Today Autum from our board and Creative Little Daisy shows you how to get past any fear you may have about zippers. Enjoy her easy tutorial today and add a zipper to your next pillow! Also, if you happen to fall in love with the Dwell Studio-inspired rosette pillow in Autum’s pictures today, head over to Creative Little Daisy for her how-to!

From Autum: Are you enjoying pillow month? I sure am. It has provided just the kick I needed to get some new pillows made for my couch.

Each of these closes with a zipper in the back.

Hidden under a flap. So well hidden that the pillow is actually reversible. The pillow on the left is actually the reverse of the yellow pillow above.

Let’s make one, shall we?

The great thing about pillows, is you can make one with very little fabric. Two fat quarters will make the one I’m showing today.

You will also need a zipper at least as long as the width of your pillow insert, fusible tape (I use 1/4″ steam a seam), iron, scissors or rotary cutter, thread and a sewing machine with zipper foot.

If you’ve been following along with the pillow tutorials, you already know the general steps to make a pillow; I’m just going to show you how to construct the back.

There are different ideas about how large to cut the front and back pieces for a pillow, I like to cut mine the same size as the insert I will be using. This gives a nice tight fit. If you like a looser fit, add 1/2 inch to the dimensions of your insert.

My insert is 18″ square. Using a fat quarter I cut an 18″ square (for the pillow front).

This left me with a strip measuring 4″ x 18″. This will become the flap that hides the zipper.

Cut the pillow back the same width as your insert and one inch longer than the height.

For my 18″ pillow, I cut a rectangle measuring 18″ x 19″, then I cut that in half giving me two pieces measuring 18″ x 9.5″.

Iron the flap fabric in half (the long way) wrong sides together and press.

Following the manufacturers instructions, iron fusible tape to the zipper. (on either side of the teeth)

Allow to cool and the paper backing from one side of the zipper.

Aligning the exposed tape to the raw edge of the flap, iron over the back of the zipper to fuse the zipper to the flap. This will hold the zipper securely for stitching. I find the most difficult thing about inserting zippers, is trying to keep things lined up. This just gives you a little insurance. Now the zipper and flap are one unit.

Pin the zipper/flap unit to one back piece. If your back fabric has a right or wrong side, the right side should be touching the zipper flap.

With a zipper foot on your machine, stitch very close to the zipper teeth. The teeth will be down, but you will be able to line the edge of the zipper foot up with the ridge from the zipper teeth.

Press the seam so that the flap covers the zipper. Don’t worry about that zipper being too long, we’ll cut it off later.

Top stitch along the seam on the back piece.

Remove the paper from the other side of the zipper tape and fuse to the remaining back section. If your fabric has a right/wrong side, iron so that the right side of the fabric is fused to the zipper tape. Stitch close to the zipper teeth.

Press. See peeking below that flap, your zipper!

Clip off the excess zipper.

Your back is complete!

Pin the back and front together, right sides together. Be sure to open up that zipper a little and sew along all four sides.

Turn right side out through the zipper opening. Press and stuff that insert in.

Marvel at how easy that was and wonder why you were afraid of zippers.

To make a ruffled flap, just cut the flap fabric twice as long and ruffle it before fusing to the zipper then follow the steps above.

Go forth and make pillows!


Comment today for your chance to win one of these great prizes below, courtesy of Robert Kaufman Fabrics:

1 fat quarter pack of Betty Dear, 5 Kona Cotton color cards, 1 fat quarter pack of Night & Day in the Summer Colorstory, 10 sets of 5 Kona charm packs