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Easy Pillow Cover Tutorial ~ Sort Of

February 25, 2014

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So last week, I made a new pillow cover for a chair in my master bedroom. The chair was begging for a little pizazz and I thought that a pillow covered in a sweet and sparkly green bargain fabric that I had seen in passing would do the trick.

You see, I am not one for fussy décor or elaborate projects, so my micro update met the two most important requirements in any Exquisitely Unremarkable DIY ~ cheap and easy.

Or so I thought.

I've read countless tutorials on how to make a pillow cover that at this point, I believe I could proficiently construct one in my sleep. It's basically a few folds and two straight seams.

For all you super sewing mamas out there, with well behaved machines, it's a no brainer. However, for this girl, who is either the world's worst seamstress or has just been cursed with the naughtiest appliance ever, it was a nightmare.

I really should have known that whenever my sewing machine is involved, there is trouble.

Here's the way it's supposed to go:

Cut your fabric to the appropriate width for your pillow. I always leave about an inch on each side for seam allowance.

Then cut your fabric for length. Now here is where you create your pocket to slip the pillow inside when complete, so you will want to leave a few inches extra on each side.

I am not being specific about the number of inches, because you may need to leave more or less based on how much fabric you actually have to work with.

When the fabric is cut, lay it down on a table with the pretty side facing up. Put your pillow on top of it.

Grab the fabric and wrap it over the pillow, rather tautly, and fold it back a few inches on each side before you close it up. Then pin it and slide the pillow out the side.

The last step is to stitch up the side seams. I actually had a striped fabric, so I followed the line.

When complete, flip the cover to the right side and stuff your pillow inside. Gorgeous!

Ok, here's how it went for me:

Cutting, folding, pinning were all a go and took me less than five minutes to complete. I set up my machine and here is what I ended up with...

...over and over again....for about forty-five minutes. Now I am pretty mechanical, so I examined all my settings, my threading, my bobbin.

I checked to see if anything was getting snagged in the bobbin area, I changed the bobbin and the thread. I tried over and over again, only to be thwarted repeatedly by that devious sucker.

I kept moving, trying, hoping to complete my "cheap and easy" cover before the hours of carpooling began, but it was not looking good. After a few choice words, a small tantrum and a last ditch effort, with my coat on and keys in hand, it worked. Flawlessly.

That fabulous machine hummed along beautifully and I had two straight seams in a matter of about three minutes....and just like that, I forgot all the pain and forgave all of the tangles.

 I fell in love with sewing and my machine all over again and had another Exquisitely Unremarkable DIY project under my belt.

Oh well, at least it was cheap!

Anyone else out there involved in a toxic relationship with their sewing machine?

Guess what? We get along marvelously now! Check out these sewing posts to see our happy times! 😉

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  1. This is why I don't attempt to sew--always had this happen when I tried on my mom's old machine! Ha Ha--the pillow looks great, Kim--love the shiny fabric! :)

    1. Thanks, Dee! It is so frustrating when I have a project all set to go and then I end up with a mess...argh!

  2. I've had my bobbin look like that more time than I care to admit! lol Beautiful pillow cover.

    1. Thanks Audra! I am actually glad to hear that it's not just me! I was beginning to get a complex! :)

  3. I'm glad you resolved your sewing machine issue, Kim. It's no fun to sew when your machine acts up. Lovely pillow cover. I am kind of surprised, though, that your bedroom has no red in it. ;D

    1. I know! I do have a very pretty red coverlet that I add to the white bedding during the winter months, but I took it off early this year in an effort to force spring! :)

  4. I DON'T have one with my machine because I don't sew! waaaaahhh! I envy anybody who does or can, you made another lovely project Kim! The chair is looking happier indeed!

    1. You my friend do not need to sew, I just saw your dolls and their gorgeous dresses! If I could do that with a glue gun, I would toss my machine tomorrow! ;)

  5. I know how frustrating it is to have an uncooperative machine. I ditched my first one and now have one that hasn't given me any problems! I love making pillows! Gorgeous fabric and love the color as well! xoxo Jen

    1. You know, it keeps happening to me Jen ~ new machines or old! I am starting to get a complex!