As an Interior Designer, I fall under the stereotype of “decorator”. People tend to think that all I do is sew pillows all day, when in actuality, this is the first pillow I’ve ever machine sewn. Can you believe it? But this isn’t just your ordinary pillow, this pillow has an invisible zipper! This means A. I can remove the pillow cover on a whim and B. I didn’t have to hand sew a stitch! Winner winner chicken dinner. Oh and had I known that making my own pillows was this easy, I could have been saving a whole lot of money on throw pillows at HomeGoods. And now you can too!
You will need:
1 yard of your favorite fabric
welting cord [that's for our next project]
First decide the size of your pillow. You should always make your pillow cover 1″ smaller than your pillow insert, for optimum fullness. I had an 18″ pillow insert, so I made my cover 17″ with 1/2″ seam allowance on each side, which takes us back to 18″. Does that make sense? [17" + 1/2" + 1/2" = 18"] Next draw your pillow template onto your fabric and cut it out. Line up both pieces and lay them down facing each other. Try to line up your pattern as much as possible, for a nice professional look.
You’re going to sew the zipper onto the pillow before sewing any of the sides of the pillow. So with your fabric pieces still facing each other [wrong side up] sew 2″ toward the center of the pillow on both the right and left of one of the pillow sides. This is where your zipper will go. Leave the space in between open.
Flip your fabric right side out and crease the new opening you made for the zipper.
Lay your fabric flat face down with the new opening’s edges folded down. Pin one side of your CLOSED zipper to one of your folded flaps. You’re going to sew one side of the zipper at a time using your zipper foot.
All sewing machines are different so refer to your manual on how to attach your zipper foot, and which side to align it. For mine, I had to clip onto the left side because my zipper was on the right, and then I switched it over the the right when I sewed on the other side of the zipper.
Your zipper should fit snugly underneath your zipper foot and it should easily glide along in a straight line, using your zipper as a guide. Carefully remove your pins as you go. When you come to the end, be sure to backstitch so that your zipper doesn’t come loose over time.
Now that one side is complete, switch your zipper foot to the opposite side and sew on the other half of your zipper. This time leave the zipper OPEN. You don’t want to accidentally sew over the zipper causing it not to open. [Or at least that's something I would do]
Your zipper should look something like this. Be sure to leave your zipper open for the next part.
Now it’s time to sew the rest of your pillow. Pin the remaining three sides of your pillow template leaving a 1/2″ seam.
On the side with the zipper lay your folded edges flat and pin in place.
Carefully sew along your pencil line, removing pins as you go.
When you reach the zipper side, continue sewing over the end of the zipper to secure it in place and to keep it from unraveling. Remember to always backstitch before cutting off your thread.
Cut off each corner of your pillow template so that when you turn your pillow right side out, the corners will be nice and pointy.
Stuff your pillow cover with your insert and pat yourself on the back because you are now ready for our next pillow challenge: sewing a pillow with welting. I’m
scared excited! PS: this fabric was only $5/yard and Hancock. What? I know. I was pretty jazzed.