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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

European Grain Sacks Pillows

Home sewing isn't really my thing for some reason. It's a lot easier than making clothes but it does seem to be something I am always putting off for another day. My pillows were actually getting threadbare so I decided to make some new ones.
I realize I'm not breaking any new ground here with these pillows so bear with me.
I actually had the idea a few years ago when it was still a new trend  and bought this grain sack then for about ten dollars but I never got around to the project till now. This grain sack has probably been around over a hundred years so what was a few more, right? In my opinion the look is rustic, elegant,and timeless. European grain sacks have gone way up in price recently, as many of you probably already know, going from upwards of fifty dollars online. 
I felt a bit guilty for cutting up something so old and that is why I think I took so long to make this project!
It's such a simple style to make. I just made a plain square out of the grain sack and sewed two pieces of leftover linen overlapping for the back, adding some thrifted wooden buttons from my stash. I got three pillows out of this grain sack. It was a smaller one, just a bit bigger than a king size pillowcase. By covering only the front with the sack and the back with the linen you can spread the sack farther.
 After making these pillows I realized home sewing is so much simpler than clothes sewing, so I have more projects lined up. I had a bad experience making some heavy canvas slipcovers for my sofa a few years go. Several broken needles and a jammed up machine.
If you would like to make pillows like this but don't have your own grain sacks it's easy to fake them with drop cloths, or a thick rough looking linen and fabric paint. You use painters tape to plot the blue or red lines and paint the lines on. The drop cloth fabric or thick linen is similar to the grain sack fabric. I'm going to try it for some cushions I'm making on my outdoor patio set.
So readers, what types of sewing do YOU avoid?

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  1. I don't mind sewing straight seams like pillows. Although I do know how to sew clothing, I tend not to do it as much since it requires a higher level of perfection. I tend to wing it too much for that. Actually what I've wanted to try that I haven't done yet is a quilt. I even have the fabric for the top, so maybe someday.

    Your pillows are nice, and I'm sure you'll get a lot of use from them. I know what you mean about the grain sacks being expensive. I found one the other day at an antique store and about fell over at the price, especially since that thing was nasty!

  2. I can never pass up a post about a grainsack. I reall like the large one and the way you treated the closing in the back with the brown buttons. I use linen for the backs on mine too to save the fabric for the fronts.

  3. Hi Justine! Thanks for joining my party this week and sharing your fabulous grain sack pillows. Of course I love them!

  4. This turned out perfect!
    I love the monograms too.
    You finished the backs so nicely.... I am not a great seamstress so that part is hard for me!
    Thanks for sharing.

  5. I am back!!!

    Okay! I am putting it all together now. The Sew Country Chick is you, Justine. I went to the coop blog where you posted a couple of designs, a beautiful dress that you shortened and you are standing with a vintage bag by a train --- sweet photo shoot! And then a little sweetie pie baby girl in a striped romper you made. Adorable!

    I wanted to follow you since you commented on my blog but it took me a few steps to find this blog as it is not listed with your picture when you comment.
    Long story! Sorry! So nice to meet you.

  6. I love those pillows! Thank you for visiting my link party!

  7. Your grain sack pillows are fantastic! Well done for cutting your grain sack up, I haven't been able to cut up the one I bought yet.... I love this project, you have inspired me! X


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