One more pillow project to share, this time using the same fabric and bat design as the purple trick or treat bag from a few weeks ago. It has black piping around the edges and a zipper in the back for a snug fit around the pillow form, but don’t let that intimidate you. It’s still very easy to make!
- 1/2 yard fabric for the pillow cover
- Yellow and black scrap fabric for the applique
- One 16″ square pillow form
- One package of black piping
- Double-sided iron on adhesive (I used Steam-a-Seam 2)
- One zipper at least 17″ long
- Pattern for bat and moon applique, downloadable here
Print out the pattern for the appliques and trace them onto the iron-on adhesive. Following the manufacturer’s instructions (every brand is a little different), fuse the adhesive to the black and yellow fabrics and cut out the moon and bat shapes.
From the background fabric, cut one 16-1/2″ square for the front of the pillow and two 8-3/4″ x 16-1/2″ rectangles for the back. Set the rectangles aside for now.
Fold the pillow front in quarters and finger press to mark a vertical and horizontal center line. Do the same with the yellow moon shape and center it on the pillow front. Iron it in place, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Set your sewing machine for a narrow, tight zigzag and stitch around the edge of the moon applique.
Position the bat appliques on top of the moon. To help with positioning, I lined up the bats with one of the folded center lines to make sure they were both straight, and placed the outer wing tip of both bats about 2-1/2″ from the sides of the pillow front.
Iron the appliques in place, then switch to black thread and zigzag around the bats.
To avoid having pointy corners on your pillow cover, we’re going to shape them just a bit. Lay the pillow front on your work surface right side down. Find the horizontal and vertical center lines you made previously and mark each with a pin.
Now measure in 1/2″ from each corner and make a dot.
Draw a line connecting each dot to the center markers all the way around, like this:
Cut along the marked lines to slope each of the corners. Set the pillow front aside.
Put the two pillow back pieces together, right sides facing. Set your sewing machine for a long basting stitch and sew one long edge of the back pieces together using a 1/2″ seam. Press the seam open.
Lay the pillow back on your work surface wrong side up, and center your zipper on top of the seam you just made. The zipper should be right side down. Pin along both edges of the zipper, keeping the zipper teeth centered over the seam.
Switch to a zipper foot and stitch along both sides of the zipper, midway between the teeth and the edge of the zipper tape.
With a seam ripper, carefully remove the center basting thread. Lay the pillow back on your work surface, right side up, with the zipper running from top to bottom. Open the zipper about halfway.
Center the pillow front on top, right side down. Pin the front and back together at the corners and center lines. With the pillow front as a guide, trim away the corners of the pillow back until the two match. Remove the pins.
Beginning halfway between the center and the corner on one side of the pillow, pin the front and back together with the piping sandwiched in between, matching all the raw edges.
To help ease the piping around the corners, cut slits in the edge of the piping, stopping halfway.
When you get all the way around the pillow and back to the starting point, cut the piping so it extends about 2″ past the starting point.
Using a seam ripper, carefully remove the stitching that holds the bias tape in place on the extra 2″. Trim the cording ONLY (not the fabric) until it can lay flush with the starting point of the piping.
Fold the excess fabric on the bias tape in half, then place it under the starting point of the piping and fold it around both pieces, sandwiching the cording in between and covering all the raw edges.
Still using a zipper foot, stitch all the way around the pillow, as close to the cording of the piping as possible. You’ll be able to feel the bump of the piping through the fabric, and you can use your finger/fingernail to crease the fabric down alongside it if you need to to tell how close to sell.
If your piping has a tendency to slide toward the center of the pillow cover and away from the presser foot, you can use your finger to push it back to where it needs to be.
Turn the pillow cover right side out, slide the pillow form inside and work it around until the side seams are straight and the corners are filled.
If you missed last week’s tutorial for the jack-o-lantern pillow, you can find it here. Happy sewing!