How many of you have sewing machines?
How many of you actually use your sewing machine? If you don’t, it’s time to bust it out and get sewing. With spring almost here (I pray!) all of your toss pillows are screaming for new covers. (When did they become toss pillows? I’ve always called them throw pillows. Is toss more PC than throw?)
I’ve had my machine for almost 15 years. It’s the most basic of the basic, and I love it. My skills are also the most basic. I can sew curtain panels and pillows. (Oh – I did brave new territory when I sewed this pocket organizer. That was out of sheer necessity – if I could’ve found one that worked for me I would have saved myself lots of trouble!)
I used to be afraid of zippers (not in general, just afraid of sewing zippers) (Although I bet there are people out there that are, in fact, afraid of zippers. hmmmm…) so I would sew my pillow covers closed by hand. This never really looked that great, and also made me not want to rip it open to wash the covers, knowing that I’d have to sew again. I am telling you that zippers are nothing to be afraid of. Seriously.
Start with two pieces of fabric, each at least 1/2-inch bigger (on all 4 sides) than your pillow form. I like the covers to fit extra snug. It’s not fun to cram a fat pillow in the zipper opening, but it looks so much better when it’s fits snugly. (Please use coupons for your pillow forms! They are so ridiculously expensive. Do you guys have the JoAnn Fabrics App? Lots of extra coupons there. Love it. If I find pillows on clearance at places like Target or Bed, Bath, and Beyond, I usually buy them regardless of what they look like. Sometimes you can get ugly pillows for cheap!)
1. Place right sides of fabric together, and sew a 1/2-inch seam (approximately) on one side. (You’ll be ripping out part of this seam once the zipper is in place, so I usually use a wider stitch only in the section where the zipper will lie. It’s easier to pull out a wider stitch. I usually just estimate where the zipper will be – it doesn’t have to be exact.)
2. Press the seam open and then place the zipper, wrong side facing up, along the center of the seam. Pin in place.
3. Sew along all edges of the zipper.
This is how it should look when you’re done sewing it in place…
4. Using a seam ripper, pull open the seam that lies on top of the zipper. Voila! You’ve done it!!!!
Now you can place the right sides of the fabric together again, and sew the other 3 sides of the pillow. (You can leave the zipper open when you do this – it’s a little tricky to open the zipper when the pillow is inside out.)
It’s so much cheaper to update your toss pillows by making new covers. And your fabric choices are endless. Too endless – I’ve had 5 different fabrics and I still don’t think it’s quite right. ugh.