pillows 2Create a variety of simple pillows using outdoor fabrics for a swing, bench or chair. Select outdoor fabrics that are sun and weather resistant. Sew with Coats Outdoor thread. A knife edge pillow is the simplest style of pillow.  You may use these instructions to sew the pillow any size or shape you desire.

 

Simple square- Front and back the same

Simple square- Front and back the same

Designed by Karen Schaphorst

Supplies
Outdoor fabric ½ yard to 3/4 yd depending on size of pillow
Pillow form
Coats Outdoor thread
Dual Duty XP All-purpose thread
Pillow form

Optional: Coats Polyester All-purpose zipper

 

Measuring the Pillow form.
Measure the pillow form across the center front from edge to edge. For a square or rectangular pillow measure both the length and wide. For a round pillow measure across the diameter.

Cutting the Fabric

Pillow Front: Add a total of 1” to the length and width measurements for 1/2” seam allowances on all sides. If your pillow top has a design, be sure to trim it to size so that the design is centered.

Pillow Back: The size to cut the back depends on whether or not a zipper is installed in the center back:

For no zipper, add a total of 1“ to the length and width measurements. Cut one pillow back.
For a zipper in the center back: Divide the width measurement in half, then add a total of 1” to the length and width or 1/2” to all sides. Cut two pillow back pieces.
For an envelope pillow: Cut 2 backs the same size as the front. Fold under approximately 1/3 of the width on both pieces.

Assemble the Pillow
Pillow back with no Zipper:
1. Pin the front and back pillow pieces right sides together.
2. Stitch around the pillow, 1/2” from raw edge, leaving an opening to insert the pillow form. On a square or rectangle pillow, start and stop on the bottom, 2” from the side edges. On a round pillow leave approximately one-third of the pillow open.
3. Trim corners and seam allowance, turn to the right side. Insert pillow form
4. Turn under the raw edges at the opening. Hand-sew the opening closed using a blind stitch.
Pillow with center Zipper:
Use a zipper 1” to 2” shorter than the pillow back pieces; shorten the zipper if necessary.
1. Place the back pieces wrong side up on the ironing board. At the center back, press under the seam allowance, ½” on what will be the left or underlap and 5/8” on the right or overlap side.
2. Place the underlap side on the zipper tape with the fold close to the teeth and with the zipper bottom stop 5/8” from the edge; pin in place.
3. Place the zipper foot on the sewing machine. Stitch the pillow section to the zipper tape close to the fold.
4. Lay the other side of the pillow back on the zipper with the fold just covering the stitching. Pin in place. Topstitch 3/8” from fold, edge to edge.
5. Open the zipper. Pin the pillow front and back, right sides together. Stitch around the pillow 1/2” form the raw edge.
6. Trim corners and seam allowance. Turn pillow right side out. Insert pillow form through open zipper.
Pillow with envelope back:
1. Fold under 1/3 of the width of each back piece. Place one of the backs right side of the fabric facing up on a flat surface. Lay the other back on top, right side up so that the folded edges overlap. Machine baste the overlapped area in the seal allowance.
2. Pin the backs and the Pillow front, right sides together. Stitch around the pillow using a ½” seam allowance pivoting at corners.
3. Trim corners and seam allowance. Turn pillow right side out. Insert pillow form through opening in the back.
Variations

Topstitched Flange Pillow

Flanged Pillow

Pillow with Topstitched Flange:
1. Measure pillow form. Add 4” to the dimensions of the front and back pillow pieces. Cut front.
2. Cut 2 backs. Create an envelope back.  Fold under 1/3 of the width of each back piece. Place one of the backs right side of the fabric facing up on a flat surface. Lay the other back on top, right side up so that the folded edges overlap. Machine baste the overlapped area in the seal allowance and 2 inches at the ends of each side. (This will be secured later by topstitching.)
3. Sew Pillow back and front, right sides together, trim corners. Turn the pillow to the right side and press.
4. With the pillow on a flat surface and using a removable marking pen, mark a square (or rectangle) in the center matching the dimensions of your pillow form. On the pillow back, baste the overlapped section together.
5. Thread the machine with Coats Outdoor thread. Stitch on the marking. Leave the thread ends. Repeat ¼” from first row until the outer edge is reached. Thread the thread ends through a hand needle and pull to the inside.

Rectangular Pillow

Rectangular Pillow

Rectangular Pillow with front panel:
1. Measure pillow form. Cut back(s) by method of choice. For the front, divide the width of the rectangle by four.  The width of the center panels will be 2x this number plus 1”. The two sides will be 1x this number plus 1 ”. For example for a pillow 20” wide, the center panel will be 11” wide and the sides will be 6” wide. The length will be the pillow form measurement plus 1″.
2. Cut two side panels from one of the fabrics and a center panel from a coordinating fabric. Pin a side panel to both short ends of the center panel. Sew side panels to center using a ½” seam. Press seam to one side.
3. Thread machine with contrasting color of Coats Outdoor thread and topstitch ¼” from seam on side panel.
4. Prepare pillow back as desired. Pin the back and the pillow front, right sides together. Stitch around the pillow using a ½” seam allowance pivoting at corners.
5. Trim corners and seam allowance. Turn pillow right side out. Insert pillow form.

Skill level: Easy

About the Author


2 Responses to 3 ways to Sew Outdoor Pillows
  1. Pretty pillows, thanks for the tutorials…will have to check out your outdoor thread (didn’t know there was such a thing!!)

  2. Thank you for the online Sewing Secrets: 3 Ways to Sew Outdoor Pillows patterns that I received via email today 5/8/15. Directions are very easy to follow, pictures were helpful, and now I have three different pillow patterns all in four pages/ Phyllis Jones


[top]

Leave a Reply