How to Make a Pillow

You will need:

  • Material-For beginners I recommend cotton. You can use any material, any size, any pattern. The main point is you want two pieces the same size!
  • Thread
  • Needle or sewing machine-I hate hand sewing, so I use a machine at every opportunity. Since this project is so easy, this is a good way to get familiar with your machine!
  • Pins
  • Stuffing-Stuffing can be bought or you can shred old clothes, open up old pillows or stuffed animals, anything that would make a comfy pillow.

Let's get started!

  1. First make sure all your materials are together. If using a machine, make sure it is threaded and has a properly loaded bobbin with enough thread to complete the project. Your sewing machine manual will tell you how to load and thread the bobbin, as well as how to thread the machine.
  2. Take your two pieces of same size fabric and line them up, right sides together. The "right" side of the fabric is always the brighter, pretty side that you want to see on the finished product. The other side is referred to as the "wrong" side. Pin the pieces together. It will make sewing easier if the pins are in a straight line and all facing the same direction.
  3. Start sewing! If going by hand, make sure you use a stitch that is tight and fairly close to the edge. If using a machine, put the fabric under the needle of the machine. I suggest staring about a 1/2" to an 1" away from a corner. You also want the edge of your fabric about a 1/4" to 1/2" from the side of the presser foot. There should be little marks on the plate where the needle goes in. I just pick a line and follow it. This is called your seam allowance. Lower your presser foot and start sewing SLOWLY. After three or four stitches forward, back stitch the same amount. Then go forward again, this will secure your starting stitches to make sure they don't unwind. You'll want to do this with every project, at the beginning and end of sewing. 
  4. Keep going to the corner! Keep your fabric on that straight line, removing the pins as they close to the needle. Sending the pins under the needle could cause damage to the machine or needle. When you get to the corner, you want to try and stop sewing about 1/4" to 1/2" from the corner...however big your seam allowance is on the side you just did. Make sure your needle is in the fabric at its lowest point. If it wasn't there when you stopped, there should be a wheel you can turn on the side of your machine that moves your needle. Raise your presser foot and rotate your project so the side you just sewed is farthest from you and a brand new un-sewn side is ready to be fed through the machine. Line it up on your lines again, lower your presser foot, and start sewing again! No need to back stitch yet!
  5. Do this until you get to the last corner. Back stitch at this last corner. You should be left with a little hole near the corner. Use this hole to flip the pillow right side out. Be gentle so as not to rip your stitches. I use a knitting needle, chopstick or pencil to push out my corners when dong this. I will also run the item along the inside seam, as it helps it lay straight. Now stuff! Use as much or as little stuffing as you like. It's your pillow!
  6. Once the pillow is stuffed to your liking, it's time to sew up the hole. Since I detest hand sewing I usually fold down the fabric so the raw edges are inside the pillow and sew it with the machine. Remember your back stitching! Or you can sew it up by hand. Remember to hide your thread inside the pillow by making your first stitch cam from the inside of the pillow to the outside.
  7. Once your hole is sewn up, you can lay back on that fabulous new pillow and relax. You just hand-made something!
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