How To Close A Pillow With A Sewing Machine

Stitching fabrics together with the help of a sewing machine, requires a good understanding of how the sewing machine works. The threading, pedal foot, type of needle to use, and the bobbin thread all play an essential role when it comes to fabric works using a sewing machine. Although this device provides all kinds of sewing help for your fabric and household linen, it could also cause damage if not correctly used for your sewing project. One of the key features of a sewing machine is its ability to close gaps and holes in your materials eg, closing a pillow after a sewing project. This can be complicated for a beginner sewer, but this article has been together to provide you with all the details you need for this project.

How to Close a Pillow With a Sewing Machine

For each pillow cover, use a half-inch seam allowance to sew the front part to the corresponding back panel with the right sides sewn together. Leave the opening in the center of the bottom edge to turn. Trim the edges and turn over the pillow cover inside-out while also turning the seam allowance then press. Insert the pillow foams and slip-stitch the pillow opening for closure.

Steps to Close a Pillow with a Sewing Machine

Pillow projects are one of the simplest tasks beginners sewer can embark upon to horn their skills. Inasmuch you have access to all the necessary tools; closing a pillow is an easy project. Cushions seem like a common sewing project, and for a good reason. They are comfortable, quick, and offer endless customization and experimentation options.

Creating pillows or pillow coverings is a way to get luxurious pillows without having to pay huge fees that comes with purchasing one. It also allows you the chance to use fabric, which is the best fit for your decor. As I have said earlier, sewing the pillowcase is usually an easy job, the difficult part is when you have to close the opening in your pillow.

Before commencing the project, there are few things you should have in place;

  • Get a pillow cover that matches the color of your thread rolls, or you can try a contrasting color.
  • Prepare your sewing machine, thread all parts that need threading, check that the presser foot is down, and also inspect the bobbin area.
  • Stuff the pillow with your preferred filling. It is advisable to use a filling that is washable, soft, and resilient to pressure.

Depending on the fabric material, the pillow is usually sealed on the 3 sides, leaving the open part for fillings. This open needs to be closed to prevent shedding on pillow fillings and threads.

Using the envelope closure technique is the most commonly used technique. It creates a clean, finished back that leaves the pillow-foam free for installation and removal. This is ideal for stitching pillows that need to be washed, and if you want a pillow with an opening but don’t want to handle stitching zippers, it is an excellent technique to adopt.

Step 1

Cut the flap at approximately 1/3 or ¼ of the pillowcase width. You can either cut the flap as a separate piece for stitching at the end with closing end or can stretch your pillow fold to form a flap.

Step 2

Fold an additional 1⁄2 “(1.3 cm) around the same edge on the wrong side and press again. Repeat for the remaining back panel. Fold each hem close to the inside fold.

Step 3

Pin the pillow front and back panels together with right sides and raw edges matched. In the center, the hemmed edges of the back panels overlap. Sew completely around the corners.

Step 4

Cut corners diagonally to reduce the bulk, stitch the raw edges, and turn the cover right out, gently working the angles out with a seam creaser. Now you can start sewing with the help of the machine. Once the flap is fitted. You can turn it upside down. This is your envelope or flap style of pillow closure.

Step 5

Insert the pillow foam through the opening, which you can decide to close-stitch or use a zipper.

Other methods can be used to close your pillow. The choice you make is solely based on your design, taste, and needs. The next paragraph will highlight other methods you can use to close your pillow.

Techniques to Effect a Good Pillow Closure

As mentioned earlier, the choices for sewing a back pillow are numerous and dependent on your needs. The first step in choosing a pillow-back technique is to consider how to use your pillow. Do you need to be able to take the laundering cover off? Do you want it securely closed? Would you like a decorative lock or one that’s plain and hidden? Once you can answer these questions, then it time to work on your pillow.

Apart from the envelope pillow stitching method, there are 2 other techniques you can use to close your pillow;

Button Closure Method

 In this method, you are to cut an extra 6cm in addition to the initial piece cut. You then fold each edge twice at a 2cm fold on each side. With each folding, press with a hot iron to avoid their unfolding and misaligned ridge. 

Now you’ve got to make the button bands on both sides. Label the intended position for the button stitching with a cloth marker. Make sure you mark the location of the buttons on one side and the corresponding holes on the other side.

Make a hem on the edges of the buttonholes. The estimated feet power for this type of stitching needs a sewing power of between 530-550. You can find some of the buttonhole sensors in a store. They always make holes of standard size and length.

You can fix the buttons manually or use the aid of a button sewing program on the sewing machine. If the buttons are placed in a smooth, tidy loop, follow it by sticking the button bands on the inside.

The next step is to put the two pillow piece on each other. They will be positioned in such a way as to have one of the bands with the buttonholes and the other with the buttons on the opposite side. You can then stitch them together and insert your buttons as appropriate.

Zip Closure Method

Before proceeding, you need to have a convenient zip. Take the two edges of the end of the frame. You will hem along the line of sides from top to bottom. They are sewn separately with either an overlock or curved hem. After doing that, you can then close the last end of your pillow with the aid of a zip line.

The edge of the hem is marked at 1.5 cm on one end and 1 cm on the opposite side. Press both sides, and this provides the best platform for the zipper. Use a zipper foot to sew along the marked hems.

The zipper has a length longer than the pillow length then trim accordingly. Leave a margin of 2cm and then sew with a sewing machine stitch. Your zip closure is ready for use.

Best Ways to Close an Opening when Making a Pillow

There are different factors to consider before choosing a pillow closure technique. From the type of fabric to how you want your pillow to look in the end, in all, it is imperative that you feel fulfilled at the end of the pillow closure.

  1. One of the best and easiest ways to close a pillow is by using a pocket.  This style of pillow cover has overlapping cloth flaps on the back of the pillow cloth. Insert a pre-made pillow between the folds and pull it over the pillow. It is quickly done by making a rectangle that is long enough to cover all edges with excess and hemming them on both sides of the pillow while leaving a pocket space.
  2. Another notable method is hand-stitching; this traditional way to close a pillow is by hand sewing the fourth side of the pillow closed. That is the safest way to do it because you want the sides of the pillow to look the same on both sides if you don’t want to cut the pillow, or you want to use the padding instead of the pillow shape when you add it inside, this method is most suitable.
  3. Instead of enclosing a cushion, you should make the case look like an envelope. The pillow goes into the case and pulls the cover of the case over the cover of the pillow to lock it inside. The level of difficulty of this technique is similar to making the pocket style, though it requires slightly more fabric.

When you’ve finished stitching the three sides of your pillow using a sewing machine, you can close it by using various techniques, based on your preference and style. The strategies mentioned above ensures that the pillow remains useful for a long time.

Related Questions

What is the aim of a closed seam?

Closed seams are the reverse to opened seams in the same sense that the seam width is on the same side. You don’t need to split the two hands, but instead, bring them together.

What is a Whipped stitch?

This is a basic embroidery or hand sewing stitch in which the needle is placed in and out of the fabric through a sequence of stitches that surround the edge of the cloth.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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