Exposed Zipper Pillow Tutorial

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Today, I have a fun exposed zipper pillow cover tutorial plus an awesome coupon code for buying pillow forms!

Pillows really make a house feel like a home and bring out so much of the family’s personality.  Plus it’s nice to have extra soft pillows to snuggle up with on movie night rather than the scratchy pillows that came with your sofa.
We moved about 5 weeks ago and still trying to get the house in order, hang things on the walls, and decorate.  We had to order furniture for the entry living room which will be delivered on Thursday (tomorrow)!

While I wait, I’ve been sprucing up the family room.  For the most part it’s done, except the small details-the hard part.

We are going for a rustic nautical / beachy feel in the house.  Light walls, dark furniture and lots of boats.
I purchased Urban Threads Nauticus Design Pack during a sale recently because, well, it’s bad ass.
Here’s the first pillow I made with the pack:

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I seriously hate hand sewing a pillow together in the end and I honestly didn’t want to go to the store to get a matching invisible zipper.  So, I took one of my fabulous handbag zips to have an easy way to get my pillow form in and out.  Now I can change up my pillow covers for the season.  Speaking of seasons, I just bought several UT Halloween embroidery files! Spooky!

Let’s talk about pillow forms.  I recently discovered Pillow Cubes. They are a wholesale pillow form company.  You buy in “bulk” with as little as 3 pillows in your “bulk”.  I use quotations because I don’t really think of 3 as bulk-but that just shows how little you actually have to buy to get their awesome pricing.
If you use the coupon code “AliCat10”, you’ll get 10% off your order!
I really want these down bolsters.  Cylinder pillows are super fancy. Am I right?  They would be perfect with THIS embroidery!

Now, Tutorial Time!

Enough Fabric to cover your pillow form
Pillow Form
Zipper that is almost as long as your pillow
Small amount of interfacing (length of pillow x 3″)  I used Pellon SF101.

Measure your pillow.  Mine is 18″ square.  Take your pillow measurements 18″ x 18″ (in my case) and add seam allowance to all sides. I like 1/2″ SA.  So I cut two pieces 19″ x 19″. Hi, Jewel the Cat!IMG_3165

Take one of your pieces, fold in half side to side. Hand press a center crease along the top or where you want your zipper to go.


Take your piece of interfacing.  Mine ended up being 17″ x3″.  Fuse where you want your zipper-on the wrong side of the fabric. I measured down 3″ from the top edge. This will keep your zipper strong.


Now lets draw a little rectangle in the middle of the interfacing.  Determine how long you want your zipper.  I did 15″. So my rectangle is 15″ x 1/2″ centered along the crease you made earlier.
Then measure 1/2″ from each end, make a little dot in the middle of the box.  Draw diagonal lines from that dot to each of the four corners, like below.  Finally, draw a line from dot to dot.  The middle line should be 1/4″ from the top and bottom lines.


Fold your panel in half again and snip a little bit along the middle line. An inch or so will do.


Open your panel up again and cut along the middle line until you reach your dot/diagonal lines.


Very carefully cut those diagonal lines right up to the corners but don’t cut through the corners!


Once nicely cut, fold the flaps to the wrong side of the panel along the exterior rectangle lines.  Press really really well.


Opened.  You should have a lovely rectangle now.


I use glue to hold my zippers into place while sewing.  I use the kids purple turns clear stuff.  It won’t gum up your sewing machine, I promise.
Apply a healthy amount of glue along the little flaps.


Working somewhat quickly, flip your panel over and set your zipper into place with pins.  Wait about 5 minutes for the glue to dry


Sew right along the edge of the fabric all the way around your zipper.  You might have to move your zipper pull a few times.


Snip away any excess zipper ends.


Watch your cat play with yarn.


Open your zipper (otherwise you won’t be able to turn your pillow!)


Right sides together, pin the pillow panels together every few inches  Sew all the way around your pillow at your desired seam allowance.  Mine was 1/2″.


Snip your corners to make them nice to turn.  I also trimmed my seam allowances.


Through your zipper opening, turn your pillow case,  Using a chop stick (not the tips of your scissors!) poke out the four corners.  Zip ‘er up and you are done!  Totally easy, right?

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Hop over to my FACEBOOK page and share your new pillow cases!