[I was given a discount for the fabrics used in this post from Fat Quarter Shop, however all opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own.]
I managed to surprise myself and finish the pillow covers for our family room makeover in just under two weeks. And it wasn’t the only project on my plate (or actually, my desk). I’m actually getting better at planning my sewing projects in a way that they actually get done. I used to wait until I knew I had a couple of free days to start and finish a sewing project, but I’ve realized that I can’t wait for vacation (or sick days, for that matter) if I want to get anything done. This time I split the project into several tasks (cutting, pressing, sewing etc.) and did each one on a separate night. I didn’t try to push the work too late (sleep is important!), and I got it all done in about 4 nights, without exausting myself entirely. I think that this worked well and I will continue working in the same way in the future. [Just a small pat on the back for me. Yey me!]
I decided to make the pillow covers using hook & loop tape (e.g. Velcro) closure for two reasons: 1 – I had a whole lot of it and 2 – I didn’t want to mess with the long zippers I would need for the floor pillows. I though about decorative buttons, but my experience with other pillow covers I made with buttons is that they don’t hold up very well under the wear and tear of children pulling at them. I have an excellent tip for sewing hook & loop tape later, so read on…
The first tip is not to let your kids help you with the neatly rolled up hook & loop tape, because this happens. Ugh.
- For a large floor pillow – 2 yards of fabric. For the smaller throw pillows – 1 yard is enough.
I used fabrics from the Kona Cotton Solids collection by Robert Kaufman: Corn Yellow, Lime, Orange, Bright Pink, Caribbean and Dark Violet.
Fat Quarter Shop has an excellent selection of quilting fabrics (oh boy, it took me so long to choose and I was only looking at solids! What will I do when I decide to make a quilt?!), but the second selling point for me were the very reasonable international shipping prices. This can sometimes add a major cost to purchasing fabrics online, so thanks Fat Quarter Shop for thinking of your international customers, it means a lot to me!
- 1” wide hook & loop tape (e.g. Velcro) 1” shorter than your pillow’s height (see picture)
- Matching thread
- A glue stick (optional)
- Standard sewing notions
Measure & cut fabric: The fabric is cut without seam allowances, and all seams are sewn 1/2″ from the edge. This way the cover fits over the pillow tightly and it stays nice and fluffy.
Cut 1 front piece the same height and width as your pillow. The back will be made of two overlapping pieces with hook & loop closure. 1 piece 1/3 of the pillow’s width + 2.5″ for folding over and overlap and a second piece 2/3 of the pillow’s width + 2.5″ for folding over and overlapping with the first piece (see picture).
Hem and attach hook & loop tape to the back pieces: Starting with first back piece, fold fabric 1/2″ to the wrong side along the height of the fabric (see picture) and press. Fold over again 1″ and press. Pin. Repeat for the second piece.
Here comes the second, all important tip for sewing hook & loop tape: Use a glue stick to hold the hook & loop tape onto the fabric while sewing. It won’t leave a mark and you avoid the unevenness and lumps caused by pinning it in place. So, glue the soft half of the hook & loop tape onto the right side of back piece #1 over the folded section, leaving 1/2″ space at each end. Glue sticky half of the hook & loop tape onto the wrong side of back piece #2 over the folded section, leaving 1/2″ space at each end.
Sew & Assemble: Sew hook & loop tape onto fabric and remove pins. Line up and stick the hook & loop tape together to make 1 long back piece. Place front piece on top of the back piece right sides together, pin in place and sew all around with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Serge or zig-zag the raw edges to prevent fraying. Pull the hook & loop tape open and turn pillow cover right side out through the opening. Insert pillow and close.
[This tutorial is free for commercial use. Please read the Terms & Conditions for further details.]