Saturday, July 3, 2010

Tutorial: How To Make A Zippered Throw Pillow Cover

Meet Debs.

She's my best friend since the 9th grade.

This is her smiling big because she loves me and her new pillows so much!

She recently bought a new couch and some fabric to make the pillow covers.

She's never sewn anything before in her life.

So we got together and she sewed that sweet looking dark patterned pillow on the right!

She did an awesome job!! I was seriously impressed.

I then made the 2 striped ones and took pictures along the way so I could share the instructions with all you nice people.

So here goes (all you need is some fabric and a zipper - sizes based on the pillows you're using):

Cut two home decor weight fabric squares. We measured some other pillow cases to get the desired size.

Pin them together on one side only.

Trim so they match perfectly.

Sew a basting stitch about a 1/2" from the side (this just means you increase the length of the stitch so this seam is easy to rip open later). I actually start out with a regular stitch then baste for the length of the zipper then finish with a regular stitch. So the two ends are stitched normal so that part doesn't come apart when you're done. Clear as mud?

This picture might help you understand. See the short stitches in the beginning that get longer where my zipper will start?

Once that's sewn, iron the seam open.

Get out your zipper (whatever length you need).

Now you will pin one side of it to the seam allowance. Not to the seam allowance AND the main fabric. Just the seam allowance. Line the "teeth" up with the seam.

After one side is pinned, pin the other side.

Use your zipper foot to sew the zipper on to the seam allowance only, removing the pins as you go. You'll sew a straight line down each side. Because of the direction of my stinking zipper foot I always have the bunched up fabric on the inside and it's a pain.

I like to get the needle as close as possible to the zipper teeth.

See how now I have my basting stitch and my stitch line from sewing the zipper on?

Now it's time to rip open the basting stitch so get out your seam ripper and break a few basting stitches from the wrong side then turn it around to the right side to finish ripping them all open.

Once you're done you can unzip the zipper and make sure it looks right.

Next to each end of the zipper you'll have to sew the seam allowances together. First find the spot just above the top of the zipper and just below the zig zag edge. Notice how I didn't move the zipper pull out of the way like I should have.

Close the seam allowance like pictured below

Sew a short line across, stopping just before you hit the stitch line you made in the beginning (the one you made just before basting)

Repeat at the other end of the zipper and it should look like this

Before pinning, unzip your zipper (take it from me and Debs who learned the hard way), then you can pin all the way around the rest of the pillow.

Sew 1/4" from all 3 edges then snip the corners so it's less bulky when you turn it

And it will look like this:



  1. Good job, they look great, and it's nice that you could pass this along to a close friend.

  2. awesome tutorial! zippers always scare me, but I will have to give these a try!

  3. LOL!!! The zipper warning is for real and I'm glad you included the unzipping part! I freaking love you Star! These pillows are soooo stinkin cute! I am so blessed to have a talented best friend like you! Happy Birthday to an amazing seamstress, friend, mom and wife!!!!

  4. Love this idea!! Great tutorial and they look awesome! Thanks for sharing!!

  5. Great tutorial! You're so funny to read! Thanks for linking up!

  6. Oh I love the tip to stitch the zipper to the seam allowance first! Someone in my sewing group told me to do this using some double sided tape that dissolves in the wash, that I haven't been able to find -- but now I don't need it! Thanks!

  7. Thank you for this terrific tutorial! I'm a beginner and my pillow came out wonderfully with your easy-to-follow instructions. You can see it here:

    Great blog! Great name too :)



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