When it comes to sewing, I basically have no idea what I am doing, but I never let that stop me. I make it up as I go along and generally end up with some mixed results. This time I couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out, and due to my lack of knowledge on sewing, I am pretty sure that just about anyone with a sewing machine can make some fun applique pillow covers as well.
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Here’s what you will need:
- Fabric to cover pillow
- Fabric for applique design
- Thread (I used one color for the design and a different one for the pillow cover)
- Sewing Machine
- Paper printout of your chosen design (in the correct size)
If you don't own a sewing machine, you really might want to consider getting one. Like I said, I barely even know how to sew but I am constantly amazed by how frequently I use mine. You don't have to spend a ton and get a "good" one either. I have this Singer Sewing Machine and I have been using it for years.
Begin by ironing the creases out of all of your fabric, trust me, if you skip this step you will regret it later.
Place your applique fabric upside down on a flat surface. Place your printed shape where you want it.
Then use a pencil to trace it.
Remove the printed “stencil” and trace around your original lines again, this time about ½” larger than the original.
Cut it to the size and shape of the outside line.
Then fold it over on the inside line and pin it in place. Be sure to fold towards the back of the fabric. On any tight inside corners simply cut straight in to the inside line so that the folded fabric can make the turn.
Once I had the whole thing pinned I decided to iron those folds in place and remove the pins. Sometimes it is just easier to use the sewing machine if you don’t have to mess with the pins too.
Stitch the folds in place, staying as close as you can to the inside edge of the folded fabric.
Cut your pillow fabric so that you have enough to go all the way around the pillow and have several inches of overlap as well as at least 4 inches of excess on the side. Then fold the long side in thirds.
Keeping it folded, flip the whole thing over. This will end up being the face of the pillow so place your applique approximately where you want it then carefully pin it place.
Make sure your pins only go through the face of the pillow cover so that you can unfold it again before you sew.
Stitch the applique in place, this time keeping your stitching as close as possible to the outside edge of the applique.
When it is sewn in place, lay it facing up on a table and place your pillow on top of it.
Center your pillow over the applique design exactly how you want it.
Then fold the bottom edge of the fabric over the pillow.
Fold back and inch or two (or three or four, depending on how much excess fabric you left when you cut it to size), and pin in a straight line across. Again, be sure you are folding toward the back of the fabric.
Then fold the top over and do the same thing.
The top and bottom should overlap by 2”- 4”. (My finger is showing you the location of the row of pins I put in the bottom section.)
Unwrap the pillow and stich these two lines in place.
Cut away the excess, but leave at least a ½” or so.
Lay your pillow cover facing up again and center your pillow where you want it again.
Fold the bottom up,
and the top down,
then place a couple of pins just to hold the top and bottom together.
Pull the sides of the fabric together in the middle of the pillow.
Try to make sure you are centered over the seam on the pillow, so that your seams won’t end up on the front or the back of the pillow when you are done.
Pin a straight line across the side, working from the middle of the pillow. Then repeat on the other side.
Once the sides are both pinned, remove the two pins you first put in.
Then slowly and gently remove the pillow from the cover–. Once this is all stitched together you won’t have to be quite so gentle.
Lay the cover down and make sure that your pinned lines are straight.
Then stitch those lines.
When it is all sewn together,
cut the excess from the sides.
Once again, leave at least a ½”, maybe even a touch more this time.
Then flip the cover right side out, making sure to poke a finger into the corners so that they are popped out fully.
Then shove the pillow inside.
This style of pillow cover is called an envelope pillow cover and it is by far the easiest to make.
That’s why it is the best choice for beginners.
Maybe one day I will get around to learning how to make a regular pillow cover and even include a zipper.
But for now I will stick with this super quick and easy version.
For more easy fall or home decor projects: