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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Zippered Pillow Case Tutorial

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Guys, I am so excited about this post. What we have here is a Pinterest success!
So first, a little background...
A few months ago we were on the hunt for new couches.
We had owned a set since we were first married, over 10 years ago!
Our old couches were actually still in really good condition, but didn't fit our new home as well as we wound have liked. We ended up selling them and inherited a used L-shaped sectional from family.
After a few months with that couch we decided we wanted something a little bigger to fit the space better.
My husband also really wanted to upgrade.
We ended up finding the perfect couches, and after a couple of weeks they arrived.
My husband mentioned getting some pillows, but I honestly hated the idea of throw pillows. In reality I knew they wouldn't ever stay on the couch, they would be thrown on the ground, and I didn't want to give myself something else to pick up :)
I was browsing through Pinterest and came across an amazing tutorial from Corey at Tiny Sidekick for zippered pillow cases. The tutorial was so inspiring, and I really wanted to try something new.
This was my first time sewing pillow cases, and my first time sewing a zipper, and now I'm kind of addicted!
I think I want to make 2 more pillows now to go with these ones....
I've got a lot of pictures for you to kind of explain the process, but it's something that beginners can totally tackle.
Supplies you'll need
pillow forms (mine were 18"x18") and I found them at Hobby Lobby, of course using a 40% off coupon :) 
fabric (1" bigger one each side of the pillow, I cut my fabric 19"x19")
zipper (2" shorter than the pillow form, so mine was 16")
seam ripper
rotary cutter
cutting mat
sewing machine
If you follow me on Instagram you have already seen this beautiful fabric I picked up from Hobby Lobby :)
I got a tiny bit extra than what I needed, just in case it was uneven or whatever.
To start, I cut the fabric down to just 1" larger than the pillow form on all sides.
You will cut out two squares.
Lay the two squares right-sides together and place the zipper at the bottom, in the center.
Put one pin in each side where the zipper ends (See below) don't pin the zipper.
Sew a straight stitch from the edge of the fabric just right to the pin, back stitching when you stop and start.
This is what it should look like.
With the widest stitch you have, sew from inside the pin all the way across to the other side. Do not back stitch, because you will be picking this stitch later.
On Corey's tutorial, she said she used a zig-zag stitch for this part, and I did that on my first pillow case, but I found that when I went to press the seam, it was a little uneven. So, for my second pillow case I just did a wide straight stitch and it worked much better.
Remove the pins and open the fabric.
It should look like this.
Back view.
Front view.
Use an iron to press the seam and make the lines crisp.
Place your zipper facing DOWN along the seam and pin it in place.
Make sure it is centered between where the pins were.
On Corey's tutorial she said to use a zipper foot on your sewing machine.
I did not have this fancy little device, so I just left my regular foot on and hoped for the best, and it worked!
Starting at the end of the zipper sew, using a straight stitch, as close to the zipper as you can get.
When I got towards the head of the zipper, my foot wouldn't go any further.
I backstitched a little, cut the thread, turned it to the other side, and sewed the other side with a straight stitch as well.
Now that the zipper is in place, flip the fabric over and pick the wide stitch that is under the zipper.
I couldn't find my seam ripper, so I used an Exacto knife :)
Can you see the zipper peeking through?
All unpicked!
Now that you have access to the zipper, unzip it a little bit so the head part isn't at the end, and finish sewing the zipper in place.
Are you still with me here? I hope this is all making sense!
Pin the wrong sides together all the way around the pillow, and giving yourself a 1/2" seam allowance, sew a straight line all around the pillow case.
Corey mentioned when you are coming up to a corner, to sew across the corner instead of going to a point and then turning the corner, and I tried that and it gave it the perfect pointy corner when I turned it right side out.
I just realized I didn't take a picture of that part, sorry!
Then using a zig-zag stitch, sew around the edge of the fabric to kind of give it a 'serge' finish so it hopefully won't fray when we wash it :)
My attempt at 'serging' the edges :)
Turn the pillow case right side out and marvel at your awesomeness!
Snip off all loose threads, stuff your pillow in there, and zip it up!
How awesome it that!?
Thanks again Corey for the inspiration!
As always, if you have any questions, please let me know!


  1. Those look great!! Can't wait to see them!

  2. You have a nice tutorial on making a zipped pillow case, what a nice idea to freshen up for spring. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop! I hope you’ll join us again next week!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

  3. Hi Michelle
    Great tutorial. I've tried to do this before but I can never get my zipper to look right. I'm going to try it with your tutorial. Thanks for sharing at Wake Up Wednesday Linky Party.

    1. Give it a try and let me know how it goes! You will be addicted :)

  4. That looks so easy I could probably do it, lol! Thank for sharing!

    1. You totally could!! I procrastinated for so long because I didn't know how they would turn out, but I love how easy it was!!

  5. I really needed to know how sew this so thank you!! Thanks for sharing and for linking up with the OMHG WW! Hope to see you again next week!!
    xx Ashleigh @SimplyWright
    Co-Host @ Oh My Heartsie Girls WW

  6. Hi there! Visiting from Sincerely, Paula's link party. Very pretty pillow! I love the fabric. I bought a sewing machine but never learned how to sew! This totally makes me want to start. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you! You should, the hardest part is just starting :)

  7. What an eye candy!
    Love the color & the pattern- just right up my street :)
    I hope you'll find the time to link up with us this week:


  8. I love your pillows! Thank you for sharing me on Show Me Saturday!

  9. Ooooh great tutorial! Love the print you chose. I've been eyeballing some DIY for decorative pillows since I have a ton of old ones I'm tired of looking at and want to give a facelift too. However I do not own a sewing machine nor do I know how to sew. Could I do this with fabric glue or whatever? I like the idea of adding a zipper so you can take it off and wash it and stuff. Super cute!

    1. I have never personally tried it, but I did some research, and you can buy Heat 'n Bond fabric tape and do it that way as well. There are quite a few YouTube tutorials for no sew versions. Let me know if you try it out!

  10. Wow! Your zippered pillow is awesome! Thanks for linking up to Idea Box!

  11. Those turned out so nice! I may need to try my hand at a few for our couch (not a fan of the pillows we have now). Thanks for linking up with us at Idea Box!

  12. Great job, it looks fantastic. I love that you can accomplish this without a zipper foot, for some reason I can never get them right when I use it. This is awesome. Thanks for sharing .

  13. Thanks again for linking up! I will be featuring them on Idea Box tomorrow (April 16th).

  14. I love making my own pillow covers, but I have never tackled a zipper before. Thanks for the great tutorial! I am visiting from Handmade Hangout today.

  15. Nice tutorial on the zippered pillow case. You make it look so easy. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop! I hope you’ll join us again next week!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

  16. This is an awesome tutorial! You make it look so simple. Thanks for linking up at the Stitch It, Blog It, Share Link Party. I hope you’ll join us every Sunday night at 7 with more of your creative sewing projects.
    ~Bonnie @ Behind the Seams Sewing


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