I made these for my soon-to-be-born twin nephews ... and I mean soon, like within the next couple of weeks! Our whole family is very excited, and this is just one of the projects I have in store for these boys.
For this project, I used the fabric that we employed as a table cloth for the June baby shower that we threw for the parents-to-be. For the appliqué, I decided to try out the felt that I had on hand (polyester) and found that it worked well. I washed and dried both the fabric and the felt beforehand.
This was my first time with sew-on appliqués, and yeah, I need to work on this particular skill. My appliqués ended up puckered at the corners and inside curves, and this puckered the background fabric as well, which made pinning the front to the back pieces a little finicky. But I still liked the way the pillows turned out, homey and fun. I mean, who doesn't like mini-pillows? They're so cute! My son liked them so much he asked for one of his own and even picked out the fabric already. :-)
I used my French seam envelope cover tutorial but made an important edit to the process (I've updated the tutorial): how to create sharper corners when using French seams.
A) Basically, once both front and back pieces have been prepped and pinned together, you sew around the edges not continuously as I had previously done, but creating four separate seams (one on each side) that stop and start about 3/8" from the edges. You need to backstitch at the beginning and end of each seam. To speed up the process, you can use the "chain piecing" method wherein you don't snip the threads before before turning the corner and starting the next seam.
B) Once all four sides are seamed, flip the pillowcase inside out and make sure the corners are opened out (there should be a hole at each corner). Iron the edges flat.
C) Then you can sew around the edges continuously with the designated seam allowance, pivoting the fabric as you turn each corner. After that, snip the unseamed corners to reduce bulk, making sure not to cut into any seams.
D) Flip the pillowcase right-side out, use a knitting needle to create sharp corners, stuff the correct-size pillow in there, and you're done!