How to Sew Pillow Slipcovers

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Pillow slipcovers, when sewn by yourself, can be customized to accentuate any pillow you have. Add pizazz to your pillow setup with help from a professional sewing instructor in this free video.

Part of the Video Series: Sewing Basics
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Video Transcript

Hey, it's Vanessa with, here to show you how to make this really cute pillow slip cover. So, here you can see that the back of the slip cover just envelopes over itself and this is a very quick and easy technique. There's no closures, zippers, buttons, nothing. Anybody can do this. The first thing you're going to need is a pillow form. You can either buy this already pre-made at a craft shop. You can make your own or the best part about this is that you can use old throw pillows that you want to revamp or spice up for your home. The measurement technique I'm going to show you is going to apply to any size pillow from you use. This pillow here, this pillow form you see is 16 inches X 16 inches. It's a square but the same will apply to a rectangular pillow. Because it's 16 X 16 the fabric that I want to use for the front part is going to be 17 X 17 inches. Now for the back side of the fabric you want to use the same width which we said one side was 17 and the length of it you want to add four inches to the original size. The next step is to fold it in half and I'm going to slice it right down the middle. Now that we've split the back panel in half, you want to take it over to your pressing surface, flip it with the ugly side of the fabric facing you and on one of these long sides you want to fold in about a quarter of an inch and just press it in place. You're going to do that to both sides so I'll flip this one over as well and do the same thing. Now to complete the simple hem you want to double it over. So do the exact same thing you just did but over again to conceal that raw edge. Here you can put some pins to hold that hem down. You're going to want to stitch close to this folded edge to hold that down. Now that we have our back panel split down the middle I'm going to show you how to hem the interior edges to create that fold over on the slip cover. You want to use just a regular straight stitch on your machine, set the stitch length to regular, between a 2 or 3 usually on most machines and just a regular plain straight stitch. We have one done here and now we want to repeat it to the other one. Now that we're done with the simple hems on the inside parts of our two back panels, all we have to do is to press it in place. This just helps the seam lay nice and flat and you're almost ready to finish it. The last thing we need to do is layer all our pieces. Here we have the front panel. Now we take one of our back panels and lay it with the pretty side facing down, matching these outside edges. Remember make sure that these hems that you've created are both going towards the center. Again, overlap it here, make sure that this raw edge matches up with this side. They overlap in the center. That's what's going to create that fold over for our slipcover. Now you want to take your pins and pin this all the way around, just to hold all the pieces in place. We've pinned our slip cover all the way around. Now we're ready to go to the machine. Here's what I want you to keep in mind. You can stitch all the way around. There's no need to leave an opening to flip it inside out like we usually do on projects because this will be our opening. You'll want to make sure that you're pivoting on the corners so stitch all the way straight across. When you get to a corner, you're going to pivot so don't sew off the edge. So I'm lining up my fabric with the edge of my presser foot and just using a regular straight stitch I'm going to stitch around. I'm getting almost ready to pivot at the corner so I want to stop a little bit of the ways before reaching that corner. Make sure you're stopping with the needle in because now if I lift up my presser foot you see I haven't lost my mark and I can just turn the fabric and keep sewing down the other way. When I get to the end you want to just stitch a little bit over the first initial stitch that you did to secure that thread in place. The next thing you want to do is clip your corners and this is something you want to do to all your projects that have right angle corners. You always want to do this. I'm going to slip at an angle to the tip, make sure you don't clip into those threads, okay, or else you'll have to resew it but just clip close there and then I like to trim a little bit off the corner. What this is doing is removing the excess bulk so when I flip the pillow cover inside out, I can get a nice crisp point there. We're going to just flip our slip cover inside out. You want to grab those corners. I like to put my thumb into the corner, pinch it with my pointer and flip it inside out to get the most out of that pointy little corner. Again thumb from the inside all the way up, pinch it with my pointer and then just turn it up. Then you just want to take your iron and just press it down keeping that seam right down the center of the edges. Now we just insert our pillow form and we have a nice little finished slip cover for your pillow with no zippers, no buttons and no closures.


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