How to Sew a Throw Pillow
Looking for an easy way to mix up your home décor? Switching out throw pillows is a great way to try new colors, textures and patterns all around your home. If you have a particular look in mind, making your own throw pillows can bring your idea to life. Sewing pillows is also a great beginner project! Our video and written instructions will show you how to sew your own throw pillow and how to use an invisible slip stitch to hand sew the pillows closed for a professional finish.
The first step in completing our pillow project is deciding what type of fabric and type of pillow to use. Fortunately, we offer a fantastic variety of home décor and upholstery fabrics that make for fashionable throw pillows. For the how-to video, we use one of our home décor fabrics, Covington Ludlow Mineral Fabric (#120786) in combination with our Supreme Poly‑Fil Soft Touch® 18" x 18" pillow (#120597). In the written instructions, we chose Covington Riad Citrus (#120912). If your old throw pillow form is still in good shape, you’re welcome to use that instead of a new form.
The decorative fabric that we’ve selected has a pattern, so in the video, we will be keeping the pattern centered for our throw pillow. This is done by measuring with a ruler to locate the exact center of the fabric and placing pins to mark the area. By centering the pattern, we can be sure our throw pillow appears symmetrical when displayed. For the step-by-step instructions, we've also chosen to show how to sew a throw pillow that does not have a pattern so it does not need to be centered.
Throw pillows make great accent pieces for any type of furniture and with our fabric selection, you can create endless custom designs. With our help, you’ll soon have a house full of fashionable throw pillows!
How to Sew a Throw Pillow
1. Determine the measurements of your throw pillow.
2. Transfer those measurements to your fabric. We like to cut our fabric to the exact size of the pillow form as we’ve found that this gives us a full, plump finished pillow.
3. Cut out your two panels. We used the Fiskars Comfort Grip Rotary Cutter 60mm #9655. The stainless steel blade and sculpted handle makes cutting a breeze.
4. To make the corners of the pillows fuller, we like to trim a bit of fabric out at each corner. To do this, lay your two fabric panels on top of each other, right sides facing. At one of the outside corners measure 1/2 inch from the corner and make a mark.
5. Now you’ll need to do a little math to determine how much fabric to remove from the corner. Take the width of your pillow and divide it by four. Our pillow is 18 inches wide so 18 divided by 4 equals 4.5 inches.
6. At a diagonal from the edge of the fabric, through your 1/2-inch mark to the opposite side of the fabric, measure your determined distance and strike a line. Cut out this wedge using the rotary cutter Repeat this process along the other side of the corner as well.
7. Fold over your cut corners to use as a template to repeat this process for the remaining corners.
8. Lay your two pillow cover pieces flat on top of each other again, with right sides facing in. Add a few straight pins around the cover to hold the two panels together.
9. Measure eight inches across at the center of the bottom edge of the pillow. Make marks at each end of this measurement. This is where you will stop sewing to leave an opening for inserting the pillow form.
10. Starting at one of your marks, sew around the entire perimeter of the pillow cover using a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Stop sewing when you reach your second mark. Remember to bar tack, sewing in forward and reverse when you start and finish your stitching.
11. Carefully cut off excess fabric at each of the corners.
12. Turn your pillow cover right side out. We recommend using a sewing gauge (#102995) ruler to helpfully turn out each of the pillow corners.
13. Insert the pillow form.
14. To close the opening, fold under the open edge to hem it and pin the two sides together.
15. Using a curved needle, sew an invisible hand stitch (also known as a slip stitch) to secure the pinned edge. To sew this stitch, start by going through the underside of one side of your fabric with your needle and thread. This hides your knot. Run the needle through the right side of your fabric near the top of the hem and out on the same side. Then move directly across to the left side and repeat the process. Carefully work back and forth. Every five or so stitches, pull your thread taut and the stitches will close up tight and disappear into the fabric.
16. Now your pillow is finished! Share your finished products on social media using #SewSailrite and we might feature your photo!
- Calculating Fabric Required – 0:27 min.
- Cutting Plates – 1:39 min.
- Sewing Plates – 4:45 min.
- Inserting Pillow Form – 5:46 min.
- Closing with Invisible Hand Stitch – 7:01 min.
- Materials List– 10:24 min.
- 18" x 18" Pillow Form #122148
- Decor and Upholstery Fabric- We used Covington Ludlow Mineral Fabric - Item #120786
- Thread- We used Coats Dual Duty XP General Purpose Thread White - Item #104860
- Tape Measure 120 Inch - Item # 102986
- Clear Acrylic Ruler 6" x 24" - Item # 102400
- Multiuse Pins 1 1/2" - Item # 102985
- Comfort Grip Rotary Cutter 60mm - Item # 9655
- Self Healing Rotary Cutting Mat 24" x 36" - Item # 120257
- Sailrite® Ultrafeed® LS‑1 BASIC Walking Foot Sewing Machine - Item # 300501
- Gingher® 8" Scissors Right Handed - Item # 19104
- Sewing Gauge Ruler 6" - Item # 102995
- Assorted Curved Hand Sewing Needles - Item # 100100