For the longest time I had a brand new, gorgeous, grey couch and no pillows to adorn it. Months ago I had found some gorgeous designer pillows for my friends apartment, alas they were $100 a piece. I tracked down the fabric and we made two pillows for half the price of one. I travel four days a week and desperately wanted the perfect pillows. So, I went out and bought the perfect fabric but never got around to buy zippers… until this weekend. Follow me, step by step, and learn how to make some designer style pillows.
Before you start making pillows, you should have some basic knowledge in using a sewing machine. You won’t be doing anything but sewing straight lines, but it will involve sewing in an invisible zipper.
Step 1: Find your perfect fabric. Be sure to buy matching invisible zippers. You should also buy some pillow inserts which are available at most fabric stores like Joann’s.
Note: Here are some basic guidelines for how much fabric to buy: If your insert pillow is 20″x20″ you will want to be able to cut two pieces of fabric that are about 20.5″x20.5″. That would mean you’d want a 20″-22″ invisible zipper (or however large of a hole you think you’ll be able to shove your pillow insert into).
Step 2: Take your fabric and cut rectangles/squares that are the size of the pillow insert + 0.5″ on the height and the width. That is a 0.25″ seam allowance on each side.
Step 3: If your fabric is a loose weave, or will unravel easily like mine did, you will want to serge the fabric around each side. If you don’t own a serger you can simply use the zigzag stitch on a sewing machine to go over the edges.
Step 4: Insert your invisible zipper. There are some great tutorials out there, like this one. You do not need to use an invisible zipper foot to sew an invisible zipper– it’s more on an aid!
Step 5: Finish two edges of the pillow with the right sides together. Unzip the zipper, at least part way (so you can turn it right size out later) and finish the remaining side. Turn the pillow right side out.
Step 6: push the corners out with the point of a scissor, etc.
Step 7: Stuff your pillow insert into the cover, zip up, and enjoy!
Feel free to email me or comment with any questions. If you’re a first time user of a sewing machine, you might want to get a more experienced friend to help, and to practice sewing straight lines! My email can be found on this page.