Shabby Chic Pillow – Corded Edging and Zip Closure

_KLB0229This pillow is a little different, and also a bit trickier to construct.  The sample pillow measures 15″x22″ and is trimmed with a thick cord or piping which you make by covering a 1/2″ cord found in the upholstery trim area of your fabric store.  Measure the circumference of your pillow to determine the amount you will need.  example:  15″ + 22″ x 2 = 74″ plus a couple of inches.  It’s always better to have too much rather than not enough.  To cover the cord you will need a piece of fabric of the same length and     2 1/2″ wide.  You could also use the extra wide bias tape made for binding quilts, as long as it is at least 2 1/2″ wide when opened out.

For this pillow 1 yard of fabric, and one 18″ zipper, and matching thread.  The pillow form for this pillow comes from IKEA and measures 15″ x 22″.

Begin by preparing the fabric, measure and cut 1 piece of fabric for the pillow front which is equal to the pillow form dimensions.

For the back you will need to cut 2 pieces adding 4″ to make the folds at one end of each piece for the overlap.

2" fold

2″ fold

Step 1:  Fold over one edge of each back section 2″, press, the fold again 2″






Pin zipper, right side down, along inside edge of fold.

Pin zipper, right side down, along inside edge of fold.

Pin the zipper, with right side down, to the inner edge of the fold.  The center of the zipper will be 1″ from the outer edge of the fold.  Using a zipper foot attachment, sew the zipper stitching 1/4″ from edge.




I used dark thread to make it easier to see the stitching lines.

_KLB0243To sew the other half of the zipper to the other half of the back, lay the folded edge of the fabric along the zippers teeth, as shown.  Folding the first fold out of the way and pinning the folded edge close to the zipper.  Sew close to the edge of the fold, leaving an equal amount of zipper tape showing as on the first side.



_KLB0248This is how it will look with the zipper closed. The back of the pillow is complete.  Lay the pillow front and back right sides facing, and center the zipper, trim away any excess fabric from so both front and back are the same size.  Unzip the zipper part way so you will be able to turn the cover right side out when the sewing is completed.


Sew as close as possible to the cord.

Sew as close as possible to the cord.

Now to make the covered cord.  Measure the circumference of the pillow, add all 4 sides + 2″.  Cut the contrasting fabric to length and 2 1/2″ wide.  Fold the fabric over the cord and using the zipper foot, sew as close as possible to the enclosed cord for the entire length.




CORDED PILLOW_192Pin the covered cord along the outer edge of the pillow back and baste into place matching seam allowance.  Sew the ends of the cord together by hand,  and cover with fabric folding under the end of the fabric.





Fit the cord neatly around the fabric edge.



CORDED PILLOW_194Lay on the pillow front, right sides facing, to the pillow back and pin or clip.

It will be easier and tidier to sew these together by hand.

Sew as close as possible to the cord, using small stitches.

To sew by machine, use a zipper foot and get the needle as close as possible to the cord, while keeping the seam edges even.  Take a couple of diagonal stitches at the corners.  You may need to clip into the fabric edge of the cord to make it easier to get around the corner.

When this step is finished, the pillow is complete.   Just turn it right side out, and give it a pressing before inserting the pillow form.


I would love to see your pillows.  Let me know how they come out.




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