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27 August, 2011

Vintage French Sheep Pillow Tutorial

 I seem to be on a textile project roll lately, so here goes another one…my French sheep pillow! I just love sheep…they are so French to me! After all, Joan of Arc started out as a shepherdess and Marie Antoinette tended her flock of perfumed sheep when she played at being a shepherdess! So I had been on the hunt for the perfect sheep graphic and finally found it…

  …here at Vintage Printable, where there are tons of gorgeous vintage graphics free for the printing! I added the text to the graphic…Le Mouton…French for the sheep. I have already flipped it for you to use as an iron-on transfer. I knew I wanted to make the pillow using Osnaburg, a great less-expensive linen look-alike (only $2.50 a yard at Hobby Lobby with a 40% coupon!) and that I wanted to add jute piping.

015 Baby Kitty had serious reservations about the jute piping, however, and it seems he was right! There’s a reason I couldn’t find it ready-made in the fabric stores…it’s so hard to work with!

019I did finally manage to make my own using some left-over burlap and cording…sooo…free! Then I started to work on the pillow itself.

page First, I cut my fabric 1 inch longer and wider than my pillow form…a down insert from Goodwill for about $3.00…then I…
1. folded it in fourths to find the center and marked it with a pencil
2. printed the "Le Mouton" graphic on an iron-on transfer sheet
3. trimmed the transfer to the size I wanted, found the center of it on the back and centered it on the fabric
4. ironed on the image following the directions on the package.

030 And voilà! Next, I pinned the cording to the fabric on the right side, with the cut edges together and the piping facing inside, and then stitched it down. I used a zipper foot so I could get close.

039Then I added the back of the pillow, right sides together, and stitched through all thicknesses, leaving it open at the bottom to insert the pillow form. Note that I have added some sheeting under the Osnaburg since I was concerned that it might not be thick enough. And finally, I hand stitched the bottom of the pillow to close it.

And here is the final product! I like the way it turned out and, in spite of the aggravation, the jute cording does add some contrast and texture that I really like! Hmmm…now maybe a cow pillow to keep it company?

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed a little peek at my project!  Please visit these wonderful bloggers and their beautiful blogs to see what they are up to and to find a list of this week’s participants!
Stephanie Lynn at Under the Table and Dreaming for the Sunday Showcase Party
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday
Rhoda at Southern Hospitality for Today's Thrifty Treasures on Mondays
Mary at Boogieboard Cottage for Masterpiece Monday
Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick for Before and After Monday (first Monday of the month)
Linda at Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
Kim at Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays
Judy at DIY by Design for Sizzle into Summer
Gina at The Shabby Creek Cottage for Transformation Thursdays
Leigh at Tales from Bloggeritaville for Thrifty Thursday
Jill at French Cupboard for Voilà! French Inspiration on Thursdays
Sherry at No Minimalist Here for the Open House Party on Thursdays
Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Courtney at French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Diann at The Thrifty Groove for Thrifty Things Friday
Debra at Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Fridays
Sherry at The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday
Donna at Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special
See you next time! A la prochaine!


  1. Beautiful rustic pillow! The jute cording is a nice contrast.

  2. Hi Deb!! Love the sheep pillow and what a perfect piece for your lovely home!! Great job as always, Kathysue

  3. This is an amazing pillow. You are so talented!

  4. Your absolutely making me nuts with all these fabulous projects!!!
    When I saw the sheep pillow, I said to myself, "OH, NO not another one!!!" I'm in serious drool mode here. Maybe if I put my paint brush up long enough I could do this myself!!! You're a constant source of inspiration!
    xoxo Debra

  5. Love this cute pillow its absolutely sheepish. LOL Making your own piping is tricky enough, much less out of burlap. ouch But it turned out beautifully. Yo are sure becoming the seamstress. I wanted to break out the machine today and do a little sewing during the Hurricane, but was afraid I would lose power and have a project halfway completed. I was right. Glad I didn't do that. Thanks for sharing your Frenchy Sheep pillow with us. Hugs, Barb

  6. But Baby Kitty, this is ADORABLE!

  7. Awesome...I love the graphic and jute binding. Thanks for showing us how and where.

  8. Debbie, Your sheep pillow is gorgeous. Love it, and even though the trim was difficult, it does add a very chic touch to an already chic pillow.
    The turorial is great. I may just have to try to make a pillow using the transfer.
    Thank you for the prayers for those in Irene. Our son and his family are right in the middle of it in Atlantic City,NJ.

  9. Gorgeous! I am working on a burlap pillow right now and never would have thought of burlap piping!
    And being a blue and white addict myself, I LOVE all of your beautiful table vignettes!

  10. Love the pillow (and towels, for that matter!). I wish I could sew half as good as you! You really should open an Etsy shop or booth in an antique mall. Pottery Barn has nothing on you! I was in what is supposedly the largest antique mall in NC today, and saw 3 french nesting tables that reminded me of you. I wish I had taken a picture to show you. Have a great weekend!

  11. Deb,
    This turned out so awesome!!!
    I see these transfers on Etsy all the time... nice horse-related ones
    and I kept thinking.... I cannot do that!
    Do you just print it out on your regular printer but you use special paper? That's it???

    If so, I think I could do that!
    You have inspired me,
    Thanks Deb!

    He is one handsome sheep.


  12. Oh I love your pillow. You did a great tutorial and I saved the name of the graphics place to my favorites. That is just a perfect image!

    I made jute cording ONE TIME and will NEVER do it again! You are a brave soul. I love the ostnaburg fabric and have used it since the 80's for projects. It is getting harder and harder to find here.

  13. You did a great job. Baby Kitty was so helpful.

  14. It looks great! I love the piping too!

    I love iron on transfers too, but have had trouble getting them to adhere well to burlap type fabric. Can you tell me what brand you use and if there are any other secrets I need to know about them? I've used TAP and Wilton and have had good luck on tight weave fabrics, but not the looser weaves.

    Thanks so much!

  15. I love that pillow, Debbie...sad that I don't sew, isn't it. I think sheep have such beautiful eyes.

  16. I'm not a sewer, though I'd love to get good at it. I love your pillow...just enough pizzaz, but yet it's super peaceful.

  17. You make all these projects seem so effortless, and I know they are not! Another beautiful example of your many creative talents, Debbie. You know I'd shop your store if you had one. ;-)
    Happy Weekend! ~ Sarah

  18. Good morning Debbie. That is a lovely pillow. I love that sheep and that cording looks perfect.I never used cording didn't know how to do it but it looks easy enough. I will try it some day now. Thank you for the tutorial. Have a nice week,

  19. Great project Debbie, thanks for the heads up on the graphics site too. I think adding the jute welting is a perfect touch. I've been working on pillows all summer and may have to give some animal prints a try. Thanks for sharing.

  20. Debbie, what a great duo - "le mouton" and the cording - they work beautifully together! Another winner! Linda

  21. Love the sheep pillow and a cow pillow will be a great mate. Looks pretty on your slipcovered chair.

    Irene has come and gone. She created a little havoc here on the coast, but we are safe.


  22. Amazing Debbie!
    REally you are so talented!
    And the tutorial is perfect, I can tell you were a teacher!
    If I ever find time from my babysitting duties I may give it a whirl!

  23. I do believe you are the cleverest woman I know, the way you can duplicate a very popular (pricey) look for so little. Outstanding!

  24. Wow, what a fabulous pillow, Debbie! And, the detailed tutorial is wonderful. I seriously need to learn how to sew!

  25. I too have a thing for sheep Debbie...I think I may try my hand at this. Really a darling pillow but think I will skip the jute Listen to Baby Kitty next time. :)
    Thanks for the tutorial and inspiration!

  26. I love sheep and sheep things. I have seep on my land out in the country. I have to find some of that printable stuff and try it out. looks very professional. Thanks for sharing, Richard from My Old Historic House.

  27. Very very cute!! Thanks for the link to the printables site -- going to check it out for sure!

  28. So cute -- yes I beleive you need a cow and perhaps a rooster as well!

  29. No need for an Etsy shop, you can sell these right off your blog!

    I'll take one mouton and one vache, please; oh, and a couple of towels too. Just let me know combien, s'I'll vous plait.

  30. Debbie, I love the sheep pillow and the graphic that you show is fabulous. You amaze me with how creative you are. Love it. Hugs, Marty

  31. Love your pillow and you have a beautiful blog! I am proud to be your newest follower!

  32. Your pillow is so pretty, Debbie. I love the sheep pic you picked...Christine

  33. You are so good Debbie! This is wonderful.

    Thanks so much for the tutorial.

  34. Debbie,
    Your Frenchy pillows are gorgeous!!! ...and who knew that Baby Kity (handsome guy that he is)was also sew crafty!!! Thanks for sharing this inspirational post with us!

  35. Hi Deb, love the sheep pillow! Will have to give it a try. I followed you over from Boogie Board Cottage. Thanks for sharing.

  36. LOve the sheep pillow, I just stopped over from Sissies and now I need to get over to vintage printables! I haven't been over there in a long time, so I gotta see what I've been missing. t. xoxox

  37. I love it, Debbie! That is one hefty Le Mouton! The piping makes the pillow! Worth the effort, no? ;)

  38. Cute! I love the graphic. One day I may make my own pillows! haha

  39. What a lovely project! Thanks for sharing. If you get a chance please stop by our fiestaware post, Mom from Cottage and Broome

  40. Your pillow is just beautiful and you have a very inspiring blog as well. I've really enjoyed my visit here.

    Have a wonderful day,

  41. That is the cutest pillow! Great job on the piping!
    :) CAS

  42. AWESOME! Oh my I love the pillow and the hand towels and the.... oh I need to learn to sew! Maybe this winter when there is nothing to play with in the garden! Thanks for the inspiration! I am definetly going to "follow"!

  43. Love this pillow!! Thanx for sharing the link! I purchased an entire bolt of Osenburg today with my coupon! Want to try the tea towels but first I will be using it for a bed skirt! Thanx for the inspiration!

  44. YOu made such a lovely pillow! Such a sweet sheep!

  45. Great Job! I love sheep and that image in a wonderful one. Your instructions are very detailed one I may beable to follow. Thanks for sharing. Coming over from Coastal Charm, drop by for a visit.

  46. Debbie, thanks for sharing this at WOW. It is so cute.

  47. Your pillow is just beautiful, I love it.
    Hugs, Cindy

  48. I love your adorable pillow and all of your sewing projects. For me, the toughest part is getting the machine out, so I rarely do it.

    I hope you will link up to my first Potpourri Friday party which started this afternoon. Your participation would add so much to the party!

  49. Wonderful job on the pillow...One of your many talents I see.....the sheep reminds me of the live one left in our truck at the open all night Walmart....cute little things...

  50. Stopping back by to say a special thank you for linking up to Potpourri Friday party and helping to make it a success! I appreciate you, my fried!

  51. I love the pillow.
    Sheep are wonderful creatures.
    Have a great holiday weekend.

  52. Wow, this is gorgeous! So pretty. Would love for you to stop by My Dream Canvas.

  53. Debbie! That is the cutest thing ever....well, since your last project! You seem to get more things done and just put me to shame! Are you still helping out with your grandchildren too? I love this and thank you for showing us how it's done. Baby Kitty should have more faith in you! ;)

    Love, Donna

  54. I'm a pillow freak and just love this one. Thanks for sharing and coming to the party!

  55. This was inspiring, beautiful and you gave me a great new cording idea...I love the look of this and will do it even if it is hard to work was worth it. I am pinning this....thanks so much!

  56. What a beautiful pillow, and this is one handsome sheep, lovely graphic. Thank you for the link.

  57. The pillow turned out beautiful Debbie! It looks like it cost a whole lot more than what you put into it! Thank you for joining TTF an I hope you are having a wonderful week!

  58. Debbie,
    These are so cute. I like how they turned out. I like the osnaburg fabric. I have used it before and I love the look.
    Thanks for joining me at HSH!

  59. I love it... and i love your blog!
    Carmen from Italy

  60. If you love sheep check out my blog to read about my sheep. You will love the story about when they first showed up at my house. Please join me to read about my farm girl life.

  61. Love this! I'm just thinking of a sepia toned sheep photo I have...

    I've not tried a transfer project, but this is getting me thinking about it!

  62. Diud you try to wash the pillow cases? how does it work for transfers? thank you!!! your pillows are beautiful


Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment! I appreciate my wonderful readers!... Debbie