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Monday, January 21, 2013

DIY: Sew Your Own Simple Pillow Cover

Creating a room that feels put together and cohesive is every homeowner's dream. Paint, drapery and decor are each important to the overall design and feeling in a space. Throw pillows - a great accessory to achieving this well-rounded look - can add a burst of color, texture and personality and are a great way to play with patterns and colors. Beautifully covered pillows are easy on the eyes, but perhaps not so much on your pocketbook.

Using leftover
Covington Wilmington Multi fabric from my drapery panels, I made two envelope-style throw pillows. These envelope-style pillow covers are the perfect use of leftover fabric giving my simple navy sofa a boost of color and pattern. They can easily be removed for cleaning or just to change-up the decor.


  • Fabric
  • Thread
  • Pins
  • Fabric Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Machine

Measure the dimensions of the pillow form - add 1" to the width measurement and 3" to the length to allow for hemming. Fold your fabric in half, measure and adjust so that the length dimension (plus the seam allowance) runs right up to the straight selvedge edge. Next, measure the width and use a straight edge to draw a cutting guide with fabric pencil.

Cut along the selvedge edge to the chalk line - making sure to cut both the top and bottom fabric pieces. Then, cut along the guide.

If enough fabric is leftover, cut a second pillow pattern by using the first pattern as a template.

Fold each side over 1/2" and pin. Sew in place 1/8" from the outer edge using a straight stitch.

Next, fold over the top and bottom. To keep your edges from fraying and to give you a clean hem begin by folding over to the desired measurement. Fold it back over onto itself and pin in place. I created a 1" hem (2" total) for the top (outside flap) and a 1/2" hem (1" total) for the bottom (inside flap.) Sew in place 1/8" from inside edge using a straight stitch.

Fold right sides together - overlapping the top and bottom by 3 inches. Placement of the flap is up to personal preference - I prefer the top flap to be placed 1/3rd of the way from the bottom.

Pin sides together.

Sew along the perimeter - making sure to sew on the inside edge, which will hide the original side seam.

 Turn the cover right-side out and insert the pillow form. Fold the outer flap over the inside flap.

While I've chosen to forgo any closures, coordinating buttons or a hidden zipper are a great way to keep the pillow cover in place. The buttons can be attached to the inside flap and button holes added to the outer flap, while the hidden zipper is sewn to both sides.

Face the flap outwards or to the back depending on your personal preference.  I like mine towards the back.

The vibrant paisley pattern livened up our sofa and helped to create a more cohesive design in our living room by tying the drapery and pillows together.  Plus, they just look damn good.  Now I just need to acquire (or sew) a few more different covers to really go hog-wild in the throw pillow department.

So what about you guys?  Have any tips to share for sewing pillow covers?  Do you share in the throw pillow addiction or does the thought of them send you into a fit of rage?
"Oh, and by the way, I threw away all your little throw pillows. Yea. Cuz throw pillows suck. They serve no purpose. They're purely decorative."
                                                - Reuben Feffer
Along Came Polly, anyone?  Anyone?


1 comment

  1. Seems easy! Thanks! I definitely could use some pillows in my apartment. I got nothing! I need a sewing machine too!


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