Monday, November 7, 2011

Pillow covers

This is a great project for decorating a room in the house. I used leftover pieces of fabric from various projects to make these covers and I can always wash them or change them whenever I feel like it.

These are custom pillow covers as they will depend on the size of the pillows that you have laying around. For this project, I used one round tablecloth (about 1.5 yards of cotton jacquard fabric), matching thread for sewing, scissors, measuring tape and a dressmakers pen. Of course, pins and a seam ripper are used when sewing. Velcro is also useful but not necessary.

Cutting and Measuring

So, I started by measuring the pillow with the measuring tape to see where the seams ended. This pillow measured 16 by 16 inches so I made a measurement on the wrong side of the fabric for one square that measured 17 by 17 inches (front piece). I marked it with a dressmakers pen and cut it out.

Next, I measured two more pieces, one for 17 inches wide by 8 inches (back piece 1) and another 17 inches wide by 12 inches (back piece 2). These will become the back of the pillow that overlaps.


Now it's time to do the sewing. All of this is done on the wrong side. For the two back pieces, I took one of the edges and folded the seam down by 0.5 cm, then another 0.5 cm to cover the raw edges. I pinned the seam and sewed it down. I then did top stitching on the double seam. I did this on the second piece as well.

Now, I took back piece 1 (which is the smaller piece) and sewed it to the front of the pillow with the two right sides facing each other. Next I pinned back piece 2 to the front (again with the two right sides facing each other) and sewed it to the front piece. It overlapped back piece 2 like so:

Last, I sewed the entire edge of the pillow, now with both back pieces sewn to the front piece, with a zigzag stitch to keep it from fraying. I turned this pillow cover inside out and put a pillow inside. Done!

Here is another pillow cover that I made from leftover fabric from my canvas fabric tiles:

Estimated time for this project: 1 hour. It took about 20 minutes to cut this out then another 40 (or so) to do all of the sewing.


  • For the next ones that I make, I think that I will add some velcro to the two back pieces to seal it shut. 
  • These pillow covers bag over a pillow that is smaller than the cover. I find it unsightly so I try to make sure that the pillow fits the cover. 
  • A machine-washable fabric makes these covers delightful if you spill wine all over them. 

  • I have plans to have pillow covers for the seasons and I can rotate them at will. 
  • I plan on making some pillow covers with stencils on them like my burlap garland and Christmas tree skirt.

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