All right! It’s good to be back from blogging after a little break. Thanks to Jeanne for her excellent guest post! It was much enjoyed. And thanks to the Husband for galavanting around Charleston with me this past weekend. So nice to get a relaxing weekend away!

Last night I picked up a much neglected project—pillow covers! We had purchased some pillow inserts and fabric from Ikea to create some throw pillows for our couch, and for the last month, they had just been sitting next to the couch, waiting. Well, the wait’s over! Our couch now has two fluffy, covered pillows. And I’ll tell you how 🙂

All finished! For pattern and directions, read on!

Before . . . they served us well.

Well, there’s the before pic. . . two nice brown & cream options that looked great with my green couch from about four years ago. With our new gray sofa, it was time to switch to something more bold and pleasing for both S & I. The MAJKEN fabric from Ikea was just the ticket, and we BOTH loved it. Good choice!

The first step was to draw up a pattern. I needed a 20″ pillow case that had two overlapping flaps in the back. I don’t like sewing zippers or buttons, but I wanted to be able to wash the cover if need be. So I figured out that my dimensions would be 49″ wide x 22″ high (20″ + 1″ seams).

The 49″ breaks down as follows:

  • 2″ allowance for seam (which will be doubled over to create a 1″ folded seam)
  • 15″ back panel A (will fold under)
  • 20″ front panel
  • 10″ back panel B (will fold on top)
  • another 2″ allowance for seam (which will also be doubled over)

1. I measured out the 22″ width and marked it at intervals for easy cutting (about 1 scissor cut apart). Since I lost my tape measure, and my ruler only goes to 18″, I used a piece of the selvage as a rule. You can use a pen to mark because these will be on the inside of the covers. Now, cut the fabric!

2–4. Measure and press the fabric according to the following chart. The 2″ end seams will be folded over at 1″ then folded over again so the rough edge of the fabric is inside the fold. I made good use of both my ruler and the makeshift tape measure. You’ll be folding the fabric right sides together to create the panels.

5. Sew the double seams—unless you have strong finger tips and a sturdy needle, you’ll need a sewing machine. I doubled back on the beginning and ending of the stitches to seal them (or whatever the technical term is).

Fold & press chart

Measure, Measure, Measure & Sew!

6. I found it helpful to pin the flaps together for sewing the side seams. I used three pins on each side.

7. Stich the seams—you’re almost there!

8. Important for square corners—trim the corner off at an angle on the inside of the case. You’ll want to start about 1/8″ out from the stitching so not to make a hole or cut your seam. Thanks Martha for the tip.

Pin, Sew, Clip

Flip your cover right-side out, insert a pillow, and you’re finished!

A few tips:

  • Measure twice, cut once
  • Press the folds—all of them. It helps, A LOT!
  • You don’t have to stitch fast—use the speed setting on your machine that you feel most comfortable with.
  • Have a seam ripper handy. You can take out stitches and save the piece if you get off track.
  • Use a clean pencil eraser or your pinkie finger to push out the corners of the pillow once your turn it right-side out

All finished, ready for napping