here’s a fun, quick, and super easy tutorial for you!
i made a throw pillow out of an anthropologie tea towel! if i bought an antrho pillow i’d be paying upwards of $100, but instead i paid $18 for a tea towel and it only took about 15 minutes.
this is also a fun tutorial if you’ve never sewed a zipper before. it’s actually really easy, and i’ve taken a gazillion pictures to show you exactly how.
how cute is this towel? i love all the stitching (i swear its gotta be hand done), and the colors are fab.
when you’re choosing a towel for this project, its extra fun if there’s a print on the back, too.
so let’s start, ok?
fold the tea towel in half, length wise. be sure to line up all the edges.
then cut straight through the fold line, making 2 equal pieces.
trim off all the hemmed edges.
lay the pieces right sides together, lining up all the edges. most importantly, if your towel has stripes like mine, be sure that all the stripes are lined up.
ok, here comes the sewing part. take the short edge of the front piece of towel and lay the zipper on top, matching the edge of the zipper to the edge of the towel. be sure your zipper is a little longer than the short edge of your towel.
the top of the zipper needs to be facing the top of the towel piece. you can pin here, but it’s not necessary.
so here’s the regular foot on my sewing machine.
switch it out now for a zipper foot. my girl gussy likes to sew her zippers without one, but i like to use the zipper foot. it allows you to sew nice and close to the zipper teeth.
with the zipper fully zipped, start sewing 1/4 inch in from the edge (called seam allowance), and also start sewing about 1 1/2 inches down from the top. this will make sense later. sew all the way to the end of the towel.
see where the scissors are pointing? that’s where i started sewing. then i opened the zipper just past where i began my stitch, and stitch from the top of the towel down until you just cross over the first stitch. the reason you do this is because if you want a nice tight stitch close to the zipper teeth, even with a zipper foot you might bump into the zipper when sewing. so if you start stitching below it, then go back and stitch above it, you should be good.
this just shows finishing the stitch from the top of the zipper.
then get out the back piece of the towel. put towels together, right sides facing each other. stitch the same way as the first side with the zipper.
here’s what it looks like after the zipper is attached. next step is to press this so the fabric lays flat.
with the zipper foot still on, i like to give a top stitch tight to the edge of the fabric. this looks more professional and also gives added strength to seam.
see? so nice!
this step is super important! unzip the zipper about 1/3 of the way. if you don’t do this, then you’ll sew the pillow shut, and have to rip out your mistake. so just open the zipper and save yourself some time!
now line up all the edges, being extra careful if yours has stripes like mine. i pinned, just to make sure the stripes stay lined up, but its not necessary.
ok, you want to see that cute pincushion a little closer? here you go – so cute, right? toni gave it to me after she was a vendor at a boutique at my house a couple years ago. i love it!
ok, now put the regular foot back on your machine.
start at the zipper, back stitch over it, all the way to the edge, then around the 3 sides of the pillow.
snip the corners, and all the threads, and if the zipper goes past the seam edge, trim that as well. since you were so smart and left the zipper partly open, put your hand through the opening and turn the pillow right side out. gently poke out the corners, stuff a pillow in, zip up, and you’re done!
now that wasn’t too hard, was it?
i love how well the new pillow goes with my old pillows!
all this, for only $18! now i’m off to find more towels to make some unique pillows for my couch!