Hello, my name is Monica and I have an addiction to pillows. Just thought I’d throw it out there. I seriously love pillows. I don’t throw them away. Ever. I just keep recycling them with new covers to fit their new surroundings. It combines three of my favorite things: (1) fabric, (2) cheap projects, and (3) decorating. Oooh, I just love pillows!
So, of course, I’m going to share my addiction with you. If it benefits someone else, it isn’t really a problem, right? Oh, and since I hate handwork, these are zippered pillows. Yes, I’m crazy and would rather deal with a zipper than a little handwork.
Pillow (preferably one you already have that needs a face-lift)
Fabric (the amount depends entirely on the size of your pillow, sorry I can’t be more specific!)
Normal sewing supplies (thread, pins, iron, cutting utensils, sewing machine, etc.)
Measure your pillow to determine the amount of fabric you will need. You will want to squish the pillow as flat as you can, then add 1 inch extra to each side. Using these dimensions, cut out 2 pieces of fabric. When you lay your pillow on the fabric, the edges should look something like this.
Now, place the two pieces right sides together. Place your zipper in the middle of one of the sides, parallel to the pillow. If your fabric is directional, you will want to make sure you are placing the zipper on the side that will be the bottom of the pillow. Pin the side of the pillow and place 2 pins at the top and bottom of the zipper.
Sew along this side with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Take care during this step, because it will save you some extra work later. You will want to use a small stitch length (i.e. 2.5) for the places above and below the zipper (this is why you marked it using the pins). In between the double pins, you will use a larger stitch length (i.e. 4) because you will be ripping this out later. At the double pins, make sure to go back and forth a few times. When you stuff the pillow in the cover, this is the place that is most likely to rip, so make sure it is secure. Now, open up the seam and iron flat.
Place the zipper face down onto the seam, carefully placing it in between the enforced stitches. Make sure the zipper is pulled all the way up and pin in place.
If you have a zipper foot, go ahead and put it on at this time. If you don’t (or are just lazy like me), move the needle to the far left position and that will be sufficient. Carefully sew the zipper in place, using the notch on your sewing foot as a guide.
Once you get to the end of the first side, pivot and stitch along the bottom. Make sure to re-enforce the bottom by going back and forth a few times. Before you sew up the second side, unzip the zipper all the way to the bottom. This will make it much easier to rip out the seam at the next step. You can pin the unzipped side to secure it, or just hold it in place like I did (again, because I’m lazy).
After you’ve finished sewing up the second side of the zipper, re-enforce the top edge. Now you are going to rip out the stitches where the zipper will be. Place your pillow case right side up on your lap and use a stitch ripper (or your thread scissors, did I mention I’m lazy?) to remove the stitches from the top to the bottom of the zipper.
Now you are going to finish sewing the pillow. Fold the pillow on the zipper seam and pin around the remaining three edges.
Make sure your zipper is still unzipped and sew the pinned edges using a 1/2″ seam allowance, pivoting at each corner. You’re almost there! If you want to have pointy corners to your pillow, you’ll need to trim off the excess fabric in the seam allowance around the corners. (Sidenote: If you want to have more boxed corners, cut off a small triangle from each corner, then sew up the raw edges).
Turn the pillow case inside out. You may need to push the corners out using a capped pen to make sure that they are nice and pointy. Now cross your fingers and stuff that old pillow into it’s new case.
Stand back and admire your handy work! (By the way, these two are going on the front porch swing. Our little front porch project is almost finished and I’ll be showing some pictures of the final product soon!)