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Sew a Perfect Pillow Cover: Easy Steps for Any Pillow Form Size (2024)

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how to sew a cover for a pillow formTo sew a cover for a pillow form, measure your desired insert and add 1 inch to each dimension for seam allowances.

Cut two fabric pieces to those measurements from your favorite material.

Place the pieces right sides together, pin, and sew around the perimeter, leaving an opening for inserting the form later.

Finish the seams neatly, then turn the cover right side out through the opening.

Give it a good press, and you’re ready to stuff in that pillow form for a fitted, custom look.

Want to kick it up a notch? Stay tuned for tips on adding zippers, pockets, and decorative accents.

Key Takeaways

  • Measure like a pro tailor – get that pillow form’s dimensions down to the last centimeter. A precise fit is the key to a snug, stylish cover.
  • Fabric snob alert! Choose the perfect material to make your creation truly yours. Cotton for cozy, velvet for luxe – the options are endless. Bonus points for unique prints and patterns that’ll make your friends green with envy.
  • It’s all in the details, my friend. From seam finishes to zipper closures, the little things make a big difference. Why settle for basic when you can add that extra flair and sewing prowess?
  • Don’t be fooled by the size – even a tiny throw pillow is a canvas for your creativity. Piping, embellishments, you name it! Your living room is about to level up in style and comfort.

How to Sew a Cover for a Pillow Form?

To sew a cover for a pillow form, first measure the dimensions of the pillow form and calculate the amount of fabric needed, including seam allowances. Then, cut out the fabric pieces, construct the cover by sewing the pieces together, and finally insert the pillow form into the finished cover.

Gather Materials

Gather Materials
Before you initiate sewing your perfect pillow cover, let’s ensure you possess the necessary resources.

Commence by selecting your fabric – whether it’s cozy cotton, luxurious velvet, or breezy linen. Remember to acquire thread that harmonizes with your fabric’s color.

Additionally, you’ll need fundamental sewing supplies such as pins, scissors, and a sewing machine. For a refined appearance, consider various seam finishes.

And hey, those fabric scraps you’ve been amassing? They’re ideal for incorporating patterns or adding distinctive touches.

With these tools at your disposal, you’re prepared to commence your simple sewing journey!

Measure Pillow Form

Measure Pillow Form
Begin by measuring your pillow form’s dimensions, whether it’s a standard size like 18" x 18" or a custom shape. Your pillow cover’s size will depend on these measurements, so accuracy is key for a snug fit.

Standard Pillow Sizes

When choosing your pillow forms, consider standard sizes like 18-inch squares or rectangles for throw pillows.

Whether you’re making square or rectangular covers, standard sizes make shopping for pillow forms a breeze.

Don’t forget, decorative accents like tassels or piping can add that extra flair to your cozy creations.

Custom Pillow Dimensions

While standard sizes are great, sometimes you need a custom pillow form. Maybe you’ve got a unique pillow shape variation in mind, or you want to use fabric suitability to guide your design.

Don’t worry! It’s easy to create custom pillows. Just measure your desired dimensions, then add a bit extra for a snug fit or a regular fit. You can even use the turn and turn again method for tricky shapes.

With pattern modifications and decorative enhancements, like embellishment options, you’ll have a one-of-a-kind pillow that fits perfectly in your space.

Calculate Fabric Needed

Calculate Fabric Needed
To guarantee your pillow cover fits perfectly, add 1 inch to your pillow form’s dimensions for seam allowances. Consider your fabric’s width when calculating yardage to minimize waste and make sure you have enough material for your project.

Seam Allowances

Now that you’ve measured your pillow form, it’s time to calculate the fabric needed. Remember, seam allowances are essential for a perfect fit. For most pillow covers, add 1 inch to each dimension for a 1/2-inch seam allowance.

If you’re using a zipper or overlap enclosure, factor in extra fabric. Consider interfacing options for crisp edges and hemming techniques for a polished look.

Pattern matching can add a professional touch, so plan accordingly. Finally, think about fabric drape – softer fabrics may need larger seam allowances to maintain shape.

Fabric Width Considerations

After adding seam allowances, consider your fabric’s width. Most pillow forms fit on 45" or 54" wide fabric. For larger throw pillows or envelope-backed covers, you might need wider fabric or more yardage. Here are key points:

  1. Check grainlines on patterns to guarantee proper fabric placement.
  2. For envelope closure, calculate two back panels that overlap.
  3. Use a walking presser foot for thicker fabrics to prevent shifting.
  4. Remember, matching patterns may require extra fabric for alignment.

Cut Fabric Pieces

Cut Fabric Pieces
Cut your fabric pieces with precision using a rotary cutter and ruler to guarantee straight edges. Square the corners by aligning the ruler with the fabric grain, creating perfectly angled pieces for a professional-looking pillow cover.

Straight Edges

With your fabric calculations in hand, it’s time to cut your pieces. Use a sharp rotary cutter and a self-healing cutting mat for precise, straight edges. An omnigrid ruler and seam gauge are your best friends here. They’ll help you measure accurately and maintain consistent seam allowances. Remember, straight edges are essential for a professional look.

Consider using interfacing to stabilize edges, especially for lightweight fabrics. Overlocking or zigzag stitches can prevent fraying.

For a clean finish, try hemming techniques like edgestitching or a slipstitched hem. Reinforcement stitches at corners will keep your pillow cover sturdy.

Squaring Corners

After cutting your fabric with straight edges, it’s time to square those corners for a crisp appearance. Clip corners at a 45-degree angle, being careful not to snip your stitches. This reduces bulk and helps your pillow cover lay flat. When turning your cover right-side out:

  • Use a point turner or closed scissors to push out corners
  • Press edges with an iron for a sharp, professional look
  • For patchwork or front closure designs, square corners are essential

Mastering this step will give your home decor that polished, store-bought feel. Let’s move on to assembling your perfect pillow cover!

Construct Pillow Cover

Construct Pillow Cover
Choose between an envelope back or a zippered closure for your pillow cover, each offering unique advantages. An envelope back is quick and easy to sew, while a zippered closure provides a sleek, professional look and a snug fit for your pillow form.

Envelope Back

Ready to create a custom envelope-back pillow cover? You’ll love how easy it is!

Start by selecting fabric that reflects your style—think seasonal decor or unique designs for personalized gifts. For the front panel, let your creativity shine with patchwork appliqué or bold prints.

Now, measure and cut two back panels, hemming one edge on each. Overlap these panels to form the envelope, then pin them to your front piece. Sew around the edges, and voila!

You’ve just learned how to sew a cover for a pillow form, adding a touch of DIY charm to your home decor.

Zippered Closure

While envelope backs are a breeze, adding a hidden zipper takes your pillow cover to pro status.

Choose an invisible zipper for a seamless look, or a regular one for a pop of color. Measure your pillow form and add an inch; that’s your zipper length. Place it along the bottom seam for easy access.

To install, baste the seam closed, then use a zipper foot to stitch the zipper in place. Voila! You’ve mastered the zippered closure – a game-changer for swapping covers and showcasing your sewing skills.

Assemble Pillow Cover

Assemble Pillow Cover
Pin your fabric pieces right sides together, ensuring edges align perfectly and corners are square. Sew along the pinned edges with a 1/2-inch seam allowance, backstitching at the start and end of each seam for reinforcement.

Pinning Pieces

With your envelope flap or zipper closure in place, it’s time to bring your pillow cover together.

Lay your fabric pieces right sides facing, ensuring perfect alignment. Use pins or Wonder Clips to secure edges, focusing on pinning accuracy for neat seam allowances.

Pay extra attention to corners; pin diagonally for easy alignment and perfect mitered corners later. For slip-stitched covers, pin three sides, leaving one short edge open.

Your pinning precision now will lead to invisible stitches and a professional finish. Remember, every pin is a step towards pillow perfection!

Sewing Seams

With your pieces pinned, it’s time to stitch together your pillow cover.

Start by basting the seams with a long stitch, leaving an opening on one side for inserting the pillow form. Then, sew a shorter, more secure stitch along the same lines.

Press your edges with an iron for crisp seams that’ll make your pillow look pro-level.

Clip the corners at a 45-degree angle, being careful not to snip your stitches, to reduce bulk and guarantee sharp points.

You’re one step closer to that perfect, cuddle-worthy pillow!

Finishing Touches

Finishing Touches
After sewing your pillow cover, trim the seam allowances to reduce bulk and clip the corners for crisp edges. Turn the cover right side out, using a point turner or closed scissors to push out the corners, then press the edges for a polished finish.

Trimming Seam Allowances

Now that you’ve sewn your pillow cover, let’s refine those edges for a polished look.

Start by clipping corners at a 45-degree angle, careful not to snip your stitches. This reduces bulk and guarantees sharp points when you turn the cover.

Next, press your seams open or to one side, depending on your fabric. For a professional touch, try mitering corners or binding edges with bias tape.

If you’ve chosen an envelope back, overlap the edges neatly and press.

These steps make your pillow cover look store-bought and feel great to snuggle with.

Turning Cover Right Side Out

Now that your seams are trimmed, it’s time to reveal your masterpiece! Turn your pillow cover right side out by:

  1. Clipping corners: Snip off the pointy bits without cutting into stitches.
  2. Using a point turner: Gently push out corners for crisp edges.
  3. Pressing edges: Give your cover a professional touch with a quick iron.

Insert your pillow form, and voilà! Your creation takes shape. To finish, slipstitch the opening closed with a needle and thread. You’ve just crafted a custom pillow that’s uniquely yours – welcome to the cozy club!

Insert Pillow Form

Insert Pillow Form
Now that your pillow cover is ready, it’s time to bring it to life with the perfect pillow form. Recall our discussion on customizing your form for unique shapes? Well, that’s where the magic occurs. Let’s explore pillow stuffing and density to guarantee your cover fits flawlessly.

Pillow Size Stuffing Amount Density Level
18" x 18" 1.5 lbs Medium
20" x 20" 2 lbs Firm
Custom Varies As desired

For easy cover removal and washing, ensure your form is slightly smaller than the cover. Happy fluffing!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How big do I cut fabric for an 18 inch pillow form?

For an 18" pillow form, cut a 19" x 43" fabric rectangle. The extra inch on each side allows for seam allowances, ensuring a snug yet removable fit.

How much fabric do I need to cover a pillow form?

At the end of the day, you’ll need about 1/2 yard of fabric per throw pillow. Measure your pillow insert, add 4-5 inches all around for seam allowances and overlap, and you’re good to go!

How to measure to make a pillow cover?

Measure your pillow form, then add 1 inch to each dimension for seam allowance. Cut fabric to these updated measurements. This straightforward method guarantees a snug, properly-sized cover every time.

How much fabric do I need for a 12Ă—12 pillow?

For a 12×12 pillow, get 1 yard of fabric. That’ll give you enough for the front, back, plus seam allowances. A cotton print or solid broadcloth works great and won’t cost too much.

How do you sew an invisible zipper?

To sew an invisible zipper, first baste it in place, zipper face down. Stitch the coil on both sides, then remove basting. Fold fabric back, press zipper tape, and topstitch zipper in place. Voila! An invisible zipper installed with precise stitching.

What method is best for rounded corners?

Coincidentally, rounded corners can add a polished touch to your pillow covers. The easiest method is using a corner-rounding tool – slide the fabric through, mark, and snip the curves. Alternatively, tracing a plate creates precise rounded edges.

How do you prevent fabric puckering?

To prevent fabric puckering, be sure to properly press and ease your fabric as you go. Use lots of pins or clips, and slowly stitch with an appropriate tension – this will help the fabric feed smoothly and lie flat.

Can piping be added to pillow covers?

Like a bold accent for your couch, adding piping can elevate a simple pillow cover into a stylish statement piece. Cutting bias strips from a contrasting fabric, you can stitch piping along the edges for a professional, crafted look that wows.

How do you make a reversible pillow?

To make a reversible pillow, sew two fabric pieces right sides together, leaving an opening. Turn it right side out, insert the pillow form, and sew the opening closed. Voila! You now have a double-sided pillow you can flip whenever desired.


Crafting the perfect cover for a pillow form is a satisfying achievement. With careful measuring, precision cutting, and attentive sewing, you’ll create a customized case suited to your desired insert. Embrace the process, follow the guidance, and revel in the rewarding final touch of inserting the pillow form into your handmade, impeccably fitted cover.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.