I hope this will count as an exception to the rule that a sequel is never as good as the original.
I found these yellow silk pillow slips in the bargain bin at Restoration Hardware a good seven or eight years ago. Of course, after I paid for two Restoration Hardware down pillow forms to fill them, the word “bargain” flew right out the window. But I had job back then.
I liked them until we moved into our current home and I learned that yellow is not a color I am friends with. Not to mention that the silk pillow slips now have a number of frayed spots, thanks to the little princes and their tendency to treat throw pillows with all the courtesy one might expect from a herd of Tasmanian devils.
The covers have been exiled to the garage sale bin. But I have these two pricey, naked down pillow forms.
And unbleached muslin, lest we forget.
I tried a freezer paper stencil of a monogram on this version, instead of the grain-sack-inspired stripes. The stencil was a bit difficult to apply to the fabric because the design was pretty intricate but otherwise worked well. I opted to forgo the acrylic this time and buy actual fabric paint, in hopes of finding something that would dry with a softer texture and fade less in the wash.
I made the unfortunate choice to try the Simply Spray fabric spray paint, about which I can only invoke Holly Golightly and say: “Quel disaster.” This stuff is more like spray dye and should not be used for any application in which precision is required. It made a huge, watery mess that bled all over the fabric and completely negated the purpose of a stencil in the first place. Luckily, I had been unusually cautious (for me) and decide to experiment with a sample first, so my painstakingly-applied freezer paper monogram wasn’t ruined in the testing phase.
Perhaps intuiting the Simply Spray debacle, I’d also bought a bottle of Tulip Soft Fabric Paint. Much better. It’s slightly creamier than acrylic going on but dries thinner and with a very nice, soft matte finish.
As though all that weren’t enough, I decided to take my pillow-making to new heights (lows?) by finishing the monogram pillows with welt cord around the edges. I used this tutorial as a basic guide and winged it until I was pleased with the result.
[You’ll have to excuse the chairs. Yet another casualty of my style evolution. I wish with all my heart I’d discovered the wisdom of neutral upholstery — and child-friendly fabrics — before I purchased these years ago, but alas, my approach to design was all backwards. One of these days, I’ll manage to slipcover, reupholster or replace them with something having an aesthetic less like a punch in the eye.]
This should be the last of the “Faux Pillow” series for a while. Though my invention has not been exhausted, the same cannot be said for my stock of unbleached muslin.