Sew a simple, yet elegant, pillow using 2"-wide premade ruffles from Michael Miller Fabrics.
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Inspired by Simple Frills from designers Joanie Holton and Melanie Greseth of Tailormade by Design

Project tester: Jill Abeloe Mead


  • 1 yard white tone-on-tone (pillow front and back)
  • 5 yards 2"-wide ruffle trim: solid white
  • 21"-long 1-1/2"-wide grosgrain ribbon: gray polka dot
  • 20"-square pillow form
  • Water-soluble marking pen

Finished pillow: 20" square

Quantities are for 44/45"-wide, 100% cotton fabrics. Measurements include 1/2" seam allowances unless otherwise stated. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order.

From white tone-on-tone, cut:

  • 1--21" square
  • 2--13x21" rectangles

From solid white ruffle trim, cut:

  • 8--21"-long strips

Assemble Pillow Top

1. Using water-soluble marking pen, draw a line 2" from right-hand edge of white tone-on-tone 21" square (Diagram 1). Working to the left of the first line, draw seven more parallel lines, each 5/8" apart.


2. Referring to Diagram 2, align raw edge of one solid white ruffle strip with first line, matching short edges of strip with outer edges of square. Zigzag-stitch strip in place 3/8" from gathered edge.


3. Repeat Step 2 to add one solid white ruffle strip to each drawn line.

4. Pin 21"-long gray polka dot grosgrain ribbon atop zigzag stitches on last ruffle added, covering raw edge (Diagram 3). Edgestitch ribbon to make pillow top.


Finish Pillow

1. Fold a long edge of a white tone-on-tone 13x21" rectangle under 1/4". Turn under 1/4" again; press. Sew through all layers close to first folded edge to make a backing rectangle. Repeat with remaining white tone-on-tone 13x21" rectangle.

2. Overlap hemmed edges of backing rectangles by about 4" to make a 21" square (Diagram 4). Baste across overlapped edges to make a pillow back.


3. With right sides together, layer pillow top and pillow back, making certain short edges of ruffle strips are within seam lines. Fold back and pin right-most ruffle so its long right-hand edge is not caught in the seam; baste. Using 1/2" seams, sew around outer edges to make pillow cover. Turn pillow cover right side out through opening in back. Insert pillow form through opening to complete pillow.