With every craft skill we have to start somewhere and approaching your first sewing project can be daunting. One of the best first projects to attempt on your sewing machine is a simple pillow with a zipper opening so that it can be removed and washed. It comprises two pieces of fabric, straight line stitching and a zipper – it could not be more simple. And you get the benefit of making something new and fabulous to add to your home or to give to a friend. Pillows are the easiest way to update any room decor, add color and comfort to your outdoor furniture or to accessorize your bedroom in complementary colors and patterns. You can choose literally any fabric from leather to denim, bamboo to burlap – whatever your style there’s a fabric, color and pattern to suit you. The pillow I am making in this sewing tutorial is for my summer update of my living room where I wanted to mix the navy from my rug with a small infusion of coral. I will be showing you a full tour of this updated space next week to include two more fabulous DIY projects. Finding it difficult to locate that perfect fabric, our studio designed this whimsical bunny print and a coordinating white and coral dot pattern to match. You can order both of these patterns at Spoonflower and select any fabric to suit your project. We chose the Heavy Cotton Twill for our pillows. To sum it up, all you need to make your own pillow is your fabric, a pillow filler, a zipper in a matching or contrasting color, measuring tape, fabric scissors and your sewing machine. Make sure you have the zipper foot attachment to hand before you begin. Feel free to let me know how you get along in the comments section and if you would like to share your work with me please do so on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter – I love to see your work. Enjoy! ~ Lia
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What size zipper would I use for an 18” square pillow? I was thinking a 14 to 16 inch size. I could not have found your blog at a better time. I have made the envelope style pillow cover but have been too chicken to try a zipper.
You can use either of those sizes, but I always prefer the longest possible, so I would use an 18-inch. We are actually coming out with a full beginner sewing Crafter Course this fall. We have an amazing sewist teaching so stay tuned.
What size should the zipper be for a 20 inch side? Thank you.
The pillow covers are lovely. Thanks for sharing. This is how I make them 🙂
Thank you! Glad to hear 🙂
What type of zipper do you recommend please? “Invisible” or just ” All Purpose”?
You can use whatever zipper you are most comfortable sewing as both will look great, but an all purpose zipper is easier to sew if you are a beginner. 🙂
Thank you for this simple, straight-forward tutorial. I just made two outdoor pillows from this knowledge!
Yay Sherri! So glad this was helpful 🙂
I love your blog!
Beijos do Brasil!
Thanks Regina, I’m glad you are enjoying it 🙂
moi qui n’est pas une super couturière c’est génial
Beautiful blog and tutorials! Thank you!!!! Cariños desde la Patagonia argentina
Thank you so much!
You timing could not have been better! I have been search for the perfect assortment of dec pillows for my new couches. I found the perfect fabric last night, but wasn’t sure how to do it myself. Thank you!
Awesome to hear:-)
Great video teaching me to sew a zipper and pillow! Thanks!
Thank you. There will be more coming!
Great tutorial, I am in love with that fabric. Looked on Spoonflower to see about buying some, So pretty with those colors. Will be perfect in our living room. I’m am avoider of putting zippers in anything. Have new sewing machine tho so no excuse anymore for not putting them in projects. Can hardly wait to get fabric to make pillow covers and maybe table runner.
Hope your July 4th. was all you hoped it to be.
Enjoy your new sewing machine, cannot wait to hear what you make.
Hooray! Just what I need, I love to change my cushions and it gets rather expensive. Now to find my sewing machine – LOL
Thank you 🙂
Yay, I change mine with the different season. Quick, easy and an inexpensive update to refresh any room;-)
Thank you for the details!
You are welcome, enjoy!
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