Friday, June 28, 2013

Designer Spotlight Friday: Sarah Jane

Hello! Sarah Jane here, and I’m thrilled to be guest posting today on the Michael Miller blog.  I have a new collection out, LET’S PRETEND, and since I wasn’t able to debut at Quilt Market (I’m 8 months pregnant!) I’m happy to introduce it to you a little bit here. 

LET’S PRETEND is a collection close to me, because it was inspired by that lovely phrase I hear so often with my kids. I love hearing “Hey, Let’s Pretend that we are in a castle and ….”  You know what I mean? It’s so precious to witness imagination.
And with that, I created a line full of imagination and play for both the sewer and the kids :)

The color and design is inspired by my love for modern European design. Clean, simple, bright at times and understated at times. Geometrics dominate the blender fabrics, and whimsical illustrative designs fill up the main prints. My times spent in small towns in Europe, and witnessing evening puppet shows, mime and mask productions, I created a collection of prints for children with that same whimsical meets modern flare. 

There are two color groups that work for boys and girls, and you can mix them up quite nicely. I like to pair them into neutrals and bright jewel tones, personally. The jewel tones bring out a lot of drama, and are great for colorful projects, while the neutrals stay soft and light. And of course, I have to have a panel print! They are so fun to sew with, and make for such great skirts, table cloth borders, curtain borders, dresses and yes, pillows! 

I designed this pillow around the MAKEBELIEVE panel print, with a bit of patchwork on the top and bottom edges. Super easy! I’m not going to give exact instructions here, (It’s fairly straightforward, and I’m sure you’ll want to make a pillow the size that you need!) But here’s a quick little DIY: 


Make Believe Panel Print as wide as your pillow form, plus ½ inch for seam allowance. I like to measure my pillows and make the cover about an inch or two smaller so it’s nice and firm.

16 prints from the LET’S PRETEND COLLECTION or 8, doubled up as shown. (Fabrics shown here are: Cloud Pictures-Sky, When I am King-Raspberry, Mr. Bear’s Harlequin- Flame, Cloud Pictures-Breeze, Wooden Blocks-Retro, Harlequin-raspberry, ShadowPuppets-Flame) To determine the size, take the width of your finished pillow cover size, divide by 8, and add ½ inch seam allowance (1/4 for each side of the square).  This pillow cover is 14x18, so each finished square is 2.75 inches.

ACT IT OUT print, or any other that suits you, equal to pillow cover size, plus 1” total for seam allowances, and plus about 8 inches more in width for envelope back.


1.     Measure your pillow form, and decide how big your finished cover will be. I like to keep my covers 2 inches smaller to make it look nice and firm. 

2. Cut your MAKE BELIEVE PANEL the final width of your cover, plus ½ inches (to allow for ¼ seams on each side.) Cut the top and bottom of the panel to allow for two rows of patchwork squares.  So if your finished pillow cover is 14x18 inches, I’d cut my panel 18 inches wide (plus ½ inch for seams), and 9 inches tall (plus ½ inch for seams). This allows for 2.5 inch finished squares on the top and bottom)

 3. Cut 16 fabric squares  (from 8 prints) into desired size squares. Mine shown here are 3 inches cut. Sew 8 squares together with ¼ inch seams. 

4. Take the two rows, and sew them to the panel print, with ¼ inch seams.

5. For the back, I like envelope backs. You can do what ever you want here. To make the envelope back, measure your pillow form, and then add 8 inches to the width. This is your total needed fabric. Cut the fabric in half, and hem the short side of each piece (the two sides that will face each other)
6. Taking right sides together, pin the two back envelope panels to the front of your pillow with ¼ inch seams, making sure your hemmed sides are overlapping each other to make the envelope backing 

7.  And as an extra option, this looks lovely with a bit of simple quilting.

And voila! A fun, unique and illustrated pillow! 

Have fun sewing! Be sure to add your projects to my Pinterest Group here (send an email to info at sarahjanestudios dot com to add) or add it to the FLICKR group here! And visit my blog for lots more inspiration and inside peeks :)

And just for you Michael Miller Fans, I have a discount for you! 15% off anything in my online shop, which includes art prints that compliment the fabric collection! Just use the code MM15 at checkout until July 1st 2013 here on my website.

Great to be with you, and happy creating!


Sarah Jane


1 comment:

Calix said...

I absolutely am in love with these pillows! The Make Believe print is so adorable and gives such a great burst of color. I will definitely make one of these pillows soon. Love.