STOP! Do not turn away. You are going to conquer your fear of zippers right now.
I’m going to show you how to sew a pillow with a zipper closure and you are going to like it. It is VERY easy, a complete beginner project, and the results are polished goodness. Look at that pic above, you can barely see the zipper even though it’s right up in your face.
You can use vintage fabrics like these, new fabrics, old sheets, a sweater, tea towels, a dirty t-shirt, something fabulous from Fabricworm, anything your heart desires – but when we are done you will be sewing zippers like a pro.
Learn How to Sew a Zipper Pillow after the jump…
Tell us the truth: do you fear the zipper? And do you fear it a little less after reading this tutorial? This week’s favorite comment walks away with a fancy yard of pom pom trim!
How to Sew a Zipper Pillow
First, check the size of your pillow. Mine are 20″X20″. You need to cut two squares (or rectangles, depending on the shape of your pillow) of fabric one inch bigger in length and in width, so I cut mine 21″X21″. You’ll need a zipper that is 2″ shorter then the final length of the bottom of your pillow, so in my case 18″.
Finish the bottom edge of each piece of fabric by serging, sewing with a zig zag stitch, or cutting with pinking shears. Pay attention to the direction of your pattern to determine which side is the bottom (for example, this fabric has birds that need to be right side up).
If you only have a longer zipper like I did, you can shorten it. I needed an 18″ zipper so I cut this 22″ zipper down to 18 1/4″:
Then I sewed back and forth over the cut end to reinforce 1/4″ from the edge:
Now lay your two fabric pieces right sides facing and place your zipper in the middle of the bottom piece. Mark the edges. For my pillow this was 1.5″ from the edge of each side.
Draw a line from there to the edge the pillow 1/2″ up from the bottom:
Sew in place on either side from your mark to the edge:
Now set your machine to basting stitch (this is just a normal straight stitch set to the widest width your machine will allow, usually a 5) and baste straight across between your two previous stitch lines:
Open up the fabric and iron the seam open:
Now it looks like this:
Take your zipper and lay it in place face down on top of the seam you just sewed:
Pin it on:
Switch to your zipper foot and stitch the zipper in place on each side (remember to set your machine back to a normal stitch width):
Now your zipper is attached:
Open your fabric and flip it over to the right side:
The zipper is under there:
So take out your seam ripper and rip the basting stitch that we made earlier to reveal your zipper:
That was easy right? Now unzip it about halfway to make it easier to turn right side out later:
Fold your pillow into place, right sides facing with the zipper centered on top and pin the sides together along the three unfinished edges:
Sew in place with 1/2″ seam allowance:
Clip the corners and finish the edges by sewing, serging, or cutting with pinking shears:
Turn right side out and stuff!
Look at how pro your zipper looks… that wasn’t too bad, right?
Make another if you like (usually pillows come in twos, don’t they):
Thank your little helper.
Easy peasy! Go forth and sew zippers!