Monday, 7 January 2013

Guest Post: Kathy's Zipless Pillow Cases

I'm taking two weeks off blogging to write my end of semester essays, so I leave you in the hands of some of my favourate bloggers, to entertain you while I sit in the library, pulling my hair out and trying not to fail :D

Kathy is a self taught seamstress living in Baltimore, Maryland in the U.S.  She is a stay at home mom taking care of one little one, a husband, and several fat cats.  Kathy writes about and posts pictures of her sewing adventures on her blog Kathy Sews.


Removable, washable and totally durable these pillow covers totally jazz up an old pillow and even a fancy new pillow form I had lying around. Santa brought my little guy a play tent and it begged for a pile of cushions inside to snuggle and read on.  You can absolutely make one or a dozen of your own in no time flat.  And a sweet bonus... there's no zipper to insert!

Materials:  Pillow form, 1 yard fabric (more or less, depending on your finished size), embellishments (rick rack, ribbon, etc), thread.  I used a 100% heavy cotton and vintage rick rack.  

Measure your pillow vertically and horizontally. Pillows are poofy so start on the seam line on one side and lay the tape measure over ending on the opposite seam.  My pillow is 18x18".  

Cut fabric for the front.  Add one inch to your pillow measurements so you will have exactly a half inch seam allowance to work with.  My fabric is 19x19" for my 18x18" pillow.  I like to use a rotary cutter and mat with a large clear ruler to cut my fabric, it's easy and accurate especially when cutting material this project.

Cut two pieces of fabric for the back.  The fabric will overlap in back giving you a secret way to stuff your pillow in or pull out when you need to wash the cover after you spill chocolate milk on it.  Take your vertical measurement, divide in half, then add 5" (or less is your pillow is smaller).  My pillow--> 19" / 2 = 8.5" + 5" = 13.5".  Cut two on these.

Embellish.  Lay out ribbons, rick rack or whatever fancy stuff you have and cut to size.  I let the rick rack extend a little past the edge of the fabric.  Sew it on your fabric.

Sew edges of back pieces.  For the back top piece, along the bottom edge, fold under towards the back 1/4", then again another 1/4".  Press.  Sew along the edge.  This will finish the edge.  For the back bottom piece, along the top edge, fold under towards the back 1/4", then again 1/4". Press. Sew along the edge.

Sew it all together.  Lay the front piece face up. Lay the back top piece face down, matching top and side raw edges.  Lay the back bottom piece face down, matching lower and side raw edges.  Pin the edges together.  (I didn't pin mine, I usually only pin stuff when I absolutely have to.) 

Sew all around the edges using a 1/2" seam allowance.  Trim the corners and any odd bits of rick rack or threads that were left behind. Turn the pillow right side out.  Use a point turner (or something pointy) to help poke out the corners.

Your cushion cover is ready for a cushion! 

Insert cushion into cover.  Squeeze!


  1. What a cute pillow! Love the bunting and thanks for the tutorial... :) S x

    1. Isn't it! I think that fabric is wonderful!
      Freya May


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