How To Sew A Zipper In A Pillow By Hand

Pillows or cushions are a fantabulous way to incorporate DIY flair and cute textiles into your house without crucial investments. Since pillows work beautifully as a home décor element, you’d always want to choose gorgeous designs. To add versatility, here’s your guide to sewing a zipper in a cushion or pillow.

The added bonus you get with zippered pillows is they are easily changeable. Whenever you feel there’s a need for change, just swipe out the older covers! But the best part will always be the easy steps that can be performed within an hour!

So, if you love the idea of making different pillow covers and showcase them one after the other, read on. Learn further about the easiest way to sew a zipper in a cushion or pillow cover by hand. Let’s get started without wasting time.

How To Sew A Zipper In A Pillow By Hand?

Sew A Zipper In A Pillow By Hand

Zippered cushion (or pillow) covers are the most affordable and effective way to freshen up your room’s ambiance. Even for a beginner quilter or sewer, zippered pillows are nowhere advanced.

And believing that zipper pillow covers are fairly easy to sew isn’t a misconception. This guide will show how stitching a pillow cover with a zipper sounds and feels exciting! So, here’s presenting how to insert a zipper in your cushion cover.

Preparing for The Steps:

Before you perform the steps within an hour, here’s what you’d require:

  • Fabric (for quilting and stitching; can be cotton, silk, etc.)
  • Cushion Inserts (the pillows or cushions; whatever you prefer)
  • Needle and Threads
  • Zipper (Around 3 inches in length; must be shorter than your insert)
  • Sewing essentials like pins, scissors, and ruler

Simple Steps to Sew A Zipper In A Cushion or Pillow

Let’s get started with the steps now!

Step 1: Measuring & Trimming (or Cutting)

Measuring & Trimming or Cutting

Learn the measurements of your chosen pillow insert before cutting the fabrics. As you finish off with measurements, it’s time to cut two squares (or the shape of your pillow) of the same sizes.

Do not add any sea allowance for the finished cover to get snug for a firmer look.

When you require looser covers, add an extra seam allowance of 1.5 inches. For designing zippered cushions, a quilting ruler, cutting mat, and rotary cutter come in handy. Don’t forget to iron the fabric before adding the zipper.

Step 2: Stitch One Side of The Fabric

When you do so, please remember to leave a gap. Only put two pieces purposely with their right sides. Measure them with a ruler and mark the portion. The sewing is supposed to get done in this particular portion.

Start from the end and sew along the mark with around 12mm (1/2 inches) seam allowance. Ensure that you use a quilting needle for the backstitch. As for the stitch, you can use a smaller length stitch of 2 inches for durability.

Step 3: Stitching Between Two Marks

The needle and thread both need to be sturdy enough to carry forward the process. Even if you’re using hand-stitching, ensure that the stitch length is around 4 inches while stitching between the two marks.

You don’t require backstitching here (it’s going to get undone later). Now, all you need to do is press open your seam.

Step 4: Insert Zipper Face (Down)

Insert Zipper Face

The zippers need to be of length in between the marks. Zips get measured by their teeth’s length instead of their tape. So, the tape must be longer than the marks.

Ensure that when you insert the zipper face, it is always positioned down (not up). Shorten the zipper, and for this reason, plastic is the best material. Keep your fabric and zipper in the wrong position over the basted section.

Hold it in the right position with the help of pins. The zipper coils must get directly centered over the seam.

One quick note:

Beginners should always hand-stitch and never ever think of opting for a machine.

Step 5: Remove Basting Stitches

Now is the time when you need to remove the basting stitches. But for this reason, you need to flip your pillow cover to its right side. After removing the basting threads, ensure that you stop and both marks. Never cut the stitches in the ends.

Step 6: Stitching Zipper Ends

The next step that you require the following is to stitch zipper ends together. For this reason, you’d need to unzip your zipper halfway and then sew along the zip ends where the teeth finish.

Always be careful enough to avoid hitting the metal portion under it.

One quick note:

When you start stitching the zipper ends, be careful not to include cushion inserts in the process. This would complicate the sewing method.

Thus, beginners can follow these tips for sewing the zipper with the chosen fabric:

  • Leave your zipper shut; you need to sew one side until it is some inches away from the zipper pull
  • You can backstitch at the start
  • Don’t sew the needle down in your fabric (instead, unzip the zipper)
  • Sew until you hit the ending line of sewing
  • Then, close the zipper
  • Proceed with backstitching and sew down another side
  • Do so until you don’t go further to that zipper pull
  • Stitch it with durable backstitch by hand, and that’s it

Step 7: Folding & Stitching Together

Folding & Stitching Together

In this step, you’d require getting even more cautious about your moves! Now is the time when you have to fold and stitch the zipper. For this reason, position the fabric in half with its right side open.

Upon then, you can stitch the sides. You can take extra care while stitching the cover’s bottom too. Ensure that the fabric doesn’t fray while hand-sewing together.

Also, for greater durability, ensure that you are close to perfection while stitching fabrics together.

Step 8: Ironing and Covering Inserts with Your New Zipped Cushion Covers

Here’s the final step of this post. This is where you’d require giving further details. In this last step, iron the cushion cover by placing it on the right side. After you give it a nice press, you are ready to flaunt your new zipped pillow covers!

Additionally, you can even add your favorite embellishments to the pillow cover once it’s ready to go. Experienced professionals prefer their cushion covers padded.

For this reason, they insert thick and padded covering inside the cushion cover. If you want the same, all you have to do is give it a nice hand-stitching! You’re now good to go!

How to Stitch Pillow Cases Without A Zipper?

Stitch Pillow Cases Without A Zipper

Skipping the zipped part is also possible. If you think your pillow covering doesn’t require an additional zipper, it is entirely your choice. For this reason, you can follow these tips:

1. Use the sewing machine or use your hand, thread, and needle to stitch two fabric pieces together around the edges

2. Keep around 2” on every side of all fourth edges

3. After this, all you need to do is clip the corners

4. As you do it, turn the right-side-out

5. Give it a good press or iron seam flats before inserting the pillow form

6. With a matching thread and the needle, hand-sew its opening closed

Always remember, these pillow coverings aren’t removable, but they still are lovely!

Can You Stitch Pillow Covers With Flanges?

Yes, flanges are impressive borders that you can see around the edges. To stitch these pillow covers, follow these pointers:

  1. Cut the fabric pieces in a specific dimension
  2. Sew edges of two back sides
  3. Turn the sides 1/4th inches two times inside
  4. Stitch in place
  5. Keep the bigger portion right side up and smaller one right side down
  6. Sew them peripherally
  7. Clip corners and turn the cases right-side
  8. Measure a square to the interior of the pillowcase (make it 2” from its edges), and sew

So, this way, stitching your pillow covers becomes exciting and time-saving!



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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