So…A Needle Pulling Thread…

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~How to Sew a Pillow~


No, it’s not the Sound of Music…we’re going to learn how to sew a pillow.

I began sewing about 20 years ago, but I wanted to refresh and refine my skills. I knew that there were probably some “better ways to do things.” So, I signed up for a Sit N Sew class at my local Hancock’s Fabric store.

The class is really cool because each person can choose their own project. Therefore, you can choose projects that need certain skills that you may want to learn or improve on.

I decided to make a pillow with trim. I made several throw pillows this summer, but I really felt like “my way” was the wrong way. Guess what?…I was right!

How to Sew a Pillow with Trim

Now, I am by no means a professional seamstress, but I will share what I learned in class on making a pillow with trim.

This is what I learned in class:

First, if you are making an 18 x 18 pillow, then cut the two squares of fabric 18 x 18. Doing this will create a pillow that completely fills out the corners, etc. If you prefer a “looser” pillow, then I would suggest cutting the squares 1-2 inch larger than the desired size. For example, if you are using an 18 x 18 pillow form, then cut the fabric 19 x 19 or 20 x 20. Personally, if the pillow form is Down, then I would do the exact size, because Down is so soft and “moveable.” If the form is a fiberfill, then I would add an inch to the dimensions. Fiberfill pillow forms are much firmer and will create a very “tight” pillow. I think it’s personal preference. As for myself, I do not like a loose, “saggy” pillow.

Of course, you will not have a huge seam allowance, so keep that in mind.

I chose this red and creme oriental print. It was 100% cotton fabric. For my 18 x 18 pillow, I only needed 1⁄2 a yard. ;

Whenever I’ve made pillows with trim in the past, I would pin the fabric (right sides together) with the trim in between. In class I learned that it’s best to sew the trim to one piece of the fabric first. Then pin the second piece of fabric (right sides together) to the first piece. ;Since I adding trim, I used the zipper foot on my machine. The zipper foot ran right alongside the trim. You must get as close to the trim as possible.


I was also told that it’s best to start in the middle, not at a corner. By doing that, the corners are identical and continuous. You cross the ends of the trim, which will create a look of “joining” the ends, once the pillow is finished. The ends will be inside the pillow.

how to sew a pillow

Notice the stitching…use that as a guide when sewing the two pieces together. Simply stitch along that line.


Sew three complete sides and on the fourth side you need to leave about an 8-10 inch opening in the middle. Turn the pillow cover inside out and stuff the pillow form inside. You will stitch the opening closed by hand, using a blind stitch.


A blind stitch or invisible stitch, is started by entering from the inside of the pillow cover, grabbing a small amount of fabric or trim. Since I’m right-handed, I began by making my first stitch on the piece of fabric on my left side. Then you go straight over to the right side of fabric and the “fold,” using it almost like a tunnel, going up and out.


Then, go straight back over to the left side again and grab a small amount of fabric and then repeat the previous step. This is what the spacing and the stitches should look like.

how to sew a pillow

As you go, pull the stitches taut. The opening will close up and the stitches will be invisible.

Then you will have a nice, neat seam.


The finished project…


This pillow was faster and easier to make than the ones I labored over this summer. When you do something the correct way, it’s so much easier. Taking the sewing class was such a positive experience for me and I’m so glad that I refined my skills and learned something new.

Learning some new tricks had me singing…”Do-Ra-Mi-Fa-So-La-Ti-Do…”

Sorry that the pictures are not the greatest…it’s not easy trying to sew a pillow and take pics at the same time! 


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