zip it pillow

Sewing skills project 6: Zip It Pillow


Zip It Pillow from School of Sewing by Shea Henderson

Project features:

  • binding
  • covered zipper
  • soft interfacing
  • removable and washable cover
  • + hand-stitched binding

Process notes

The instructions called for an 18″ square pillow form, and I made my own using a 36″ x 18″ piece of muslin, serged on two sides, turned right side out, then stuffed with about 12 oz of polyester Poly-Fil, and serged closed.


  • Robert Kaufman Railroad Denim Fine Stripe in Indigo

Equipment and settings:

  • for attaching zipper, rested the foot on the zipper teeth and aligned the edge of the tape with the edge of the foot
  • zipper foot: 2.5/2.5 for right side of foot, 4.0/2.5 for left side of foot
  • to stitch front and back pieces together, used walking foot (love this thing!!) with a foot pressure of 2


It was super easy to make a pillow form from scratch, and I’d definitely do it again. With the cost of the muslin, it was under $3 to make the form, which is a fraction of what I saw them priced at in the store.

I really like the structure the fusible fleece adds to the fabric. It was more challenging to fuse smoothly than the lightweight non-woven or woven styles, but eventually I got it smoothed out.

Sewing in the covered zipper went fairly well, but the flap fabric shifted some while stitching it down. Next time I’ll try to align and pin better so it stays smoother. This zipper did turn out with more even stitches than the Zipper Pouch, so that felt good.

zip it pillow zipper detail
Rust-colored zipper to match the living room furniture
zip it pillow hand stitching detail
The hand stitching was much smoother than my previous attempts on other projects

When I read that we’d be hand stitching the binding using the ladder stitch on the back side, I have to admit I was kind of dreading it. But once I got rolling with it, it actually became a nice, soothing thing to do. It was a little disappointing to reach the end! It took me around 4 hours to complete the hand stitching, and it was fun to see the finished results. This is the best explanation of this stitch that I’ve seen so far, although I struggled with the corners — will work to improve them on the next pillow.

There was a bit of a whoopsie when I was trimming the binding overlap: instead of cutting just one of the loose ends to make the 2 1/4″ overlap, I cut through both ends. This left me with no room for joining the two ends of the binding. So I had to sew one cut piece back on, using the 45° angle join, then trim it properly, and finally sew the final joint. Essentially it left me with an extra binding joint seam very near the final one, which isn’t a huge deal but something to take more care with next time.