Tools & Materials:
- -pillow insert (any size)
- -fabric (twice the size of the pillow)
- -trim (perimeter of pillow plus 4 inches)
- -matching thread
- -invisible zipper
- -piping foot (must have)
- -invisible zipper foot (optional)
Fabric & Zipper Sizing:
A pillow cover should be a bit smaller than the size of the pillow insert. For example, a 20×20” pillow cover should be filled with a 22×22” insert. This gives the pillow a plump, firm feeling and appearance. For this reason, we will cut the fabric the same size and the pillow insert; with ½ inch seam allowance the pillow size will shrink by 2 inches overall, giving us the appropriate size cover. In the video I use a 14×20” insert and cut the fabric pieces 14×20”.
The zipper needs to be the length of the bottom of the pillow. If you buy it a bit longer you can size it down, as shown in the video.
- Cut the fabric to size and finish the edges with a serger or zigzag stitch. Pay attention to the direction and placement of patterned fabric, especially if you plan on matching the seams.
- Place the trim on the edge of the right side of the fabric with the decorative side facing inward. Baste it around the entire perimeter of the fabric.
- Place the second fabric piece on top of the trim and fabric with the right side of the fabrics together.
- On the bottom edge, with a ½” seam allowance, stitch 1.5” with a regular stitch length. Then adjust your stitch length to longest length, baste stitch until you are 1.5” away from the corner. Finally, switch back to a regular stitch length and stitch to the edge. The basted section is where the zipper will open. For extra clarity, the stitches are only on one edge. The other three sides remain open.
- Press the seam allowance open. With a pin, mark the spot where the regular stitching ends and the basting begins. This is where the top of the zipper will be.
- Prepare your invisible zipper by ironing each side of the zipper tape flat. This opens the tiny fold that is behind the zipper teeth on each side.
- After ironing the zipper, place the slider of the zipper directly below the pin and match the center of the zipper with the seam.
- By hand, baste the zipper tape to the seam allowance (and only the seam allowance).
- Once you have basted the zipper into place you can remove the machine basting stitches that are holding the seam together. This will expose the zipper on the right side.
- Open the zipper all the way to the bottom so it is out of the way for stitching.
- Using either an invisible zipper foot or piping foot, stitch the zipper to the seam allowance as close to the teeth as possible. Stitch a little way passed the point where the seam is closed.
- Zip the zipper up and make sure everything looks correct. The invisible zipper should not be seen unless you pull the seam open gently.
- At this point you can shorten the zipper and remove the basting (optional). To shorten the zipper, hand stitch several times around the zipper just above to point you want to cut it.
- Open the zipper at least 6 inches and align the two fabric pieces. Pin the pieces together, making sure the trim is neatly tucked in, and then stitch them together using the piping foot.
- Turn the right side out and check that all the trim is sewn correctly into the seam allowance. If any of the lip/tape is showing simply stitch closer to the tassels/cord.
- Stuff the insert into the cover and zip closed.