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Sew a Custom Pillow in Six Steps - Super Easy!

What You Need:

  • Fabric
  • Stuffing - Poly-fil, styro beads, or feathers
  • Thread
  • Embroidery needle
  • Corner Presser Tool or chopstick
What You Have:
  • Ruler
  • Pins or clips
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron/ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter/mat

YouTube Video Tutorial

Step 1

Cut your fabrics to desired size. It can be any size you want as you will stuff it yourself.

In this photo tutorial I am sewing a very small pillow (slightly larger in the video) to show off a small portion Fabric Scrap Map. I've cut two pieces of fabric to 5.5" x 6.5" (14cm x 16.5cm).

photo of 2 pieces of fabric one is fabric scrap map applique

Step 2

Place your fabrics right sides together and pin or clip. I’ve used two pins to mark an opening for the fill.

Sew starting from one pin all the way around to the other pin. Remember -  backstitch at the beginning and the end. Use a 1/4” seam allowance.

fabric scrap map piece clipped and pinned for sewing

sewing around two pieces of fabric to make a pillow with an opening for stuffing

Step 3

Clip the corners on the diagonal - close but not into the stitch line. This will make nice sharp corners when the pillow cover is turned right side out.

Trim the side seams (except for the side with the opening) down to 1/8”.

 sewn fabric to make a pillow with clipped corners and opening for stuffing

Step 4

Turn right side out. Push corners out with a corner presser tool or a chopstick.

custom pillow cover with a corner presser tool nearby

Step 5

Fold the opening in on itself and press the cover so seams lie flat.

pressed pillow cover with opening folded in on itself

Step 6

Stuff the pillow with stuffing of choice. 

TIP: If you are using brand new Poly-fil -  the key to stuffing without lumps is to tease your handful clumps apart. Stuff the corners first.
custom pillow cover with poly-fil stuffing nearby

custom pillow cover filled with stuffing

Ladder Stitch

Step 1

Once pillow is stuffed - use the ladder stitch to close the opening.


Pick a thread that matches your fabric. I’m using two strands of embroidery floss so it can be seen in the photos. Use a small, sharp embroidery needle. Tie a knot at the bottom of your threads.


Insert the threaded needle inside the opening between the fold of one side of the fabric behind the last couple sewn stitches. Pull the thread through.

ladder stitch threaded needle in one side

Step 2

Cross the seam line to the fabric on the other side and put the needle through that fold and pick up a stitch 1/8” or so. Pull the thread through.

ladder stitch making the rung of the ladder

Step 3

Go directly back across the seam (the ladder rung), put the needle in and pick up another 1/8” on the opposite side. Pull through.


Continue back and forth along the opening. As you pull the thread taught, the stitches will not be seen.

showing the rungs of the ladder stitch before pulling taut

Step 4

At the end of the opening pull the thread through to close the gap. Make a knot by picking a tiny bit of fabric up next to the thread. Make a loop and pull the needle through the loop and then pull it through again to make a double knot.

making a knot at the end of ladder stitch

Step 5

Put the needle into the seam and bring the needle out some distance from the seam and cut the thread thus burying the tail of thread inside the pillow.

finish ladder stitch by burying the tail inside the pillow

Finished - Sew, So Cute!!!

 finished custom pillow with eastern states fabric applique

 

 

 

 

 


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