5.22.2012

Nesting Series: Zippered Throw Pillow Cover

Anyone who has had a baby knows that while there are so many joys with a newborn, there are also a lot of messes!! I won't go in to detail on what those are {yes, you can thank me for that} but we all know what they are!!

I wanted to add a cute pillow to my recovered {almost done even} glider chair, but I also wanted the pillow to be washable! So, I decided to create a zippered pillow cover. While I'm filing it under my "Nesting Series" you can absolutely use this tutorial for any pillow cover that you want to make! No matter what size your pillow is!!!

Here's how mine turned out:


I actually used flannel left over from a receiving blanket I had made. I wanted something soft, washable, and somewhat durable.

Remember my tutorial here where I showed you how to create your own throw pillows from an old standard pillow??!?


I actually recycled one of those pillows to create my little throw pillow for my glider chair! 

Here's how I made my zippered pillow cover.

What you need:
Throw pillow {either store bought or upcycled}
Fabric scraps
zipper
sewing machine, thread, iron, etc.....

Step 1:
Be sure to wash your fabric first!!!! 

Then cut out your front and back pieces. 


I did this very precisely - NOT!! I just folded my fabric in half, laid my pillow on top, and cut around my pillow leaving about an extra inch all the way around. 

If you want to get technical you could always get out your measuring tape and use your rotary cutter and ruler... but I find that where I can speed up my sewing process and not have to be exact, I do! 

Step 2:
Add your zipper. 

This may seem tricky -- but don't stop reading just because you have never worked with a zipper before. I promise... you can do this! 

The size of your pillow will determine the length of your zipper {unless you are me, and just use whatever zipper you have on hand because you don't want to make one more trip out of the house!} For example, a 16" throw pillow should have a 16" zipper. It just works out easier that way! BUT, is you don't happen to have the exact sized zipper you need, you can sew it in the way I did. 

The one thing you HAVE TO HAVE is a zipper foot for your sewing machine. It looks something like this. 


It makes it so that your needle can sew right up next to that zipper. Most new sewing machines will come with one, but if yours didn't I absolutely recommend that you get one. You can go to any sewing machine store or your local craft store that sells sewing machines and they'll be able to help you find the right one. 


The hardest part about putting in a zipper is figuring out which side of the zipper and fabric to pin together. I'm going to try my hardest to explain it, but sometimes trial and error are your best friend. 


Since my zipper was shorter than my fabric, I chose to place mine in the center of one of the longer sides of my pillow.  Turn your fabric right side up and your zipper upside down. pin the top side of your zipper to the top side of your fabric -- as shown in the picture above. This way when you are done sewing, you can flip your fabric over and it will be on the right side of the zipper. 

Using your zipper foot, sew your zipper and fabric together. I used a 2.0 cm stitch so that it will really be held on strong! Start sewing at the end of your actual zipper and end at the end of the actual zipper -- not the zipper fabric part. Be sure to back stitch at the beginning and end of your zipper. 


You will want to sew close to the zipper -- in the middle -- but don't sew on the zipper. The closer you sew to the middle of your zipper the less zipper you will see on your finished product. 

Once you have sewn down your zipper, turn your fabric over and it should look something like this -- slightly different depending on how close you were able to sew to the zipper. 


I then like to top stitch my fabric to the zipper. It gives it a much cleaner look and helps to keep the fabric in place. 

As you sew you may need to raise your presser foot and zip or unzip your zipper to be able to sew around it. 


Repeat those steps on the other side of your zipper. Your second piece of fabric should lay on the first when it is pinned to the zipper. If you are unsure if you have it right, pin your fabric in place, then gently turn your fabric over and make sure that it will end up on the right side of your zipper {sorry, forgot a picture of this step... darn pregnant brain!!}

Once you are done with both sides it should look like this:


Step 3:
Pin your pillow cover together and sew. 

Fold your pillow cover so that the right sides of your fabric are touching. Then reach in and unzip the zipper about half way. If you don't you will not be able to turn your cover right side out once it's sewn! 


Once your pillow is pinned sew all the way around -- excluding your zipper of course since you already sewed that in. 

As you sew, you will want to pull the fabric ends of your zipper through so that they stick out as you sew. {Here's my terrible picture to help explain what I mean.}

By pulling the tails through the top -- or the inside of your pillow cover -- it will help your finished zipper to look much neater on the outside. 



Step 4:
Turn pillow cover right side out and stuff your pillow in. 

Be sure to iron all of your stitching to set it. Then clip your corners and turn your pillow cover right side out. Easy peasy lemon squeesy since you left your zipper half way open!! 

Then stuff your pillow inside. 


Zip it up, and you're done! 

The hardest part is putting the zipper in, but once you have that step done it's smooth sailing!! 

**If you are lucky enough to have a zipper that is the length of your pillow side, when you pin your two pieces of fabric together at the end, just be sure to sew your sides so that the fabric ends {tails} of your zipper end up on the outside edge of your seam. 

Now go make a few more!! Personalize a pillow and give one as a wedding or house warming gift! Make a couple for your couch or window seat. Add some throw pillows to your bed! {Something I plan on doing for sure!!}


Don't mind my partially finished glider chair... still need to finish the arm rests on it! But at least it has a cute pillow now!! ♥


Where do you need to add a throw pillow .. or two!?!? 


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