How to sew a pillow cover with a zip

In this tutorial I want to show you how to sew pillow/cushion covers that have a zipper. This is an easy to make simple cushion cover with a zip for a square cushion pad. When you have learnt how to make it you can design your own pillows by adding different decorative details to the base.

How to sew pillow covers with a zipper

For the project you will need:

  • Decorator fabric
  • Matching zipper
  • Matching thread
  • Cushion pad

And also:

  • Sewing machine
  • Set square
  • Fabric marking pencil
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Seam ripper
  • Iron
  • Measuring tape
  • Dressmaker pins

Cutting the fabric

  • Measure your cushion pad.
  • Add 1” to your measurements for seam allowance.
  • Cut two squares from your fabric each equal to size of your cushion pad plus 1”. For instance, if your cushion pad is 17” x 17” you need to cut two squares measuring 18” x 18”.

Sewing in a zipper

For cushion covers your zipper should be at least 2” shorter than the cut pieces of the fabric. If your zipper is longer that the required size you can shorten it by putting a “handmade” zipper stop where you need and cut the excess of.

Please see the photo below.

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  •  Fold the pieces of fabric together with right sides facing each other.
  • On the wrong side of the fabric using a chalk or fabric marking pen mark two lines: one where the zipper teeth start and the second where the zipper stop is.

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  • Pin the fabric panels together to prevent the fabric move while stitching.
  • Sew a regular stitch ½” in from the edge of the fabric until you get to the first line on your fabric, backstitch and continue with a basting stitch till you reach the second line on your fabric, backstitch and continue with a regular stitch.

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  • With wrong side up lay the two sewn squares flat and press the seam open.

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You might want to zigzag or overlock the edges of the seam, so when you open or close the zipper the threads from the seam edges will not stuck in the zipper.

  •  Place the zipper face down at the centre of the fabric, so the zipper teeth are lined up with the basting seam.
  • Pin the zipper in place.

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As you will be sewing the zipper under the fabric you need to make sure the zipper will not move away from the basting seam. The best way to do it is to hand baste the zipper to the fabric and take the holding pins away.

  • Turn your fabric right side up and mark where the zipper stop is by drawing a line just above it.P1000133 (2)
  • Attach a zipper foot to your machine.
  • Starting at the bottom of the zipper, on the line you just drawn, ¼” away from the basting seam sew across the bottom of the zipper backstitching at the start of the stitch.
  • Stop with the needle down, turn your fabric one-quarter turn and continue to sew towards the top of your zipper.

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  •  When you are close to the pull, stop with the needle down and raise the presser foot.
  • With your seam ripper open some of the basting stitches (approx 2” /5cm) that cover the zipper pull.
  • Gently slide the pull past the foot.

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  • Continue to sew until you reach the end of the zipper tape, stop with the needle down, turn your fabric one-quarter turn and sew across the top of the zipper, backstitch for strength.
  • Change the position of your zipper foot from right to left.
  • Zip the zipper and begin stitching the other side of the zipper starting from the far bottom corner going over your previous bottom line of stitching.
  • Stop with the needle down, turn your fabric one-quarter turn and continue to sew towards the top of your zipper.

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  • And again, when you are close to the pull, stop with the needle down and raise the presser foot.
  • Gently slide the pull past the foot.
  • Continue to sew until you reach the end of the zipper tape.
  • Backstitch at the end.
  • Remove the original basting stitches by using a seam ripper.

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Sewing a pillow cover

  • Open the zipper.
  • Fold the front and back panels of your cushion cover with right sides facing each other.
  • Pin and then machine stitch the panels together.

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  • Neaten the seams with zigzag stitch or overlocker machine.
  • Press the seams.
  • Clip the corners.

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  • Turn the pillow cover right side out.
  • With closed scissors gently poke out the corners.
  • Insert a cushion pad.

That’s it!

How to sew pillow covers tutorial

I hope it was not too difficult.

If you think I have missed something or some points were not clear please let me know and I will do my best to improve the tutorial.

 

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