Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Easy Pillow Cover

My first sewing project for my blog, but don't worry, it's an easy one! My sister lives in the dorms and the pillows on her futon happen to be a plain and worn shade of green. Because the pillows are otherwise usable (so there's no point in buying new ones), I decided to cover them with some fabric. This is a simple sewing project as it doesn't require any special fasteners such as zippers or buttons, because overlapping fabric on the back of the pillow holds the cover securely on.

What you'll need:
  • Cotton fabric, amount depends on the size of your pillow, so read more below
  • Sewing machine + matching thread
  • Other sewing basics: pins, fabric scissors, thread trimmer
  • Ruler or measuring tool, and fabric marking tool

Step 1

Seriously, though, this pillow could use a fun pattern. To know how much fabric you'll need, set your pillow down and measure it from side seam to side seam. Mine happened to be an 18" square. Then add 1" to your dimensions, so you'll need to cut a 19" square from your fabric. Because I wasn't sure how the fabric would stretch, I did 19.5", and it is a little big on the pillow so adding an inch should be fine. We add an inch because we are sewing a 0.5" seam around the cover later!

As you can see, this pillow case has an overlapping fabric closure at the back. The size of this can depend on how much you want your overlap to be. I made mine with a couple of inches overlap and I'm perfectly happy with it. For this much overlap, take half of your original pillow size (18/2=9") and add 3" to cover for stitching = 12", by the size height of the fabric square you're cutting; 19" in this instance.

Therefore, I cut two pieces for the overlap, each measuring 12" x 19". This dimension worked out very well as it allowed me to cut all of my pieces from a piece of fabric 44" tall and just 19" wide.

After you cut your fabric (or before, really), iron it to remove wrinkles.

Two 12"x19" pieces

Step 2

Grab your two back panels, pick one 19" side for each, and fold that over 0.5" to the wrong side of the fabric. Remember, the 19" is your height so don't accidentally fold over and sew a 12" side. I'm going to be honest and admit that I'm lazy so I never iron these folds first, but you can if you want. Place the pins in on the right side of the fabric, not on the side with the fold over. Keep in mind to pin "up", with the folded edge to your right, so the pin head is closest to you and the pin tip is away, for easy removing pins when you sew. You'll feed the fabric in with the fold on the right side.

Step 3

The next step is to sew the folded edges! Place the fabric into your sewing machine with right side up and sew a 0.25" seam. For me, that is the distance from the needle to the edge of my presser foot. Remember to backstitch at the start and end of the seam!

0.25" seam on panel

Step 4

The next step is to set up the pillow cover to sew around the edges. First, lay your square piece down with the right side up. Next, take your two panels and lay them WRONG side up on top of the square, with the seams you just sewn towards the center of the square. Match up all edges, and the overlap will be visible in the middle.

Place pins in around the edges of the piece. Keep in mind your pin direction!

Step 5

Sew a 0.5" seam around the edge of the pieces. On my machine, that is the first line on the metal plate. Remember to backstitch at the start and end.

For corners, sew the entire way down the side until you are about 0.5" from the bottom (you can eyeball or measure it). Stop sewing but leave the needle in the fabric. Lift your presser foot and rotate the fabric 90 degrees to the right.

Rotated at corner
After you rotate the fabric, set your presser foot back down and continue sewing away with your 0.5" seam.

Backstitch at the end and you're done! Cut the loose threads and turn your cover so it is right side out, and insert your pillow!

Now you've made a quick and easy pillow cover!

1 comment: