Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Shut Up and Sew: Pillow Cover

We had many readers ask for a pillow tutorial. I am a huge fan of pillows. They are such a fun and easily changed accent to your home. It is especially great if you know how to make them yourself so you can change them as often as you want.

I am a total rookie seamstress. Pillows and skirts are the only things I can actually sew. I don't do zippers yet because I am scared and I just recently learned how to do buttonholes. With the help of my very talented Mom, a pillow was the first thing I ever made on my machine about 1 year ago.

For this pillow cover, I chose to use a 12 inch pillow form, which can be found at most of your local fabric and craft stores.

1.) I first cut a pattern out of a paper grocery bag and labeled it. You can make your patterns 1 inch bigger than you actually want your pillow to allow for 1/2 inch seam all around.

2.) The next order of business is to find some beautiful fabric. I wash and iron the fabric ahead of time.

3.) I place my pattern on the fabric of choice and pin it. I use my fabric scissors to cut around the pattern.

4.) The second piece of your pillow should be about 5 inches longer than the first to allow for hemming and overlap. So I simply measured 5 more inches, stuck in a pin and then moved my pattern up to make a straight cut.

5.) This gave me 2 pieces of cut fabric, one 5 inches longer than the other.

6.) Next I took the longer piece of fabric and folded it in half.

7.) I then ironed on the fold.

8.) I opened it back up and cut along the ironed fold line.

9.) This gave me 3 pieces of cut fabric.

10.) I took a smaller piece of fabric and folded it over about 1/2 inch twice for the hem. I then ironed on my fold.

11.) Now I have 2 pieces of folded and ironed fabric ready to be hemmed.

12.) You can lay them on top of each other to make sure they match (if you are a perfectionist) but this is not a necessity.

13.) Take your two folded and ironed pieces of fabric to your machine.

14.) Sew across the folded bottom edge of both pieces of fabric.

15.) Now you have two hemmed pieces of fabric and you're feeling good, right?

16.) Grab your bigger piece of fabric and lay the hemmed pieces right sides together on top of it.

17.) They should lay on top overlapping each other forming one big square.

18.) Now pin the 3 pieces of fabric together.

19.) I am typically not a measuring kind of girl. However, it is kind of crucial that your pillow cover fit your pillow form. So in this case precise measurements will ensure success. If I want 1/2 inch seam all around when I sew, I simply keep my fabric lined up with the second line from the presser foot. This keeps me on track and makes nice straight seams.

20.) Now I choose a corner to start in and sew all around the square. It's great if you don't run out of thread on your bobbin and can just do a continous stitch all the way around. It never fails for me that I run out of thread halfway around. Make sure you backstitch when you come to the end of your square to keep it from coming apart!

21.) After you sew all the way around, cut each corner off the fabric. This makes the corners of your pillow pop out easier and look so much better!

22.) You are almost there and getting so excited about your new pillow cover.

23.) Now for the really fun part...turn it inside out and shove your pillow inside.

24.) Check out your mad sewing skills.

25.) Peek-a-boo! You could also sew velcro onto your pillow or even a button to keep it closed up tight but it is not necessary.

26.) Place it somewhere in your home to admire.

I hope this tutorial has been helpful! After you make beautiful pillow covers for your house, please share them with us on Flickr! We would love to see your creations!

Next week, I'll be sharing a tutorial on a stuffed throw pillow. See you then!

I'll be joining these parties this week!

Happy Tuesday!


Mindy November 2, 2010 at 7:00 AM  

This is sew adorable! Thanks for sharing.
My latest blog http://mindy-thislittlelightofmine.blogspot.com/

Kits Chow November 2, 2010 at 7:00 AM  

Thanks for your tutorial! You inspired me. I want to make my own cushion covers.

Biz November 2, 2010 at 7:29 AM  

Thank you for such a simple sewing project. I'm new to sewing and this is def. something I feel even I could accomplish!!! :)

TBonesMom November 2, 2010 at 8:26 AM  

Nicely done...love the fabric!

Erin A November 2, 2010 at 8:32 AM  

It looks great!! I need to do some pillow covers, I'm definitely bookmarking this. Much easier than I've seen before, and well explained. Thanks!

Mom November 2, 2010 at 9:16 AM  

Great job, Tiffany! Your detailed explanation is right on. Love the fabric!

Page November 2, 2010 at 10:23 AM  

What a great tutorial - I'm excited to try it out! It's amazing how many things you wouldn't think about until someone shows you all the details of how to do it!!

Sandy November 2, 2010 at 10:55 AM  

Love the fabric you used! Like you, I was scared of zippers, until I found this tutorial: http://www.designspongeonline.com/2010/03/sewing-101-zippered-throw-pillows.html It is so easy you will not believe it. Trust me, if I can do it, anyone can. I'm still scared of buttonholes, and have been avoiding finishing a jacket because it needs one!

Kathleen November 2, 2010 at 3:57 PM  

Great tutorial. I may have to make some pillow covers for the holiday season.

Nikki November 2, 2010 at 4:01 PM  

By far, one of the best pillow tutorials I've read! Thank you for the easy-to-follow instructions, Tiffany!

Kelly November 2, 2010 at 4:17 PM  

This is so great, Tiffany! Am a huge fan of all of your crafty craftiness! I have a ton of cutie fabric that is calling out to me to make them into pillows... know it is easy cheesy to do that, but i am a rule follower type of gal, so this tutorial is just what I need! Thanks for sharing the love!

meeks November 2, 2010 at 10:37 PM  

Yay! I needed this, thanks!

Karena November 2, 2010 at 11:25 PM  

Yay Tiffany even I could do this , perfect pillow!!

Come and see my latest find, would love your comments, I will also have a new giveaway soon!

Art by Karena

Shannon November 3, 2010 at 9:33 AM  

Thanks soooo much for posting this! You made it look soo easy! I haaate putting in zippers for removeable covers so this was so helpful for me :) Great job!

Suzie November 3, 2010 at 11:10 AM  

Thank you so much for sharing this. I hate to say it but in all my years sewing I haven't ever really done a pillow cover. You have inspired me. Thanks!

Vanessa November 4, 2010 at 12:46 PM  

I love this! I have been looking for cute pillows that aren't super expensive and haven't found anything that I like. I'm not a very crafty person, but I think even *I* can do this! I love the fact that I will be able to pick out my own fabric...thanks for the info.

Ammie @ domesticallyobsessed.com November 4, 2010 at 2:31 PM  

Such an awesome tutorial. Thank you so much for the step by step pics and how to.

Davis and Laura November 4, 2010 at 9:51 PM  

YAY! I'm so happy I found you---I've been wanting to cover some pillows so this is perfect! Thanks a mill!

Ann @ makethebestofthings November 5, 2010 at 10:18 AM  

Beautifully done and the fabric is gorgeous! I'm a bit of a pillow fanatic and they are such an easy way to brighten a room. Great tutorial!

Pati @ A Crafty Escape November 9, 2010 at 10:20 PM  

This is what I needed, thanks! Btw, my living room thanks you as well. Poor couches look so bare!

katy February 14, 2011 at 10:01 PM  

I L O V E throw pillows! Thanks for sharing!

Flannery Buchanan February 25, 2011 at 7:53 AM  

We made these! Sooo easy! Thanks so much for a great tutorial. I am totally going to make these again!


MaryBeth April 2, 2012 at 2:22 PM  

FABULOUS tutorial! I can't wait to pick up some fabric & try it. Your directions were so clear and well put.

Thank you SO much!

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