The Dos and Don’ts of Sewing Your Own Pillows (Video)

Steven and Chris

Pillows are an easy DIY project. You just sew four sides, right? Um, not so fast! There are a few things you need to do properly to ensure the pillows you sew from scratch are worthy of display.

I shared some tips with Steven and Chris for sewing the perfect pillow:

  • What should the pillow be stuffed with?
  • What size zipper should you choose when sewing a pillow?
  • How to get softly rounded edges on your four pillow corners?

Watch here…

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Host, Steven Sabados:
Everyone please say hello to the lovely Denise Wild.

Host, Chris Hyndman:
Hi, sweetheart.

Denise Wild:
Hi.

Steven:
Welcome, sweetheart.

Denise:
Thank you for having me. Thank you.

Chris:
Always, always, always love to have you here.

Denise:
Thank you very much.

Steven:
We were talking about this during your taped piece, and going to the fabric store, because we used to go a lot.

Chris:
Oh, did we ever. We spent many a day.

Denise:
Yeah.

Steven:
And we were saying, you know, don’t go hungry, because you’re going to be there for hours.

Denise:
Yeah, make sure–

Chris:
Don’t go thirsty. Get a tea and lunch before.

Denise:
Beforehand, so you can carry it around.

Chris:
And this is the big one; don’t go hung-over! It is the worse place to be if you’re hung-over. There’s just so much.

Steven:
So much.

Denise:
Yeah.

Chris:
I mean, really have a plan before you go in, right?

Denise:
Yes, definitely, have a plan–

Chris:
Good for you.

Denise:
I like to take sticky notes too, so when I have a bolt of fabric– when I find the bolt of fabric that I like, I write on the sticky note how much fabric I need.

Steven:
Yeah.

Denise:
Then I can take off and find another bolt, and that way the lady who’s cutting will already–

Steven:
Yes.

Chris:
And the big one too– the other thing too I wanted to mention – you know, sometimes they’ll actually roll those fabric out for you and they’ll cut them when you give them the measurement that you want.

Denise:
Yes.

Chris:
But they’re not going to look to see if there’s any flaws, so–

Denise:
Exactly.

Chris:
—so stay there with them, right?

Steven:
Yes, that’s right.

Denise:
Exactly.

Chris:
Watch them as they’re rolling it out–

Denise:
You have to.

Chris:
—because they’re just going to roll it and then cut it and you’re going to get home–

Denise:
Yeah.

Chris:
—and there’s going to be flaws in it.

Denise:
Yeah.

Chris:
And once it’s cut, it’s yours.

Denise:
So–

Steven:
But let’s talk about pillows. This is great, because you’ve got some great dos and don’ts.

Denise:
I do. I have most don’ts. And with some examples, so that you know what you should be doing.

Chris:
Yep.

Denise:
So the very first thing is, when you’re making a pillow, you want to start with a pillow form.

Steven:
Um, hum.

Denise:
You don’t want to fill it with batting, otherwise you’re going to have a lumpy bumpy pillow just like this one.

Chris:
And because it is the most inexpensive, right? The filling, but this is not, but it–

Denise:
You would think that you could stuff it in and it would be fine, but it’s not–

Chris:
Yeah.

Denise:
—it won’t work. It’ll lose its shape–

Steven:
Right.

Denise:
—and then it will just be all bunchy and you won’t be happy with it.

Steven:
This is great for crafts and for Christmas–

Chris:
Right.

Denise:

Yeah.

Steven:
—but for pillows, no, because–

Chris:
No.

Denise:
Definitely, definitely. Now let me also walk you through what to do when you’re buying a zipper. You want to make sure that you use the right size. So you don’t want to have a zipper that’s too short, like this one here–

Chris:
Right.

Denise:
—otherwise you’ll have a hard time putting your pillow form inside.

Steven:
Look at that.

Chris:
Right here, right?

Steven:
Yeah.

Denise:
Exactly. You don’t want it too long, also, otherwise your seam will be very wavy. So you want to find just the right size. Maybe an inch or two, a bit shorter than the size of your pillow.

Chris:
Right. So you want the edges to be a little bit like this?

Denise:
That’s the perfect one.

Chris:
And then that’s all– and then just going across the whole thing.

Denise:
Yeah.

Chris:
So it slides in perfect.

Denise:
Yeah, exactly. Now let me show you a little trick for– I know, one of Steven’s pet peeves–

Steven:
My biggest pet peeve ever. As soon as you brought this in I’m like, ‘Yes.’ And this is just what’s always going to happen–

Denise:
Yes.

Chris:
Bunny ears.

Steven:
Can you guys see here? See how those corners get that elongated kind of weird rabbit ear?

Chris:
Yeah.

Denise:
Yeah, you get–

Steven:
Right?

Denise:
—you get bunny ears on your pillow, and when you’re cutting out your fabric, there’s an easy way to prevent that when you’re sewing them. So I’ve done a little diagram, here; instead of cutting out your corners at ninety degrees–

Chris:
Right.

Denise:
—you want to angle the corners in and that will avoid giving you the bunny ears on your–

Chris:
Right.

Denise:
—pillow.

Steven:
It gives you a soft, rounder–

Denise:
Exactly.

Steven:
—or like a rounded corner more so then.

Denise:
Exactly.

Steven:
Okay.

Denise:
It doesn’t poke out.

Chris:
So it’s a gradual slope in.

Denise:
Exactly. It doesn’t poke out into a point.

Steven:
I didn’t know that. I didn’t know that. Okay.

Denise:
Yeah.

Chris:
What are your best– your best tips going to a fabric store? Your best– what’s the biggest thing you– the most important thing?

Denise:
Ask for help.

Chris:
There you go.

Denise:
Definitely ask for help. You know, the people who work there know what’s going on and if you are a little bit lost, all you have to do is ask.

Steven:
Absolutely.

Denise:
Yeah.

Chris:
Well, thank you so much for being with us today.

Steven:
Thank you, Denise.

Denise:
Thank you.

Chris:
Great stuff. Great dos and don’ts.

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