Sewing Blog

Sew Comfortable: How to Sew Perfectly Plump Throw Pillow Covers

Do you have plans for a bit of home decor sewing in 2015? Making throw pillows is a great way to change the look of your space and add a new color to your surroundings. Throw pillows are easy to sew and can be a quick project, especially if you use pillow forms.

When making a square pillow sometimes the form doesn’t quite fill out the shape, and the corners look a bit too pointy — a little dog-eared. Which is great for a puppy but not for your throw pillow.

yellow pillow corners

See how the pillow on the left holds the square shape but the one on the right sticks out a bit and looks too pointy. You can make sure every pillow you sew turns out just right!

Follow along to learn an easy trick for sewing a perfectly plump square pillow.

1. Cut out one side.

measuring pillow form

To start with choose a pillow form. This one is a 16 inch form, so we will cut out a 17 inch square which allows for 1/2 inch seam allowances.

2. Mark the centers and corners.

marking pillow form

Mark the center of each side of your square with chalk, pencil or disappearing pen. At one corner make a dot in from each edge by 1/2 inch.

3.  Mark the area to trim.

draw area to trim

Mark the pillow piece with a line starting from the corner dot and tapering to nothing at the center of each edge, as seen above.

4. Trim away the marked area.

Trim away marked area

Cut off this area you have marked on the corner.

5. Fold in quarters.

fold in quarters

Fold the pillow piece in half and half again, using the marks made at the center of the edge to keep it square. Pin it together to keep it from slipping.

6. Trim the remaining corners.

trimming remaining corners

Trim the remaining corners using the first corner as a guide so they will all be exactly the same.

7. Cut out remaining pillow piece.

cutting out second piece

Unfold your trimmed pillow piece and use that as a pattern piece to cut out the second side of the pillow. Be sure to put right sides together, then you can pin your pillow pieces and take them directly to the sewing machine. Sew the pillow pieces together leaving an opening on one side so you can slip it over the pillow form. If you are going to put a zipper or some other closure on your pillow form, then you would cut out the back pieces as needed, but you can still use the first piece as a guide for shaping the corners.

7. Trim the sewn pieces.

trimming sewn corners

Once the pillow pieces are sewn together, trim the corners diagonally. I like to press one edge on the seam allowance which is the edge that will be unseen, then when the pillow cover is turned right side out that edge will be crisp and ready to machine or hand sew.

It can be used with most any fabric from cottons to home dec fabric to quilted pieces or even a bit of appliqué.

owl pillows

 Decorative pillows made by Craftsy member jagodacik1842222

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12 Comments

Barbra Ann

I am trying to figure out what is meant in #2 where it says to: “Mark the center of each side of your square with chalk, pencil or disappearing pen.”…Where is the center of each side?? I see the lines drawn in the diagram, but I can’t figure out where exactly to place them. I know how to find the center of the square, I know how to find the center of each side which would be the mid-point between two corners, but how do you find the center of each side?
Thanks

Reply
Barbra

Can someone please help with my question above…I need help.

Reply
Beth

you are correct, in that you mark the center of each edge. Measure the distance on the edge and divide in half.

Reply
Barbra

Sorry, still a bit confused.
To mark the center of each edge.
Example: the distance between the bottom left corner and the bottom right corner is 17…so the center mark will be at 8.5…is that correct.
if the center is 8.5, do I mark this all the way around, so that there are “4” 8.5 center markings?

Next Question: The Dot
Is this dot only to be marked “once” or do I make a dot in each corner? It says once in the instructions…I’m assuming if this is true, it’s due to the fact that the prior dot and the folding will eliminate the need to mark the dot 4 times.

Reply
Cathy

You are correct on both subjects.

Reply
Donna

Please tell me how to stop pillow slipcovers from slipping and twisting out of position on my square sofa pillows

Reply
maddhome

Thanks for sharing your creative idea with us, its very cool and beautiful cushion covers pic you have uploaded. Your tutorial help us very much for creating a beautiful cushions covers.
You can also get beautiful and colorful cushions covers online at https://www.maddhome.com/all-cushion-covers-online.html

Reply
Gagandeep Singh

Wow. What a collection of great Ideas. Thank you so much for sharing our pillows! Beautiful roundup.:)
Its quite helpful for me… immediately after this blog I start searching for cushion covers o I found brand named swayamindia having very large number of cushion covers online

Reply
Leia

Do you find a 1/2 inch seam allowance leaves a nice tight pillow? I’ve read that some pillow makers actually make their covers smaller than the pillow forms to ensure a full stuffed look. What are your thoughts on this? If you agree what size should the fabric be cut for a 14×14 pillow form?

Reply
Myrna D.

Yes, I think you are correct. I cut fabric for a 20″ pillow with a l and 1/2″ seam allowance to allow for serging and found that I was taking in the seams to make the pillow more “plump”. I think you will have to use the trial and error method, until you like the way the pillow looks when you put it on the furniture. And, ultimately the fabric did come out smaller than the pillow form by 1/2″. Another consideration is the type of fabric that you are using. I would always cut larger and then reduce as desired. Hope this helps.

Reply
Judy

Can you explain how you use this method and serge your pillows too. I want to make sure the corners are perfect and I’m afraid I can’t get that serginf. Thanks for your help.

Reply
Emma Maria

Hi Beth. You shared a great technique here. Thank you for sharing.

Reply

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