A Cure For The Floppy Pillow Flange & Adorable Scottie Sheets

Happy Black Friday! Did you brave the crowds and go shopping today? Since I don’t do crowds or traffic (avoid both like the plague) I stayed home and worked on a few things here. Anyone score any amazing deals?

I have something I’m super excited to share today because it was another one of those big AH-HA moments. The more I learn about bedding, the more I realize how little I know! Do you ever feel that way when working on something?

Are you familiar with Euro Shams–you know, those big square-shaped pillows folks sometimes use on or across the back of the bed as a decorative feature in their bedding? I have a pair I’ve been using for many, many years in my spring/summer bedding. I purchased them from Linens and Things a gazillion years ago for the plaid moire shams seen in the photo below.

Master Bedroom with Crystal Chandelier

 

As many of you know, recently I’ve been working on a “fall-winter” look for my bed. When I took the poly inserts out of the old moire Euro Shams to use inside the new Ralph Lauren Devonshire cotton Euro shams, I had a heck of time getting the flange around the edge of the sham to stand up a little. The only way I could get it to stand up at all was by shaking the pillow as far down to the end as I could and then playing with the flange for  a few minutes until it finally stood up. If you breathed hard in that direction, it was bound to fall back over.

You’ll notice the flange around the “standard” red tartan shams is hopelessly floppy. I’m going to have a felt insert added to it when I have the bedskirt made for this bed and that should help.

Tartan Bedding, Ralph Lauren Style_wm

 

When I recently shared a little holiday decorating idea for the bed, I never could get one of the pillows to look right, despite ironing both shams and adding a little starch to the flange. Feeling frustrated, I Googled this little problem to see if there was a better idea and guess what I discovered. It seems that sham inserts are not all created equal! Hold that thought!

Christmas Stocking with Greenery on Bed Post

 

Notice how the corner of the Ralph Lauren Devonshire sham pillow looks empty…no wonder it won’t stand up worth a flip.

Poly-Filled Sham Inserts Don't Fill Corners of Euro Sham

 

Here’s why…the polyfiber insert I’ve been using doesn’t fill out the corners of the pillow. When I googled to find a solution to the floppy flange problem, I found an article discussing this very thing. In the article they pointed out that polyfiber inserts never fill out the corners of Euro shams, the poly just won’t stay in the corners. I had never noticed this before because the shams I use for my spring/summer bedding are made of heavy moire fabric and the flange on those stands up pretty well all on its own.

Poly Filled Euro Sham Insert

 

Not so with the cotton Devonshire Euro shams I’m using on my bed for fall and winter. I thought I could pound my sham into submission. Surely if I pushed and cajoled it just the right way, I could work some of the polyfiber down into those corners.

Nope.

I didn’t try cutting it open because I had a feeling even if I could get some polyfiber down into the corners, it probably wouldn’t stay there. The article said the best way to remedy this issue was to use a feather and down insert. Uh-oh, sounds expensive, right?

Poly Filled Sham

 

I headed over to Amazon and searched and was delighted to find some feather and down Euro-size inserts that were no more expensive than the polyfiber inserts I’ve been seeing in my local big-box bedding store. In fact, they were actually less.

I noticed a funny thing about them, though. The listing showed they were 28″ x 28″, two inches bigger than all the poly filled Euro sham inserts you normally see. Euro shams and the inserts that go in them are normally 26″ x 26″. My Devonshire shams are 26″ x 26″.  Ummmm. Apparently, the seller is used to folks asking about this because in the description it says, “Decorators recommend to buy this size pillow for a 26″ x 26″ sham.”

Okay, I’m game. The reviews looked pretty good so I ordered two. The shipping date was far out but surprisingly they came in just 7 days.

Feather & Down Pillow Insert

 

Here’s a side by side comparison, that’s the feather and down euro sham in back. Definitely bigger!

28 x28 Euro Sham Compared to 26 x 26 Euro Sham

 

And you can see the corners of the feather and down sham insert are fully filled out. That’s because down and feathers can get into the tight corners of the sham.

Feather and Down Insert For A Euro Sham

 

These shams are 95% feathers and 5% down. That probably wouldn’t be good for a duvet because those feathers would most likely stick through and give you a poke on occasion, but for a decorative sham it works fine.

Feather and Down Euro Sham Insert

 

I was worried it would be hard to get the larger insert inside the sham cover but it wasn’t at all. It went right in. Notice how it’s filling out the corners nicely.

Feather & Down Pillow Insert Fills Out Euro Sham

 

I put the insert in the pillow on the left first and you can really see the difference the insert makes.

Comparison Between Feather Down Euro Sham and Poly-Filled Euro Sham

 

Here’s how both Devonshire Euro shams look with their feather and down inserts. I like that they are taller now and love how the flange is standing at attention.

Tartan Plaid Bedding With Ralph Lauren Devonshire Shams

 

So much Better!

Plaid Bedding With Ralph Lauren Devonshire Shams

 

So, if you suffer with the Floppy-Euro-Sham-Flange-Malady each time you make your bed, you may want to pick up a couple of these feather and down inserts. These things weigh a ton, by the way. I was shocked how much heavier they are than the old poly filled shams. This was the one I purchased: Bed of Roses Euro Feather Down Pillow Inserts

Update: I just noticed someone asked how much these inserts weigh and someone who had purchased the inserts replied saying they had weighed one and it weighed 6 lbs! lol That sounds about right…they are good and solid! I guess that’s why the flange now stands up so well.

Update: After I wrote this post, I emailed Bed of Roses and asked if they had shams to fit the 27″ x 20″ red tartan shams. They replied saying they don’t have them currently in stock but that they’ll be happy to make them for me. They said they would need to be 29″ x 22″, again 2 inches larger around. I’m so excited they can make them in the size I need for the red tartan shams so maybe that will help with the floppy flange on those, too. It will take about 10 days for Bed of Roses to make them and send them out to me. Once they arrive, I will let you know if new feather/down inserts helps with the flange problem on those, as well. Keeping fingers crossed!

Plaid Bedding With Ralph Lauren Wool Pillows

 

A Surprise Present

I received the nicest gift in the mail day before yesterday from Martha’s Circle, a network of which I’m a member. They sent these adorable Martha Stewart”Plaid Scottie” flannel sheets. Are they not perfect for my winter bedding?! I just washed and dried them today so they’ll go on the bed this evening. If you are interested in getting a set, I noticed Macy’s has them on sale for Black Friday here: Martha Stewart Collection Novelty Print Flannel Sheet Set (not an affiliate link)

Martha Stewart Plaid Scottie Flannel Sheets

 

Giving Thanks

I am way behind in saying thank you to some wonderful folks who have featured a post from Between Naps On The Porch in recent weeks. It’s always such a nice surprise when that happens. Thank you to those of you who noticed these features and left a comment letting me know.

Thank you to Country Living Magazine for featuring my front porch decorated with a snowflake wreath for Christmas. You’ll want to check out their 14 Classic Ideas for Outdoor Christmas Decorations.

Do you watch The Today Show? They have a “Home” section on their website where they share fabulous decorating ideas. I didn’t realize this until someone told me they had seen one of my tablescapes there. A big thank you to Today.com for featuring two of my fall/Thanksgiving table settings (#7 & #13) in a lovely slide show they put together for the holidays. You’ll find it here: 14 Ideas For Your Thanksgiving Table Decor

Thanks so much to Apartment Therapy for sharing one of my fave napkin folds, the Triple Pocket Fold in their post titled, The Well-Dressed Table: 5 Ways To Fold A Napkin. Always so much inspiration to be found at Apartment Therapy!

And, finally a big thank-you to Good Housekeeping for sharing one of my Halloween posts a few weeks back.

If you have a moment, please visit these wonderful sites, you’ll definitely come away with lots of new ideas!




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Comments

  1. Pillow forms are not created equal. In many cases you will want a form that is 1-2″ larger then the cover you are using. Many times “European Squares” are different sizes from different manufacturers as you have found. Same thing with the pillow for your standard sham. Many times a queen size pillow will fill the standard sham better and possibly help with your floppy corners and flange. 🙂

    • Colleen, after looking at the red tartan shams again, I think the pillows I have in those are too small. They are a weird size, 27 x 20. I need to find bigger pillows for those. Be nice is that made the flange perk up.

      • Colleen Lang says:

        Try a queen size bed pillow. You might be pleasantly surprised. I would imagine having something done to the flange on your shams would be costly. The flange would need to be taken apart and put back together again, and it still might not do what you want it to. Not trying to rain on your parade, this is just many years of custom sewing experience.

  2. Thanks for doing this type of research for us. So thrilling that you are getting recognition big time.

    M.

  3. I wonder if a different insert would also help the floppy flange syndrome on the regular sized shams. I have the same problem with my Ralph Lauren Blue Porcelain shams-very annoying. I hate the thought of having to take them apart to try and insert felt or whatever, but I hate how sloppy they look.

    • Barbara, I’m not sure if anyone makes a feather down insert in that standard pillow shape. The problem with my red tartan shams is the fabric is pretty heavy-weight. I haven’t tried starching them. I don’t know why the bedding makers don’t automatically sew in something so the flange will stand up. What’s the point of even having a flange if it’s just going to lay down flat. Even if I styled the bed like you see some beds with the pillows laying flat, the flange would still look bad flopping down…so makes no sense to me It is frustrating. Would starch help your RL Blue Porcelain shams? I think my RL Blue Porcelain shams in the guest room are only 1 layer of fabric, so I couldn’t add anything to those. But the fabric is light-weight enough (since it’s only 1 layer thick) starch might do the trick.

  4. Oh Susan,
    I’m so glad for you as you definitely deserve it all! 🙂
    Susan, isn’t there a saying that goes “One never ends learning”?
    It is true! lol
    However, you can count yourself lucky, since you switch your duvet covers and pillows how many times? 2-3 times a year? I (and most of my friends, too) switch them every week! I change the bedclothes each Saturday, and we have individual duvets, thus 2 of them on our bed! That’s why I hate to iron duvet covers or pillow covers with buttons, I have to wash and to iron them every week! But on the other hand, we don’t use extra sheets. 😉
    (German beddings are just different from yours.)
    ~Hugs to you~
    Cecilia

    • Cecilia, that is funny! We wash our sheets often but not the duvet since it doesn’t normally touch much of your body, if at all. Now if you have pets and they sleep in the bed, that’s different. I hope I don’t have to wash this one anytime soon, afraid it would fade the color out. I’m glad we never stop learning! 🙂

  5. pam ~ crumpety cottage says:

    Susan, first of all, congratulations on all the attention your blog is getting! That’s exciting. But it also seems a bit disconcerting as it sounded as though you weren’t necessarily aware of all of these sites using your ideas. Hmm. Something doesn’t sound kosher in Denmark.

    I love the sheets! They are so cute and so perfect with your tartan duvet and pillows. They seem to have all the same colors.

    When you mentioned the problem with the floppy flanges, I thought immediately about men’s dress shirts and how they have those plastic stays to keep the pointed collar crisp and sharp. I can’t think of an equivalent that could be used in the pillow shams at the moment, but if I come up with something, I’ll come back and post. Felt doesn’t seem like it would be stiff enough, but it would surely be better than nothing. It is so frustrating to spend so much time and money and then be disappointed in one aspect of your project. Hopefully you’ll get that sorted.

    Every time I eat turkey I take a nap. I told my husband that anybody who has trouble getting to sleep at night just needs to eat a steady diet of turkey and stuffing and they’ll be out like a light. Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. 🙂

  6. You are ON A ROLL!!! KUDOS!! (Well deserved I might add!!) franki

  7. Susan, congratulations on all the recognition. It is well deserved!
    I learned about using a pillow insert 2″ larger than the pillow cover years ago. Not even sure how I learned this fact, but it makes a noticeable difference. I want feather / down in all my pillows. I like to fluff pillows, and the polly fill doesn’t fluff. It just sits. 😉 The polly fill can also discolor and begin to lump. Thanks for the link. I’ve bookmarked it, though I have a local source for very reasonable inserts.
    Love the look of your bedding, both summer and winter.

    I took a friend to lunch today for her birthday, and she needed to stop by Neiman Marcus this lunch to pick up some makeup. Crowds were not bad, and NM was offering a $50 gift card if you purchased $100. I took advantage of that and picked up some Estee Lauder products that I use. A win / win!

    • Wow, that was an awesome deal, Sarah! You did good!
      You are so right about the fluffing. I couldn’t even budge the poly inside the sham, much less fluff it. lol I love how solid these new inserts feel…they feel like “professional” inserts…like something a decorator would use.
      Where are you using “our” pillow, btw? Did you find a good spot for Woody?

  8. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post!! I’ve had the same problem with my Ralph Lauren Glen Plaid sham covers! I’d fluff and fluff and readjust, and they never looked quite right. Thank you for sharing this tip!! Congrats and kudos on your features, you have a fabulous blog! Love those Scotty sheets!! So, so cute.

    • Thanks!
      I have to tell ya, I love these inserts! They are so solid…feel like something an expensive decorator would use. So much better than the poly ones. If you order them, hope you like them as much as I love I do!

  9. First, congratulations on the attention your blog is receiving. I am glad to see the world is finding out how talented you are which we already knew. Thanks for the info on Euro shams because the new bedding set I am looking at has Euro shams and now I know what to do with them to get the right look. Susan, you are so handy to have around!!!

  10. Susan, I am so pleased you have cured your *floppy flange* disease!! 🙂 You are so great at research.
    Love, love those cute scottie sheets, you will be snug as a bug tonight!!!!

  11. Love the blog! Love the “winter” bed! Makes me wanna have some plaid in my room!

    I too stayed home today. I have braved the crowds in the past, but this year I decided I did not need anything bad enough to torture myself (LOL), like in the past. (The worst was standing outside, in the cold and drizzle, from 3:30-5am, waiting to get into Toys R Us.) I did, however buy some things online YESTERDAY…Black Friday started early…and with free shipping…I couldn’t go wrong! I have to brave the crowds in Walmart tomorrow…we need milk and oatmeal! LOL

    • Thanks, Robin! Yikes, I know that was a long 1 1/2 in the cold. I remember those days, trips to Toys R Us. Yeah, this online shopping is definitely the way to go! Good luck at Wally World. lol I have to go tomorrow, too…it’s the least expensive place I’ve found to purchase blueberries out of season…and I have a slight blueberry addiction! 🙂

  12. Warmth, style, and cute scotties–so cozy we may not hear from you for awhile 🙂

  13. Another thing I like to do is use kind sized pillow cases for any size pillow. I like the way the pretty case drapes over the sides of the bed and you don’t ever see any pillow at the end of the case! Glad you solved your floppy problem and your winter bedroom is looking mighty cozy!

    • Marsha, I am so with you on that. A few months ago I ordered some plaid flannel sheets from LL Bean. That was before I decided to redo all bedding. The pillowcases that came are really too short for my pillows and you can see the pillow a bit from the side. I noticed the Martha Stewart Scottie dog pillow cases are longer and do hide it, but King size would be a lot prettier draping across. I wish companies that sell sheet sets would offer the pillow cases separately, as well.

  14. Who would’ve thought you could do research about floppy flanges? So glad you did! Thanks…I’m guessing there are a lot of us sufferers out there! And kudos on all the recognition…you definitely deserve this! I didn’t shop on Black Friday either…too many people for my taste! 😉

    • lol Donnamae, I have found that no matter what your problem, someone has written about it somewhere and if you type in the right words, Google will fetch it for ya. 🙂 I should see if I can find it again and link to it in the post…it was really helpful.

  15. I’ve often been tempted to open just a couple of stitches on the flanges and insert a pair of collar stays from men’s’ dress shirts at each corner. I’d need to come up with a way to secure them…probably with some kind of hidden stitch. So far it’s just a thought. Haven’t tried it yet. Thanks for working on this universal nuisance. Cherry Kay

    • I wonder if they could be glued in place with one of those super strong fabric glues like Fabri-tac. It’s known as the “glue gun in a bottle” and it dries within seconds. And it’s extremely strong. I bet that would work. You can see it where I used it this post: http://betweennapsontheporch.net/make-a-patriotic-party-banner-pottery-barn-inspired/
      I wish I could find the feather and down pillow inserts in a size that would work for red shams on my bed…that would help the flange stand up better, I think. Cherry Kay, if you try the collar stay trick, let me know how that works. One seamstress I talked to about making the bedskirt said it would be easy to open the seams (because of how those pillows are made) and insert whatever it is they insert to give it more substance, I think it’s a type of “washed felt” or something like that. I just googled and check out this tutorial I found: http://makeitorfixit.com/how-to-make-your-flimsy-pillow-shams-stand-up/. I’m not sure what buckram is, not sure I’d want to use that but it looks pretty easy to insert something in there like a stiff felt.

  16. Now to get the flange to stand up at the top take a long strip of heavy weight clear packaging tape (brown tape residue will remain on fabric) and place it on backside along stitch line of flange!
    Will stand up so nicely!
    A decorator’s tip as I worked in home furnishings for many years for market here in NYC 🙂

  17. Juanita in OH says:

    WOW, what a great solution and thank you for sharing it! Where did you get the stocking pillow? It is adorable.

    • Thanks, Juanita! I found it in either Marshalls or HomeGoods. I shopped both those stores the same day so forgotten now which one had it. It had a little tag on it saying “Storehouse” so I guess that’s where it was originally sold. I think Marshalls and HomeGoods buy overstock inventory and such. I couldn’t resist it for the bed for the holiday season since it had tartan stockings and a tartan pattern on back. 🙂 You can read more about all the bedding in this post: http://betweennapsontheporch.net/ralph-lauren-inspired-tartan-plaid-bedroom/

  18. Congrats to you for receiving such well deserved attention! Thank you very much for solving the floppy flange dilemma. I was about ready to toss my Euro Shams, they have been a royal pain in the hiney.

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