Mixed Quartet of Throw Pillow Covers

For a milestone birthday in Jan 2021 TheMisterT gave me a sofa - “any one you want.” Well, I researched locally and online and just over a year ago I decided on a Roger+Chris sectional, custom made in Hickory, NC to my specifications. Don’t I feel lucky AND fancy? It finally arrived last week! WOO! Which means I just about immediately started digging through my stash of pillow forms, fabric, & buttons.


I found 4 pillow forms and these are the pillow covers I made for them. It was a fun challenge to use (almost) all stash, especially as most of these fabrics have some sentimental history and all the buttons are from the 4-generation button tin. The only materials purchased were 2 of the three sizes of cording to go into the piping I made.

Here is a good place to stop if you’re not interested in my blathering on and on. THANKS for looking!

Now I’m going to go into excruciating detail about each pillow, because I am still pretty excited about all the things about them! Without further ado, in order of increasing size:

  1. The fabrics for the gold and grey are left over from a cornhole set I made for a friend for xmas 2020. The piping fabric was left from linen napkins I made for our turmeric-y meals. The buttons are from the 4-generation button tin I inherited. Since these four were on a thread (vs. a card) I imagine they were removed from a worn out item of clothing. It’s about 14" square.



  1. This lush rusty damask fabric was leftover from upholstering a chair seat for a chair I redid for a fundraiser over a decade ago. It was a “Chair Affair” fundraiser, which I have seen a lot of charities use and I combined it with a lightly textured luster finish. I didn’t have a lot of it and I didn’t really have any coordinating fabric to go with it, so I got creative with the back by letting one side have the grain perpendicular to the other. Two of the 3 single buttons are vintage and one is not. All stash, though! I thought that using the selvage complimented the mixed grain, mixed button vibe, too. The piping was made with fabric left from a fashion doll living room set I made for our nieces back when they were littles. This is the only case where the busting-buttons look I got feels OK to me - it just fits the hodge podge. It’s about 15" square.

  1. This vibrant turquoise damask must be from the 50s or 60s. It was a quarter-oval shape, with a hem on a couple sides and I imagine it had been part of a window treatment. I got it from a by-the-pound thrift store probably close to 20 years ago. I just LOVE this color combo and I also know it’s probably a love/hate kind of thing for people - like I love it and I think TheMisterT hates it… or at least does not like it. :wink: The back is a linen blend from a top I made a few years ago. I used the selvage on this one because I thought the dark blue of it tied in with the blue of the background on the front and to add some whimsy and texture. The buttons were still on their card, marked West Germany, so I imagine these were from the 50s or 60s. I have LOVED them for years and it felt good to have a project from them - especially one that won’t undergo a lot of laundering. The iridescence includes the turquoise and the purples, too. EEP! The piping is made from a half-yard I was gifted when a friend purged her stash. I love how chonky it is, but it was a booger to sew into that seam - broken needle, sore muscles, conjuring demons, etc. it’s about 18" square.

And finally,
4. This is vintage barkcloth from a curtain panel that I got from another friend. She had asked if I could use it to sew a much narrower panel for her to cover a narrow niche-closet in her house. Then she gave me the rest! I made each side a little different since the repeat of the print was much larger than my pillow form. Because I didn’t want to pipe it, I used a zipper closure on the bottom seam. I can’t think of why I would have bought a 22" ivory invisible zipper, so it must of come from a thrift store bag-of-notions or my grandmother’s sewing things that I inherited. It’s about 19" square.


Despite there being no real cohesive theme, I like them all together on my neutral, grey sofa. Each has a color that is in at least one other which probably helps. I really, really loved using buttons from the tin, but do wish the plackets were less strained. I’m not sure how to accomplish that while still getting a fully-stuffed look other than making a faux placket and having a zippered seam on one edge which I may do in the future. Of course, I could just sew them shut, but one reason I am so excited about neutralizing our living room is so I can just follow my whims with things like throw pillows. I don’t want to store a ton of pillows, though, so making pillow covers is my solution.

If you’ve made it to the end, THANK YOU! Please make sure you stay hydrated and get plenty of rest.


Each pillow is full of stories! Love it! The first one with those colors, and buttons, and turmeric-y piping…super fave.


They’re lovely!

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So wonderful to have such histories & memories with each pillow. Great job! Love the use of the selvages, like they were made for this!

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I love the vibe of these pillows! Especially drawn to the first one and the purple-piped one. Using the selvages was genius. Adore the buttons, too. So cool!

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Gorgeous! Especially love the two cut velvet ones.

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Thanks so much, everyone! I’ve really been looking forward to the sofa getting here so I could go ahead with this project with confidence and it feels so good to finally get to do it AND to finish!

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You did such a marvy job pairing everything up, I just love your stories & feelings for each detail. That velvet number ismy solid fave of all time, I’d be forever handsing the texture.

The plackets look good. You can try orienting the buttonholes horizontally next time so the pressure is at one point rather than across the whole button hole. Mightn’t make any difference tho, & they’ll likely face the other way most of the time.



That’s a great suggestion! I really don’t want to wrestle a zipper on a piped edge. :grimacing:

I’m fond of the concealed zipper myself. No reason buttons can’t be added for a faux placket if you really want them included.

Though… this looks like a manageable method for adding a zipper beside cording. The finish is really good.

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I’m just looking for reasons to use some of the 4-generation button tin buttons!

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These are beautiful! I love the textures and the buttons.

Also as someone who feels compelled to share the backstory of my materials, I am going to copy your page break usage. Less guilt for being verbose :sweat_smile:


They’re fabulous as is the sectional. I like the strained placket look, it gives the cushions a nice plump look. And they turquoise velvety one is awesome!!

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Aw, thanks, pals!

Don’t feel guilty! No one has to read all the words; people can always just scroll through the pics. But I think I will try to use this format more in the future. As I lean more and more towards complex projects with lots of fiddly (and photgenic?) details it might behoove me. :grimacing:

That’s a very good point! I don’t have to equate it with strained-across-my-bust shirt buttons, do I? :rofl: Here’s the sectional fresh off the truck; a big ol’ chesterfield!



Oh gosh, what am awesome lounger.

So far, I’m loving it! Both TheMisterT and I can actually lie all the way down on the long side (we’re both a bit taller than average and the last sofa was just a few inches too short) and I was even able to take a very comfortable power nap on the short side.

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What gorgeous pillows! They really make it look homey!

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As the pillows age, the buttonholes will no longer strain.

I love the vintage buttons! But that blue pillow is a dream!

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Thanks, friends!