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Interior Designer, Licensed Therapist & SoCal mama of three. Welcome to the blog!  I hope it brings you inspiration to create a life (and home) you really love.


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One easy skill to learn at home

June 11, 2020

A DIY pillow has been on my mind for a few years now. But I never found the time or opportunity to get serious. That is until now. Grab your sewing kit and let’s get sewing!

anita yokota method anitayokota.com hanging chair

As school officially ended last week, the girls are getting quite rambunctious at home. 3 months of imaginary play, singing their own musicals, and using glitter on every art and craft project has taken its toll! Last March, I had cleaned out their closet when we got the new floors. And now they have outgrown a lot of their clothes already! This is always a sign for me to embark on a summer reorganization project. 

One of the things the girls really need is a comfy pillow seat cushion for their cute Serena and Lily rattan hanging chair. A DIY pillow has been on my mind for a few years now. But I never found the time or opportunity to get serious. That is until now. Grab your sewing kit and let’s get sewing!

A new furniture plan 

The girls’ Serena and Lily rattan hanging chair has been sitting in the corner for several months. Their shenanigans landed both of them literally on the floor with the swing. 

The bunk bed was a perfect way to save space in a small room and maximize vertical space. But there were many downsides to it too. For one, it created odd empty corners and too much wall space on the other side of the room. 

A follower had DM’d me one day after watching my stories and she shared that her dad built her and her sister an L shaped loft bed! Do you remember when Travis had the same idea in stories? 

Ava Regency Corner Unit, Simply White, In-Home Delivery

Realistically, building something out for their room isn’t on our summer agenda. The Desert Den still has phases 2 and 3. I can’t wait to share more on those soon!

In any case, I decided we would take the bunk bed down. Natalie and Emily were in agreement because they were getting a bit tired of the configuration themselves.

What’s better than refreshing your bedroom for summer, right?

So, I decided to try out the L configuration on the floor before I seriously invested in an L-shaped bed or plan to build a custom one. 

Putting the two beds together on the floor really gave me a good visual. And I loved it!

The corner was utilized and there was still a middle area for them to play and dance. 

I placed the swing to the right side of the window and with the new drapery for the closet, there was no conflict of the swing banging into closet doors. 

Sewing Basics

Have you sewn anything before? I had a few beginner level sewing projects when Rachel and Emily were babies. I sewed a nursing cover for myself when nursing both of them. It was really easy! You basically sew a rectangle piece of fabric and add boning to the top. That’s it!

Up until now, there hasn’t been a pillow or seat cushion for the hanging swing. I saw this as a fun opportunity to learn to sew a pillow. A 24×24 pillow was a perfect cushion for this chair.

I went online and found the blogger that I learned from way back for my previous projects. Here is her youtube video. 

I decided to go with an envelope back pillow. Since it was my first time sewing a pillow, a zipper seemed too daunting. 

anitayokota.com Anita Yokota Method DIY Pillow

But first things first, I needed a sewing machine! 

I’ve done some deep research on sewing machines in the past. And my dream machine is a Baby Lock with an automatic threader where you just push a lever on the side of the machine.

As I perused online, I was shocked! There were nearly no sewing machines available to buy!

Everyone must want to sew their own fabric masks!

I got lucky and found this one. I had to wait a while but finally got it. (It’s currently out of stock but I will update you once it is back!) I rounded up a few that are in stock as of today’s publish date.

Once I got it, I had to familiarize myself with how to thread a bobbin, a needle, and set the machine up.

bobbin thread anitayokota.com DIY throw pillow sewing

I’m not gonna lie, threading the bobbin and needle took forever, ha! Even Travis and Emily jumped in to help. Every machine is a little different and I was surprised at how I couldn’t find videos for my specific machine. So I had to watch a few more videos to understand what to do.

anitayokota.com Anita Yokota Method DIY pillow

Finally the bobbin and needled were threaded and I was ready to cut the fabric and sew. 

Envelope Pillow

Here’s a quick snapshot of what you need to do:

  1. Take the dimensions you want to make and cut the square piece of fabric. I wanted to make a 24×24 pillow.

anitayokota.com Anita Yokota Method DIY throw pillow


Two things here: 1) Don’t use a pencil like me. We didnt’ have a disappearing pen or sewing chalk pencil. Due to Covid, I’m apprehensive about just going to the store on a whim anymore. So we used a pencil. It was hidden once sewn but not ideal.

2) DO use a large fabric omnigrid. We didn’t have one so this angle ruler worked perfectly. 

Product Image


  1. This graphic is assuming you’re making a 16×16 pillow.


Then mark the square in half which is 8”

Then add two inches which makes it 10”

Cut one of the two pieces like this:


Now we’re ready to put it together!

Take the 16×16 or in my case the 24×24 and place it face down. Iron a ½” folded over seam to prevent the edge from raveling. Then get sewing right down the edge. 

Time to sew!

Place the front of the pillow fabric face UP on the table. Then take the two panels face down and place on top of the front fabric.

anitayokota.com Anita Yokota Method DIY Pillow

Then you pin it all around and sew the straight edges! How easy is that!

That is if you know how to work your machine. Whomp, whomp!

anitayokota.com Anita Yokota Method

After a few rounds of threading the needle, I got a rhythm going and it was done!

anitayokota.com Anita Yokota Method DIY pillow

Look at how pretty this pillow is! The textured pattern that isn’t too bold or blaring. It’s  just enough for visual depth and interest.

anitayokota.com Anita Yokota Method DIY pillow

I didn’t want a pattern because these girls’ favorite theme changes weekly!

anitayokota.com Anita Yokota Method DIY pillow

anitayokota.com Anita Yokota Method DIY pillow

Emily and Natalie absolutely love this corner now! A simple change of textiles like a throw pillow automatically invited them to sit and enjoy.

And yes, Natalie finally got her vanity! When sharing a bedroom (whether you’re a kid or not), carving out personal spaces within a shared room is really important for our mental health.

anitayokota.com Anita Yokota Method DIY pillow

For kids especially, it gives them a sense of control and boundaries. As a result, they are better equipped to communicate and share the common areas of the room.

anitayokota.com Anita Yokota Method DIY pillow

anitayokota.com Anita Yokota Method DIY pillow


Next up is sharing how I made the drapery panels with the ceiling curtain track. Stay tuned for another amazing way to change up your closet in a minimalistic design yet uber functional!


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