Shereen’s space, we added pillows to her den and living room.  In her den, we wanted to keep the space light to compensate for it’s lack of windows.  We went with floral prints on a light ground + soft blues + fluffy whites.  In her living room, we found an amazing toile [on sale!] and paired it with complimentary solids in blush + light purple/grey to fem up her comfortable yet masculine couch.  Stay tuned to see how it all comes together.


Over the last couple Sundays I’ve been working away on Shereen’s pillows.  As I have devoted these Sundays to sewing, this post (if you already couldn’t tell), is devoted to pillows.  Pillows Pillows Pillows

Though simple to make, I never fail to underestimate the time that’s required to complete a pillow.  However, when constructing, I’m a big fan of the no fuss no notion (zippers, buttons…) pillow cover.  In classic Martha Stewart style, I’m sharing with you a quick tutorial on one of my “good things”; decorative pillow cases!


…you will need…

-pillow insert
-fabric **
-ruler/measuring tape
-sewing machine
-overlock machine (if you have one)

**to save $$$, use your fabric of choice for the front and use a cheaper complimentary solid coloured fabric for the back

1. measure dimensions (L + W) of pillow insert | e.g. L=9″ + W=9″

2. measure + cut the 3 following pieces
a) front: the dimensions + 0.5″ seam allowance [SA] added to each side | e.g. with SA L=10″ + W=10″
b) back [cut 2 pieces]: the same width + 0.5″ SA and  2/3 the length + 0.5 SA | e.g. L=10″ + W=7″

3) Lay out pattern onto fabric + pin + cut

4) [here’s where I cheat and finish the edges before I sew].  Finish edges with an overlock serger [if you have one] or run a zigzag stitch with a sewing machine around the perimeter of each fabric piece or don’t do either and leave the edges raw.

pillow_edge_01 e.g. of zig zag

5) On one of the back pieces pieces fold +pin  down 1 edge  along its the width 0.5″ + sew down 3/4 of the way along the folded edge

6) Starting with the front fabric facing up, layer the back piece with the folded edge atop the front fabric with their faces kissing and the folded edge toward the middle.  On the opposite edge side of the front fabric, layer the 2nd back piece face side down and overlapping its counter part back piece.  Part of this piece will be touching the front fabric and part of it will be over top the other back piece.

7) pin + sew with a 0.5″ SA

8) turn in side out – when right side out, the back piece with the folded edge should be exposed on top with the other piece hidden [see pic below]

9) stuff with pillow insert and fluff.

pillow_backpillows Inspired by West Elm’s Mongolian Lamb pillow cover [that retails for $93] I made these fluffy front + “suede” back throws.  Though they may not be as fluffy, they added the soft texture and aesthetic to the space that we were going for.  From a yard for fabric each -white fluffy -$30 + grey back -$28-, I was able to make 4 pillows; that’s about $15/pillow case!

As I sewed, Mike stewed and watched football.  From careful observation, I’ve decided that meals that require long cook times are the ideal Football Sunday dishes; long wait times = more sitting watching football time.  However, Mike really out did himself with dinner [though I think that about everything he makes].  He served up ossobuco + polenta.

fbs8_food  We don’t often have veal as a protein, so this was a nice treat.  It’s tender texture and robust flavour was complimented nicely by the smoked cheddar that Mike use in his polenta.  YUM!  I could eat this dish over and over again.

FBS 7To top it all off and to break up the 50 shades of orange/red, before serving, Mike spooned on a tangy + garlicky germolata and tossed on some fresh arugula.  When Mike said he was making Italian for dinner, I automatically thought pasta.  Though I was wrong, I was absolutely delighted with the non noodle dish.

Until next week,



3 responses to “fbs8: veal stock + pillow talk

  1. i love the pillows hun! i am gunna try your non-notion method for sure 🙂 shereen’s a lucky lady!

  2. Pingback: THE OFF SEASON: about a bed |·

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