Sewing kind of scares me…I do not feel comfortable using a sewing machine for big projects. If I can make a pillow with a zipper in it, so can you. It took a couple tries, and some hair pulling, but once I figured it out it went okay. I won’t say it went smoothly, but it was okay. 🙂
This may not be the most polished or professional way to sew in a zipper, and I’m sure that in the sewing circles there is probably a “right” way (and this might be the “wrong” way); but it worked for me. Maybe it will work for you too!
Measure the pillow you want to cover. In this case, my pillow measured about 18 inches.
Cut two squares of fabric about 2 inches larger than your measurement – I like having plenty of fabric to work with in case I mess up (which I usually do at least once). I cut my squares 20 inches.
Start by folding your fabric along the edge where your zipper will be placed. You can also iron it into a fold if your fabric is thin enough. Mine needed to be ironed on low heat, but it wasn’t quite enough heat to keep the fold. If ironing doesn’t work, simply pin the zipper in place.
Lay your zipper and fabric right side up to position the zipper. I overlap the fabric slightly so it hides the zipper a little bit. Then pin the zipper in place on the wrong side.
This is the scary part, but it’ll be okay. Once your zipper is pinned, start sewing…. I don’t have a zipper foot for my sewing machine, which honestly would probably make this process so much easier, but I have found that as long as I sew slowly, it seems to work fine.
Repeat the process with your second square of fabric and pin the other side of the zipper in place. Sew it in, and make sure you leave the zipper ‘zipped’ so it doesn’t get out of line.
My zipper was a couple inches shorter than my pillow (oops), so I opted to sew a seam on each end of the zipper; however, you could also make the zipper match the length of your pillow. If you do this, there would be no need to sew a seam on the end of the zipper…which is probably the “right” way. 🙂
Double check your pillow size and measurements, then finish sewing the other three sides. It might be a good idea to actually ‘unzip’ your zipper before doing this. I made this mistake once and it’s really hard to get it unzipped when the pillow case is inside out.
Trim off the excess fabric and turn the pillow case right side out. Start stuffing!
Now you can zip it up and show off your new pillow cover!