finally i’m delivering on a promise! this is a tutorial for simple pillow covers, ones that you can remove from your pillows to wash or change out. they will not be sewn onto the pillows, so no hand stitching is required (yay!). and no zippers, just a fold over the back that keeps it all together. confused? it’ll (hopefully) make sense in a few minutes…
i made these pillows as a custom order for a customer. the pillow forms i had underneath were a little too big and full, but they worked good enough for the picture.
supplies: fabric, scissors, pins, thread, ricrac or any other trim (if you want to add some embellishment – not necessary), rotary cutter and self healing mat. you can do without the cutter and mat, but why would you?! they make cutting straight lines sooo much easier.
i started off by squaring up my fabric because i had a large print that would be really noticeable if i was off a bit. if you are a beginner i suggest using a fabric that is not a large graphic print, just because mistakes are much more noticeable.
decide what size pillows you want and add 1/2 to both sides, for seam allowance. for example: i wanted my finished size of pillow cases to be 17 x 17 so i cut the front piece 17 1/2 x 17 1/2.
cut one piece this size. then cut 2 more pieces the same height (17 1/2, in my case) and about 2/3 of the width (about 11″ for me). this doesn’t have to be exact. these pieces are for the opening in the back. the above pic is of the larger front piece and the 2 smaller back pieces.
for the 2 back pieces, the outside edges need to be finished, so you need to get out your iron. i never measure this part, just eyeball it. fold the fabric over about 1/4″ and press. then fold over about 1/3″ and press again.
next attach the ricrac all the way around on the right side of the fabric if you want some extra embellishment. you could easily skip this step and it would still look great without it. i don’t pin my ricrac because i feel like it actually makes the job a bit harder.
now you want to attach the 2 back pieces that you finished the edges on. did i make it clear which edges you finish? look above and it should make sense. it will be the edges that will be exposed, the ones that you would pull open to shove in your pillow form. i do like to pin this part, to hold everything together.
now with a straight stitch again and a 1/4 inch seam allowance, go around the entire pillow. turn it right side out to make sure that you don’t have any exposed seams from attaching the ricrac. if so, just go back over those spots with a little wider than 1/4″ until its all covered. i like to trim my inside corners a bit of the excess fabric, flip it right side out, then poke the corners to a sharp point with a very fancy sewing tool – a chopstick.
if you have any questions or i left something major out, please let me know! remember, i’m not an expert, i just taught myself most of this along the way, so there are probably better ways of doing things. but this works for me!
here are a few examples of what you can do with a little bit of patchwork, and the backside are done exactly the same, with the fold over enclosure.