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Make a Lampshade Cover

Dress up a plain or damaged shade with a fresh cover in the fabric of your choice.

This pattern was originally featured on

What You Need

• Kraft paper or leftover wrapping paper
• Pencil, ruler, scissor
• Medium-weight cotton fabric in yardage needed to cover shade (my 42′′ dia. barrel shade required 1-1/3′′ yds.)
• Sticky-back Velcro circles (about 3/4′′ dia.)
• General sewing supplies
• Hem tape, optional
  1. Lay out paper on a large, flat surface. With your shade on its side and starting at the seam line, trace shade’s top and bottom as you roll it along paper — stop when you return to seam line. Use ruler to draw a straight line on ends.
  2. Add ¾” seam allowance to curved sides and a 1″ seam allowance to ends. Cut out and measure against your shade to make sure your fabric will cover it.
  3. Press fabric to remove any wrinkles. Lay flat on table with Right side facing down.
  4. Pin pattern to Wrong side of fabric, centering on the most desired print (for example, if there is a repeat that you want to be the focus on your shade, center there). Cut out fabric.
  5. Press fabric ends to Wrong side ¾” on curved sides and 1 inch on straightends. Pin and stitch ¼” around using your sewing machine or use hem tape tokeep in place (may need to hand-stitch corners with needle and thread,depending on the weight of your fabric). Press again.
  6. Lay fabric on table with Right side facing down. Place shade on its side overfabric with seam line facing up. Bring one straight edge to seam line and pin inplace. Use hand to smooth fabric around shade evenly while bringing up otherstraight edge to seam line and pin.
  7. Press 4 Velcro pieces along the edge of one straight edge, using the stickypart to adhere it to the shade and other sticky side to adhere to other straightedge, folding over the other edge so as not to see the Velcro.


In Projects

Make a Cloth Napkin

Save a paper towel (and a tree) with these reusable cloth napkins. You’ll learn how to make perfect corners in a snap.

This pattern was originally featured on

What You Need

(Makes 4)

• 1-1/3 yd. cotton fabric, pre-washed and pressed

• Flat 18′′ ruler

• Marking pen

• General sewing supplies

  1. Using your marking tool and ruler, measure four 20×20 inch squares (two across the width of your fabric and two along the length) on the Wrong side of the fabric. Cut out squares.
  2.  Press all four corners of one square 1-1/2 toward the Wrong side.
  3.  Snip 1/2′′ from each corner.
  4.  Fold 1/2′′ along all sides toward Wrong side and press flat again. Fold over 1/2′′ toward Wrong side, so that the corners meet. Press flat.
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  5.  Pin in place and top-stitch 1/8′′ along all four sides. When you top-stitch, you want to make sure the Right side is facing up when feeding the fabric into the machine. The bobbin thread will show on the Wrong side (where the folded edges are).
  6.  Make sure to pivot at the corners, keeping the needle pierced into the fabric as you turn and making sure the edge continues to line up at the 1/8′′ mark.
  7.  Top-stitch again at the 3/8′′ mark (if your machine does not have measurements near the needle, use your marking tool and ruler to mark these points from the edge). Approach the corners at a slow speed and pivot at the 3/8′′ mark.
  8. Clip any extra threads and press napkin flat. Repeat on other 3 squares.
In Projects

Make a Pillow

Stitch multiple pillow covers to swap out by the season or your mood.

Bonus: by making an easy-to-remove cover, you can launder your pillow easily, anytime.

What You Need

•  5/8 yd. cotton fabric, prewashed and pressed

•  Matching all-purpose thread

•  16-inch pillow form

•  handful of poly-fil (to fill in corners)

•  1 pkg. sticky-back Velcro (the small circle ones work nicely)

•  General sewing supplies

1.  On the fabric’s Wrong side, measure and mark one 17” square (your Front piece) and one 17”L x 23”W square (your Back piece), making sure to measure the 17” sides along the selvedge.

Tip: If there is a repeat (a repeated pattern) on your printed fabric such as a large flower, note where you center your Front piece.

2. Cut out both Front and Back pieces.

3. Cut Back piece in half along 23″ length so that you have two 17” x 11.5” pieces. Along both center 17″ edges, fold over and press ½” toward Wrong side. Then fold over another inch. Press and pin.

4. Stitch ¾” from each folded edge.

5. With Right sides up, overlap both Back pieces at fold by 3 inches (you can choose the stitching you like least to be on the bottom) and use Velcro to close (following manufacturer instructions). Your Back piece should now be a 17” square like the Front.

6. With Right sides together, pin your pillow Front and Back pieces together. Stitch a ½” seam allowance around the corners.

Tip for stitching around corners: Slowly bringing down your needle to the corner point. Stitch, back stitch, then proceed, keeping your eye along the edge and making sure it stays on the ½” mark on your throat plate. As you approach the next corner, release the foot pedal and turn your handwheel for the last couple stitches until the needle is pierced into the corner point. Keep the needle down, lift your presser foot, and pivot the fabric 90 degrees, put your presser foot backdown and repeat stitching on remaining sides.

7. Trim your seam allowance to ¼” and snip your corners at a diagonal (without cutting into your stitching) to prevent bulk. Press seams flat on one side. Turn Right side out and press flat again.

8. Mark a ½” point from each corner on the Back’s Right side. Topstitch ½” from edge around all sides on the Right side, just as you did on the Wrong side, remembering to pivot at each corner point.

9. Snip away any extra threads and press. Insert your pillow form and use any extra poly-fill to fill in any gaps.

In Projects

Make an Eyeshade

Make these sleep masks in under an hour for great last-minute gifts. It comes in handy when traveling too, on the plane, train, hotels, anywhere you want to grab a snooze.

Download EyeShade Template

What You Need

• Eyeshade pattern (Download File here.)
• 1/4 yd. cotton fabric, prewashed and pressed
• 1/4 yd. coordinating cotton fabric, prewashed and pressed
• 1/2 yd. elastic
• Handful of Poly-fil or lavender
• General sewing supplies
  1. Using your marking too, trace the eyeshade template over the desired area on both fabric prints, on the Wrong side.
  2. Cut 1/2 inch from the trace line to make a Front and a Back piece.
  3. Lay your Front piece Right side up. Place elastic along the center width and pin one end of elastic to the left-hand side with a 1-inch tail beyond the raw edge. Pin the rest of the elastic inside the eyeshade area, avoiding the seam allowance.
  4. Face the Right sides of the fabrics together and pin.
  5. Stitch along the trace line, leaving 1 inch on the right-hand side of the eye shade open.
  6. Press inside the seam line, trim seam to 1/4 inch, and turn Right side out.
  7. Fill the shade lightly and evenly with your filler and pin opening closed.
  8. Place eyeshade over your eyes (be careful of the pin!) and measure the elastic around your head. Mark a comfortable point on the elastic.
  9. Place the loose end of the elastic inside the opening (temporarily moving the pin) and replace the pin at the mark.
  10. Slipstitch the opening closed and get some sleep.

See page 39 of Sunday Sews book for a primer on slipstitching!