I have such lust in my heart for Anna Maria Horner’s Innocent Crush velveteen fabrics, I just want to rub them on my cheeks all day long. So of course a pillow for my redesigned craft room had to be made. The velveteen lends itself perfectly to a sham with nice stiff edges, so I combined elements of Jacinda’s Sham Style Pillowcase tutorial and the How to Sew a Zipper Pillow tutorial to create a pillow with both a zipper closure AND a sham edge.
It is much easier than you would imagine, and it will allow you to take the zipper off of the very edge of the pillow so you can add decorative trim and other fun goodness without having to use an envelope closure (like we did for the pom pom pillow tutorial). Find out how to sew a Sham Pillow with a Zipper Closure after the jump…
I’m making about ten thousand pillows for my new office, so I’ll be sharing how to use zippers with trim and ruffles and whatnot soon. Is there a kind of pillow you want to know how to make? I’m on a pillow-roll so let me know in the comments. You could also win that skull-tastic fat quarter!
Sham Pillow with Zipper Closure
For this pillow I used Anna Maria Horner Innocent Crush (Velveteen) Loves Me Loves Me Not Golden and i’m making more in other patterns from this gorgeous line of velveteens. This would also work with quilting cotton, just the sham edge will be a bit floppier.
First things first, measure your pillow. My pillow was 12″X16″. Then decide how big you want your sham edge. This pillow has a 1″ wide sham edge all the way around. Multiply that sham edge with by 2 to account for both sides of the pillow. Then add 1″ to the length and width for seam allowances, then you need to add the width of your sham times two. So for me that is 1″ seam allowance, plus 1″ sham on either side = 3″. That is the measurement for the front of your pillow. So I cut the front of my pillow 15″X19″.
Then for the back of your pillow (where the zipper will go) cut a piece of fabric that is one inch longer in length, so for me 16″X19″:
We are going to create the back of the pillow first. We are going to add a zipper 1.5″ up from the bottom of the pillow above the sham. So add the width of your sham (1″ for me), plus 1.5 inches, plus 1″ for seam allowances. So that’s 3.5″ for me. You want to cut across the width of the pillow backing 3.5″ up from the bottom of the pillow. Now I have two pieces 19″ wide, one that’s 3.5″ tall, and one that is 12.5″.
Now take the strip you just cut off and lay it on top of the bigger piece of pillow backing right sides facing with long edges aligned:
Now we need to add our zipper. Your zipper needs to be 2″ smaller than the width of your ACTUAL pillow (not the width of the fabric you cut – you don’t want the zipper sewn into the sham edge). My actual pillow insert is 16″ wide, so my zipper is 14″ long. Lay the zipper right in the middle with the edge of the zipper aligned with the edges of the fabric:
Use a fabric marker to draw a line from the end of the zipper to the side edge of the fabric 1/2″ down from the top edge.
Finish the fabric edges by serging, sewing with a zig zag stitch, or cutting with pinking shears (as i did). Sew the two pieces together along that line on both sides:
Now switch your machine to a basting stitch (a straight stitch set to the widest width your machine will allow, usually a 5) and baste in between the two stitch lines you created across the top of the fabric:
Iron that seam open:
Lay your zipper right side down on the seam and pin in place:
Switch your machine back to regular stitching and use your zipper foot to sew each side of the zipper in place:
Turn it over, now it looks like this, your zipper is under that seam:
Use your seam ripper to rip the basting stitch and reveal your zipper:
Remove all the little threads from the basting stitch.
Now your back piece looks like this:
The front and back of your pillow are now the same size. Lay them right sides facing:
Unzip the zipper halfway, then pin in place all the way around:
Sew all the way around 1/2″ from the edge:
Finish the edges by serging, sewing with a zig zag stitch, or cutting with pinking shears. Clip the corners:
Turn right side out. Now it looks like this:
Iron it nice and flat. Try to make sure your edges don’t roll to one side, but if they do, cheat the roll to the back side of the pillow:
Now draw a line all the way around at the measurements you wanted for your sham edge (for me that is 1″) with an air erasable (disappearing ink) fabric marker or chalk.
Using pretty thread (I used Kreinik metallic gold sparkly thread) sew along that line all the way around:
Here is what it looks like from the front of the pillow:
You are done. Just stuff your pillow insert in there:
Here is what it looks like from the back:
And here again from the front: