Bad days for travel are good days for sewing –which is why my little sister just called to ask for advice on sewing pillow covers with zippers.
Good timing, little sis. I’m just stitching up these 16 inch knife-edge pillow covers with zippers, so I’ll take a few photos to share:
First, think about PLACEMENT. You don’t want the zipper extending into the corners where it will make bulky lumps. So go shorter. For each of these 16 inch pillows, I’m using a 14 inch zipper.
Then I toss the package instructions , if I ever had them to begin with. I use a lot of reclaimed zippers which I install in just 3 straight easy peasy seams.
Zipper seam 1 is mostly a place holder: Beginning with regular-size stitches, sew a few inches in. Lock (by stitching back then forward one or two times) then change to long (basting) stitches. Now sew for the length of the zipper. Lock again and stitch to the end of the seam with regular sized stitches. Tip: always do the zipper seam before the pillow sides and top. it’s soo much easier when you can lay it all flat.
Next press the seam flat, then open. Press your zipper, too. Tip: Finish the raw edges of the seam allowance now, if you like–a good idea if you’ll wash the cover.
Zipper seam 2 is an anchor seam. First open the zipper and lay one side face down with teeth next to seam. Pin and stitch it to the seam allowance only. Tip: Relax. Since the seam won’t be seen on the outside, you don’t even need to sew it straight. Just make sure the zipper teeth are straight against the seam. I use a lot of pins for this and pull them as I go.
Now that you’re warmed up, zipper seam 3 is the real deal. Put on the machine zipper foot to let the world know you mean business. Zip the zipper, flip your pillow cover over to the RIGHT SIDE and lay everything flat on a work surface. Pin zipper on the two long sides, top and bottom through all layers. Use lots of pins–they help so much. Then stitch, removing pins as you go.
I proclaim you an official Zipper Master!
One more tip for pillows: Don’t forget to trim extra fabric out of the inside corners. It makes a huge difference. I like to zig-zag the trimmed edges so they won’t ravel out when I wash my pillow cover..
Now, stay off the roads. Go sew, and share your photos, please.