How had I gone 31 years without pretty pillows in my living room? (well, granted, some of those years I didn’t have my own place) They’re one of the first projects that many people make when they begin to sew. I dove headfirst into sewing clothing, and it’s only been recently that I’ve discovered how easy and lovely home decor stuff is to sew.
Remember this tutorial where I added a zipper to the back of pillow cases? Those were the first pillows that I ever made! The zipper was inserted about 3 inches from the top of the back square, making for a very visible break in the pattern on the back. I’ve seen lots of pillow cases sewn in this style for sale, so that’s what I did. But with a slippery leather couch plus two kids, my pillows don’t stay put very often. And it’s pretty easy for them to get put up with the semi-ugly zippered side showing.
When I decided to make more pillow cases this weekend, I thought I’d try to hide that zipper a little better. I saw a pillow for sale somewhere recently that put the zipper in the seam on one of the four sides. Not only is this a nicer looking method, but it’s actually easier and uses a tiny bit less fabric.
See the zipper there? That’s the bottom of the pillow. Even if the pillow gets turned upside down, it’s not very obvious. It would be even more hidden if I were willing to spend more money on a hidden zipper. This is just a regular zipper, that I got for just a buck half off last week.
I used a zipper that was slightly longer than the width of the pillow, so the zipper goes all the way across. My bottom corners would be a little nicer looking if I’d gotten a shorter zipper, but I wanted it to be very easy to get on and off.
I didn’t photograph a step by step tutorial. Do we even need those? A million photos of fabric running through my sewing machine? But I will tell you quickly how I did it.
First, I got an amazing deal on 18″ square pillows from Pottery Barn. I used a $10 coupon to get one of these $12 pillow forms for just $2 shipped! Then they sent me another $10 coupon with my order, so I got another one. Now that I’ve used these pillows, I think it would be totally worth it to pay full price to Pottery Barn for pillow forms in the future. They make the cheap ones from the fabric store look awful and flat.
I used a half inch seam allowance on this project, which means that I needed to cut out two 19″ squares to make an 18″ pillow case.
Baste just one edge together, using the longest stitch on your machine. Iron the seam open. Then, working on the wrong side of the fabric, pin or tape your zipper along the basted seam, right side down. You want the middle of the zipper and the seam to line up all the way down.
Carefully sew the zipper down all the way around. Pick out your basted stitches and unzip the zipper part of the way.
Place the fabric squares right sides together, pin, and then sew with a 1/2″ seam allowance around the other three sides.
Turn the pillow right side out through the partially opened zipper. Then poke out your corners with something nice and pointy, like a knitting needle, and iron.
Slip that cover onto your pillow, and you’re done!
In only 5 months, I’ve grown tired of the chevron pillows. But the great thing about these covers is that they’re really economical. When you tire of them, you can just take them off and save them for later. And here’s a quick cost breakdown of the covers themselves. Once you’ve bought the pillow forms, you can recover them over and over!
- Fabric: Waverly print on clearance for $5 a yard. One yard yielded two pillows, so each cost about $2.50 in fabric (though there are leftover scraps from that)
- Zipper: $1 on sale
TOTAL: $3.50 a cover!
So I don’t have to feel guilty at all if I want to put these covers away in a few months and try something else. For now, I’m really enjoying them.