pleated bundt pillow tutorial

bringing home this pleated bundt pan pillow tutorial that i wrote for laura’s sew yummy series over at craftstorming.  she had baking-inspired sewing and sewing-inspired baking – it was a fun mix of creations and a really fun series to be a part of!  check out her roundup of all the projects here.


hi, i’m kristin from skirt as top and i love this sew yummy series!  what a great idea!  i sew much more often than i bake, but baking is something i am trying to get better at, especially now that my daughter is four-and-a-half and a great helper in the kitchen.  frankly, it’s usually her idea to bake something!  i’m just along to read the recipe, crack eggs, and operate the mixer.

when laura asked me to participate in sew yummy, i knew my inspiration right away – this amazing bundt pan.  i’ve used it for my son’s first birthday cake plus a few other times, and it creates a really beautiful, sculptural cake.  the shape lends itself perfectly to sewing inspiration, too!

pleated bundt pillow tutorial

i knew the pan would be best reflected as pleats and i’m actually lacking in throw pillows around my house, so that’s what i decided to make.  i wrote up a little tutorial for you too  – it’s the pleated bundt pillow tutorial!

pleated bundt pillow tutorial

in this tutorial i created a cover for a 20″ x 20″ pillow insert, though the method is easily adaptable to any size.  for mine, you’ll need about 1.5 yards of fabric, disappearing fabric pen (or tailor’s chalk), and a straight edge.  my fabric is a really nice hemp blend from bolt that acts a bit like linen but has a little more texture to it, but i’m sure this would also work well with quilting cotton.

cut 4 squares of fabric at 14″ x 14″ each.  these will be larger than you need, but it’s nice to have a little extra to square up the fabric later.

Snapshot 10:2:12 11:40 PM

from the bottom left corner, mark 1/2″ in to the right.  from the top right corner, mark 1/2″ down.  connect the dots with your straight edge, then align your ruler 1″ to the left and make another line parallel to the first.  repeat this process 6″ to the left of the second line you drew, and 6″ down from the first line you drew.  connect those to points marks 1/2″ away from each side of the first set of parallel lines.  again, mark 1″ away from each line to guide your pleats.  (i know that wording is a little confusing – see diagram below).

mark arrows as shown in purple to guide your pleating.

pleated pillow tutorial

repeat for the other three squares.  the exact placement of the pleats doesn’t matter too much as long as you’re consistent on each of the four panels.

to start forming the pleats, fold one lower purple line up to meet the parallel line an inch away, as indicated by the purple arrows above.  press along the pleat to set.  form them in the direction of the arrows, so the pleats all face the same direction.

pleated bundt pillow tutorial

repeat with all marked lines to form three pleats per panel.  then trim first the bottom and left edges, then the top and right ones, to form a block that’s 10.5″ square.  once you have one panel done, you can use it to guide how you trim the other three.

pleated bundt pillow tutorial

pin and baste the pleats into place with 1/4″ seam allowance.  repeat for all four panels.

arrange the panels so the pleats appear to swirl around the pillow – on mine, the two squares on the left have the pleats facing down, and the two squares on the right have the pleats facing up.

pleated pillow tutorial

match the bottom two squares and pin, and the top two squares and pin.

pleated pillow tutorial

sew with 1/2″ seam, and press your seam allowance open.  then sew the top to the bottom, matching pleats and seams.  press seam allowance open. your pillow front is done.

pleated pillow tutorial

i chose an envelope closure to keep it really simple, though you could do an invisible zipper here and that’d look great too.  for the envelope closure, cut two panels 20″ x 15.”  hem the long end of each by double folding over 1/4,” pressing, and stitching.

pleated pillow tutorial

lay both panels right sides down over the pleated front, with the outer edges aligned and the folded edges overlapping in the middle.

pleated pillow tutorial

pin around the outside and sew all around the perimeter with 1/2″ seam.

pleated pillow tutorial

finish seam allowances as desired, then clip the corners at an angle without clipping into the seam lines.  turn it inside out, and press out the corners with a point turner.  stuff in your pillow form and use the steam of your iron to carefully re-set the pleats, if needed.

you’re done!

pleated pillow tutorial

the pleats open up a little due to the volume of the pillow, which gives it a really pretty texture and depth.

pleated pillow tutorial

and now you have a bundt-inspired pleated pillow adorning your home!

pleated pillow tutorial

please visit me at skirt as top anytime, and if you make a pleated pillow from this tutorial, please add it to my flickr group so i can see!

thanks so much for having me, laura!  it was a pleasure.


10 thoughts on “pleated bundt pillow tutorial

    • Jessica at Me Sew Crazy says:

      very pretty pillow Kristin! Love the way the pleating bows out – oddly enough, I am working on a dress that does something very similar, but am sewing down the pleats so they don’t turn into wings on the bodice front 🙂

  1. sara says:

    This pillow is beautiful and I just love the fabric….so “cozy” looking! You have a wonderful talent and I always enjoy seeing what you are creating next!

  2. Sonja says:

    Thank you for the great tutorial. It is such a pretty pillow! So glad my friend convinced me that it wasn’t too difficult to make because it looks fabulous on my sofa 🙂

  3. Ruth says:

    Lovely! I’ll be creating a few of these this weekend in holiday colors. I was looking for a different design a found this – thanks for the tutorial too.

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