Sew a zippered pillow cover is fast and inexpensive way to spruce up your home. It takes up minimal fabric and a little straight line sewing. Plus, storing pillow covers takes up so little space. I store my seasonal pillow covers in the plastic bins with my other decor. Everyday pillow covers are stashed in covered baskets in my family room under the sofa table.
Sew a Zippered Pillow Cover
I usually sew my pillow covers using the envelope closure. With the back having two flaps to stuff the pillow form in. I have a tutorial for that here. That method uses up double the amount of fabric for the backing. There are times when I have just enough fabric for a pillow front and back. Not enough for a double back. That’s when I insert a zipper into the bottom of the pillow cover to insert the pillow form. This is really easy. Don’t shy away from sewing zippers. I know we have all heard about how hard they are but that is just not so. Sometimes you just got to jump in and do it.
Ready to sew a zipper? Let’s go!
Start with a zipper that is 4 inches less than your pillow cover. In my example, the pillow cover is a 20 inch square. You need a zipper large enough to allow the pillow form to be inserted easily into the pillow cover. So a 16 inch zipper is ideal for this.
Zippered Pillow Cover Supplies
The following instructions are for a 20 inch square pillow.
- One 16 inch zipper
- 2 pieces of 20 inch squared fabric (meaning 20 inch on each of the 4 sides of fabric)
- Masking tape – 5/8 wide
- wash away pen
- zipper foot for sewing machine
Instruction for Inserting a Zipper into a Pillow Cover
All seams are to be sewn with a 5/8 inch seam allowance.
- First iron your zipper flat on low heat. Most zippers have nylon coils that will melt. You could also use a press cloth to protect the zipper. A flat zipper is much easier to sew.
- I like to mark the ends of the zipper onto the fabric with a wash away pen so I have a guide line when sewing the two sides together. This helps me to know when to change my stitch length.
- With wrong sides together, sew two inches with a normal stitch length on one side. Do not remove the fabric. Now increase your stitch length to long stitch length. Continue to sew till 2 inches from the end of that side. Return the stitch length to normal. Sew the remainder of the seam.
- Press the seam open.
- Place the zipper right side down on the seam. Center the zipper with the zipper teeth laying on the seam itself. Using pieces of the masking tape to temporarily adhere the zipper to the seam.
- Turn the fabric over. Place another piece of masking tape the length of the zipper on the right side of the fabric over the zipper. You will use the tape as a guide to sew your zipper.
- Take this to the sewing machine and sew around the tape using a zipper foot. The zipper foot allows you to get close to the tape. I also reinforce the ends of the zipper ( the short end) by sewing a couple of times back and forth. The pillow cover takes a lot of stress when removing the pillow form. The extra stitches will help to prevent the stitching from breaking.
- When finished, check to make sure the stitches caught the zipper tape.
- Remove the basting stitches from the zipper seam.
- Open the zipper
- Right sides together, stitch the other 3 sides of the pillow cover.
- Through the zipper opening, turn the pillow cover right side out. Use a skewer or pencil to pop out the corners.
- Press your pillow cover. I think it looks better when pressed.
- Insert your pillow form
- Zip up that zipper
There it is. Sitting pretty on my sofa. I did machine embroider the fabric before I sewed it all up. I need to go sew some Christmas pillow covers now.
That wasn’t hard at all. Now go sew a zippered pillow cover or two.