Are You Ready???? You can do this! Really! So many people are afraid of installing a zipper, and when you add the word “invisible” to it…forget it. But really, stay with me here. Follow my tutorial, and I promise the zipper installation will be quick and painless…you may even be inspired to make several of these toss pillow covers!
You can change the look of your entire living room by updating the pillows. And one of these covers should take you about 30-45 minutes. It’s worth it, don’t you think?
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
> Enough fabric to cover your pillow….read Step 1 to figure out how much
> If using a light weight fabric, you may want to use interfacing as a stabilizer
> Invisible Zipper (size will be 2″ shorter than the length of the pillow case)
> Heat N Bond Tape (Iron on adhesive)
> Zipper Foot
> Straight Pins
STEP 1: Determining How Much Fabric You Need
Measure the sides of your pillow. Typically, toss pillows are square and come in even sizes (14″x14″, 16″x16″, etc)
Feel the pillow you are going to cover….if it’s mushy, you will want to cut two pieces of fabric the same size as the pillow. If it’s quite stiff, you will want to add an inch (a 14″x14″ pillow, will need two 15″x15″ squares). The idea is to create a snug fitting cover….trust me, loose covers do not look good!
My pillow (well, actually my customer’s pillow) measured 19″x19″ and was on the stiffer side, so I used two 20″x20″ squares of home decor fabric.
If you are using a lighter weight fabric, be sure to cut 2 pieces of interfacing and adhere them to the back of your fabric squares before beginning.
If you are using a canvas, or home decor weight fabric, I recommend serging or zigzaging the edges to prevent fraying.
Place the front fabric piece right side up on your work table. Place the zipper, right side down, centered on the bottom edge of the fabric with the zipper coils pointed towards the center of the pillow.
There should be at least an inch of fabric on either side of the start and finish of the zipper coils (don’t worry about the zipper tape, that may be a bit longer)
Place a pin right at the begin and end of the zipper coil end (or 1″ in from the edge of the fabric) to hold in place (I promise, these are the only ones)
Cut a piece of adhesive tape the length of the zipper. If the tape is wider than the zipper tape, you will want to cut it so it is about 1/4″ wide – you don’t want it to show on the right side of the zipper when finished.
Starting at the first pin, place the tape between the zipper and the fabric, ironing as you go. (You want the edges of the zipper to be loose and unattached)
Be careful to not get the tape on your iron – it makes a mess….you can use a press cloth to avoid this sticky situation! This step will take time and patience….but trust me, it will allow you to sew a beautiful zipper seam without the hassle of pins!
When you are finished, your zipper will be neatly attached to your fabric WITH ONLY TWO PINS! (Leave these pins in to mark where you need to start and stop stitching) Ignore the second pin in this picture – I only placed it there to demonstrate how to sandwich the tape in between the layers.
With your zipper foot attached, place the zipper so it lays snug against the guide of the foot.
Sew straight down to the pin at the end backstitching at the start and finish. Look how quick and easy it is to sew this since there are no pins:
Super easy, right? Oh…and you can hear what I listen to when working! Ha!
Lay the pillow back on your work surface, right side up and right sides together, aligning all edges and corners. If your fabric is directional, check that the front and back are placed going the same direction.
With the zipper unzipped, place the unattached side of the zipper onto the right side of your pillow back (face down, raw edges aligned and coils toward the center)
Just as you did before, pin the zipper about 1″ in from the edge of the fabric.
Double check and make sure that the zipper is not twisted. Place your tape between the layers and iron in place
Adjust your zipper foot to sew the other side of the zipper in place.
Zip the zipper to make sure it works properly. Unzip before continuing to the next step
Place your cover with right sides together. Pull out the loose zipper tape ends and pin the fabric together.
These loose zipper ends will remain sticking out while you sew the pillow together.
Pin the rest of the pillow together, trying to keep all four corners aligned properly (it’s OK if they aren’t perfect – it’s more important to get the zipper aligned).
Switch to a regular sewing foot and make sure your zipper is at least 3/4 of the way OPEN.
Stitch around the pillow using a 1/2″ seam allowance, backtacking at the start and finish. You will want to start and finish at the same point where the zipper seam starts and finishes:
See those black dots? The one closest to the edge is where I started the zipper seam, and the one closer to the inside is where the pillow seam is. They are just about even.
Clip and serge or zigzag the corners
Reinforce the zipper end by slipstitching it closed.
Turn the pillow right side out and gently push the corners out.
Insert your old pillow and finagle it until it sits right. Remember, this is a snug fit – it may take a little time and effort to get it right – just be gentle!
This pillow cover was actually made for a customer, however it looks quite nice on my chair, doesn’t it? I may have to purchase some of this fabric and make one for me!
That’s it! You did it!