Rosette Pillow Tutorial

by Kelsey Norwood

in Crafts,Sewing

Hello strangers. I know I’ve been away…life is just so busy right now with the holidays and company and precious baby Linus filling up my arms all the time.

I have been on a pillow making kick when I have a few spare minutes and I finally finished the one that I’ve been looking forward to making the very most – the Target rosette look-alike. I think it turned out pretty fabulous! I used a Moda solid for the flowers and a Michael Miller Ta Dot (celery I think?) for the back.

Here’s how to make your own Target look-alike pillow:


  • 18 x 18 pillow form (my favorite is from Hobby Lobby)
  • Two – 18″ square pieces for the front and back
  • 2 1/4 yards piping
  • 1 1/4 yards for flowers and to cover the piping


Cut 15 strips the width of the fabric x 2.5″ and sew them together as shown above.

Press seam allowances open.

You should have one very very long strip by now.

Press the whole thing in half. Use lots of steam. Steam is good.

Cut the front and back pieces for the pillow. I cut mine the same size as the pillow form I’m using so the pillow fills up the cover. So for 1n 18″ pillow, cut the front and back pieces 18″ square.

Find an aluminum can or ribbon roll or something about 3-4″ in diameter and trace three circles right in the center of the fabric. (I really should have done my circles smaller and left more around the edges so my flowers were well within the finished dimensions of the cover. So either draw a smaller circle or use the line as the outside boundary once you start sewing instead of the inside boundary like I did.)

Start with the flower in the very center of the pillow cover.fold under the raw edge of the fabric strip about 1/4″ and pin down.

Line up the outside edge or the fold of the fabric strip with the circle you drew, fold the raw edge of the fabric strip under 1/4″ and start pinning, making little folds in the fabric so you make a nice round circle.

When you make it all the way around, stop and sew the first layer.

I sew in the opposite direction that I pinned, so I pinned the fabric down in a clockwise direction but sewed counter clockwise so I was sewing over the folds in the most logical direction. Sew about 1/4″ from the edge.

Starting where you left off, pin around again, offsetting the little folds so they’re in a different place than the first layer.

Overlapping the layers more makes a more full flower but does take more fabric. You can overlap them less than I did if you think you’d like a less full flower better.

Keep pinning and sewing one layer at a time until you get to the center.

Leave a 4″ tail.

Twist the tail up really tight, fold into the center and press.

Hand sew that knotty bunch of fabric down really good. Sew all the way around and try to hide your stitches in the folds.

I would actually recommend doing all the machine sewing first and then finish all the flowers at once. It’s more efficient that way…

After you’ve sewed down the first three flowers, trace another three circles and do three more. You can trace all the circles in the beginning, but I didn’t know how long my air erasable pen would last and I also wanted the flexibility to adjust as I went.

I really wish I had left more white space between each flower and therefore made each one smaller. I guess I’ll just have to make another one!

After you’re finished all 9 flowers, prepare the piping. Sew the piping to the pillow front, right sides together, curving the edges and overlapping the edges of theĀ  piping to hide in the seam.

I had to buy a special zipper foot that allowed me to sew closer to the piping. The standard one that came with my machine just wasn’t cutting it.

After the piping is in place sew the pillow back to the front/piping, right sides together.

Leave a 6-8″ opening for stuffing the pillow in, trip the corner seam allowances, flip inside out, stuff, and hand sew the opening closed.

This pillow really was very easy to make, and anyone with the most basic sewing skills could tackle it. Piping can be challenging, but this pillow would be very cute without it too! It was easy, it just took some time to do all those flowers.

Fabric flowers are the best…ENJOY!



{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Keri November 28, 2011 at 11:27 pm

that is WAY cuter than the target pillow. I was not sold when I saw the picture of it but yours looks so much better. I love it. I need it. But it’s about #47 on my list of crafts to do. Grr.

2 DCramer September 2, 2012 at 8:52 am

Instructions are well written and easy to understand. Didn’t see Target’s but liked your style very much. Enjoyed the “personal” instructions-like getting instructions from a friend sitting beside you at the sewing machine. First baby? Mother-baby nurse for 25 years plus 2 of my own (grown of course)!

3 Elaine September 4, 2012 at 6:31 am

I am crocheting blankets w/ matching pillows (covers) for my 3 nephews. I purchased the pillows at a local craft store. Before I finish the pillows, I need to make (material) covers to go under the crocheted parts. Thank you.

4 Elaine September 4, 2012 at 6:33 am

I forgot to add & ask if there’s a store that has ‘pre-made’ covers for small throw pillows.

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