Hi everyone! I'm Jann from Newton Custom Interiors. I LOVE to make pillows, and today I'm excited to share with you how to make a flanged pillow. This is a great pillow! The flange adds some interest to this type of pillow, and I love adding cording around the outside edge. You can make a small version of this pillow to put on a sofa or chair, or you can make a larger version for a bed.
Before I get started with the tutorial, I want to mention a pet peeve of mine about flanged pillows. I know you've all seen this. The flanged pillow with the floppy corners, which is the big problem with most store-bought flanged shams.
I like to beef up my flanged pillows, so that the corners don't droop or flop. Below are some pillows I made for a client's guest bedroom. Notice how the corners stand up nicely.
That's what is so great about making your own pillows, you can add in details that will make your pillows really custom. In this tutorial, I'll give you step-by-step instructions for making your flanged pillows with no floppy corners, and I'll also show you how to add cording around the flanges. Cording adds an extra pop of color.
How To Make A Flanged Pillow With Cording
For this pillow, I used a 18″ x 14″ pillow form, and made my flanges at 1 1/2″. You can make your pillow whatever size you want, maybe a bed- size pillow with larger flanges. Just adjust your measurements accordingly.
18″ x 14″ pillow form
3/4 yard of fabric for pillow
1 yard of fabric for cording (to make it stand out, pick a solid fabric that coordinates with your pillow fabric)
1/2 yard of lining
1/2 yard of batting
Thread matched to fabric
1. Cut your front piece of fabric 22″ wide x 18″ long.
2. Cut 2 pieces for the back of pillow. The first piece needs to be cut at 22″ wide x 15 3/4″ long, and the second at 22″ wide and 3 3/4″ long.
3. First we're going to work on the back of the pillow. Serge the 2 edges of the back pieces where the zipper will be inserted, or you can zig-zag along the edges to keep the fabric from fraying. (You could also use pinking shears on the two edges if you don't have a serger.)
4. Sew the two back pieces, right sides together, using a 3/4″ seam allowance. Use a small stitch for the first 3 1/2″ and the last 3 1/2″, and a long stitch for the middle. This is where the zipper will be sewn in, and the long stitches will be taken out later.
5. Sew the zipper into the seam. I have done a short video showing how to insert a zipper in this type of pillow. I've also written out the instructions below the video.
Directions for inserting zipper –
a. You will have two pieces of fabric, or in the case of the neckroll pillow, one piece of fabric. Serge the two edges that you will be seaming together for the zipper. This will keep the fabric from fraying when the zipper is opened and closed.
b. With right sides together, sew a seam 3/4″ away from the serged edges. The first and last couple of inches of the seam will be sewn with a medium sized stitch, and the middle section will be a long stitch. (These long stitches will be taken out later.)
c. Your zipper length should be slightly larger than the zipper opening. For instance, if the zipper opening needs to be 14″, then I would use a zipper that was 15″ or 16″ long.
d. Lay your zipper face side down and centered on the seam. The top and bottom edges of the zipper should overlap slightly, 1/2″ or so, into the medium seam stitching.
e. Using a zipper foot, start sewing to the left of the top of the zipper teeth. Continue sewing down the left side of the zipper teeth.
f. At the bottom of the zipper, turn and sew across the bottom edge.
g. Turn again and sew up the other side of the zipper.
h. When you reach the top, turn again and sew across the top edge.
i. Take out the long stitches in your seam, so that the zipper can be opened and closed. Remove any loose threads.
Here's a photo of the front and back sides after the zipper has been sewn in.
6. Next we're going to work on the front of the pillow.
To make the cording and apply it to the pillow front-
a. Fold fabric so that selvage edge is lined up with the cut edge, with right sides together. This will make a fold on the bias. (If you can cut the cording strips on the bias, then the cording will stretch around the corners of the pillow better.)
b. Cut the folded edge open.
c. Cut strips of fabric that will go around you cording plus 1″ for the seam allowances. For my 1/4″ cording, I cut the strips at 1 5/8″ wide.
d. For the length of your cording strips, cut out enough strips to go around the outside edge of the pillow plus 5″ for extra. For this pillow I needed about 85″ of cording.
e. Pin your strips of cording together – right sides together. The strips will be at 90 degree angles from each other. Sew the strips together using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
f. Wrap your long strip of cording fabric around the cording, and sew using a zipper foot. Staying close to the cording.
g. Sew the cording around the outside edge of the front of the pillow – starting on the bottom edge of the pillow. Clipping the cording at the corners.
h. Join the ends of the cording together by clipping the cord on both ends so that it meets evenly. Cut the fabric on one of the ends too. On the other end, turn the fabric under and overlap the other end. Sew the cording to the pillow fabric.
7. Sew the front to the back, right sides together, using a 1/2″ seam allowance. Clip the corners and turn right side out.
8. Press seams.
9. Cut both the batting and the lining at 20 1/2″ wide x 16 1/2″ long. This is what you'll use to beef up the pillow so that the corners don't droop.
10. Fold the batting in half and insert into the pillow cover.
11. Do the same for the lining. Laying it on top of the batting.
12. Close the zipper, and pin all layers of the pillow together in several places, to keep all of the layers from shifting.
13. Sew the flange stitch line 1 3/4″ away from the outer edges of the pillow cover. (The flange is 1 1/2″ and adding in the 1/4″ cording equals 1 3/4″)
14. Insert the pillow form into the cover, and close the zipper.
I hoped you've enjoyed this tutorial for how to make a flanged pillow. Do you have a favorite type of pillow that you like to make?
If you like this style of flanged pillow, you'll like this flanged pillow with an overlay!
Want to learn more about creating your own beautiful custom pillows and bedding? Jann has a class on Craftsy to teach you just that. You won't regret it – check out my review of the class here.