Make a Sherlock Pillow

By | October 6, 2013

sherlock_parlourI cannot very well take the entire contents of Sherlock’s apartment and plunk it down in the state of Virginia, but I can make that UK flag pillow very easily (and you can too).  So simple to make you’ll slap yourself that you’ve never thought of this before.

UK flag pillow

UK Flag Pillow

12″ x 16″ pillow form
Stitch Witchery fuse tape in 2 sizes – narrow: about 3/8 inch and the medium: 1/2 inch wide)
A spool of 1.5 inch White Grosgrain ribbon
A spool of 7/8 inch red grosgrain ribbon
A spool of 1/2 inch red grosgrain ribbon
Blue cotton fabric
An iron set to a high setting for steam generation
Thread (red, white & blue)

Very simple instructions:
Cut the blue fabric one inch larger all around than the pillow form (14 x 18) you will need two of these blue rectangles.  I then marked off the border with chalk to make sure I had ample room for working the design in place.

Start off by making the Scottish part of the flag (the white “X”) with the white ribbon.  I just cut it to size and made sure to overlap the chalk line.  Then, using the widest Stitch Witchery (S.W.), cut four pieces to the same length as the ribbon, using two pieces to anchor each part of the “X” to the fabric using the iron. When your “X” is fused, place the narrowest red ribbon on top of the “X”.

OK, time to think: there are two ways of doing this red “X”: the easy way and the hard way.  If you look closely at the UK flag, you will notice that the red part is not symmetrical to the white part (the hard way).  If you are feeling adventurous, you can work with your ribbon and place it correctly.  If you can’t be bothered (and really, who is going to notice… unless a Brit turns up on your door step) do it the easy way and just center the red ribbon using the narrow S.W. on top of the white.

flagpillow3Once that is happily fused, make the Flag of England Cross (the horizontal and the vertical part) with the wide white ribbon.  Fuse with two stripes of the wider S.W.  Cut the widest red ribbon into the same shape and fuse.

At this point you can leave it as is (if your fuses hold… particularly if you used the Heavy Duty S.W..  However, if you, like me, used the light weight S.W. version you may wish to top stitch it on.  I did this by hand with contrasting thread (blue thread on the white ribbon/white thread of the red.  All totally up to you, of course.  Get crazy.

With design side up, place the second blue rectangle on top and stitch up to the chalk line on three sides.  Trim the raw edges as desired/required and turn inside out, paying particular attention to the corners (I use a dull pencil or crochet hook to push out the corners). Sew up the fourth side neatly with blue thread and you have your pillow.  Enjoy!

I thought I was going to be really clever and do a minimum of sewing with this pillow, but it turned out to be a lot of hand sewing.  There are two kinds of stitch witchery.  Light duty and heavy duty.  I got the light duty, but found that it didn’t hold up very well, hence the hand sewing. You can use a machine if you are so inclined, but my machine was having problems so I sewed it entirely by hand.  Actually, I sort of like it this way; machine stitches can sometimes end up looking too perfect.

The ribbon can be purchased by the yard, but in some fabric stores certain ribbon must be bought by the spool.  The spooled ribbon is usually very inexpensive, but do pay close attention to matching that color red; there seem to be two very different shades, but both are considered red,


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Colleen Pastoor on 10/13/2013 at 3:21 pm.

This is great! I love the use of ribbon instead of finicky sewing for the details. This could be used for so many different designs!

Teresa on 10/13/2013 at 8:23 pm.

Thanks! Don’t know if anyone else thought of doing this, but it just seemed so obvious to me. Hey, if you make a pillow be sure to post a link. BTW: I got a little sick this week and I didn’t get a chance to make the chicken dish, but I will make it tomorrow night! :-)

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