I’m pretty picky about pillow covers.
I don’t like the envelope backs. They’re easy to sew, but they don’t cover the pillow as snugly as I like.
I like zippered covers, so they cover tightly and can be removed for washing – but I don’t like when the zipper is in one of the side seams. They never “sit” the same way as the other seams, so the finished pillow shape is always a little distorted.
I like the zipper to be somewhere in the pillow back (it doesn’t have to be the exact center) but I don’t like it to extend all the way to the edges, because the stiffness of the zipper again can distort the overall look of the pillow.
So here’s how I sew a pillow with a zipper in the back.
- I make the cover a little small. If the pillow is 18 inches square, I cut my fabric 18 inches square. When I sew the front to the back using a 1/2 inch seam allowance, the pillow cover ends up 17 inches square – perfect for the nice snug fit I like.
- I make the zipper a little short. Specifically – two inches shorter than the cut fabric. So for an 18 inch pillow, I buy a 16 inch zipper.
Here’s how I assemble the zipper back.
See how easy that is?
(Do you like that super fun, slightly wobbly gingham print? It’s part of the Gingham Play collection from Michael Miller Fabrics and I have fat quarter bundles in a rainbow of pretty colors.)
I make a LOT of these pillow covers.
My daughter doesn’t like using regular rectangular bed pillows. Instead she has an enormous pile of square pillows – mostly with quilted and applique designs on them. 🙂 She doesn’t like the inexpensive “hard” pillow forms. She likes these Fairfield brand Home Elegance pillows. They feel like down pillows, but they’re a LOT less expensive and they’re machine washable. Win!
You can use any quilt block pattern to make a pillow cover.
There are basic instructions here, and the Think BIG class (coming soon) will have instructions for making giant floor pillows!