How To Sew A Pillow Sham?

Sewing a pillow sham is a straightforward project that can breathe new life into your bedroom decor. To create a pillow sham, you’ll need fabric, a sewing machine, thread, scissors, pins, and an iron. The basic steps involve cutting your fabric to the desired size, sewing the pieces together with right sides facing each other, leaving an opening to insert the pillow, and then sewing the opening closed. Optionally, you can add flanges, trim, or a closure method like envelope backs or buttons for a more finished look. Let’s dive deeper into the process to create a beautiful pillow sham that adds a touch of personal style to your bedding ensemble.

Materials and Preparation

Choosing the Right Fabric

The fabric you choose for your pillow sham can transform the look and feel of your bedroom. Natural fabrics like cotton, linen, or silk provide comfort and ease of cleaning, while more luxurious fabrics like velvet or brocade can add a touch of elegance. Ensure that you pick a fabric that complements your room’s color scheme and design.

Gathering Sewing Supplies

Once you have selected your fabric, gather the following supplies:
– Fabric according to the size of your pillow plus extra for seam allowances and flanges if desired
– Measuring tape
– Sewing machine
– Coordinating thread
– Fabric scissors
– Pins or fabric clips
– Iron and ironing board
– Optional: trim, ribbon, or buttons for embellishments

Cutting the Fabric

Measuring and Marking

Before cutting your fabric, measure your pillow sham size. Standard-size pillow shams are typically 26×20 inches, but you may want to adjust the size to fit your pillow insert snugly. Add an extra inch to each side (1/2 inch for the seam allowance and the remaining for the flange if desired). Mark out the dimensions directly onto your chosen fabric or use pattern paper to create a template.

Creating the Back Panels

For the back of the pillow sham, you’ll need to create an overlap or closure. If you’re making an envelope back, cut two pieces of fabric, one slightly longer than the other, to allow for the pillow insert to be added or removed easily. The longer piece should be approximately 2/3 the height of the sham, while the shorter piece should be around 1/2 the height. Overlap them to match the height of the front piece.

Sewing the Pieces Together

Securing the Edges

Hem the overlapping edges of the back panels by folding the fabric under 1/2 inch, pressing it with an iron, and then folding under another 1/2 inch. Sew along the folded edges. This creates a neat edge that will be part of the envelope closure.

Assembling the Sham

Place the front piece of the sham right side up. Lay the two back pieces on top, right sides down, lining up the edges so that the hemmed edges overlap in the center. Pin the layers around the perimeter to secure them in place.

Stitching the Sham

Using a straight stitch on your sewing machine, sew around the perimeter of the sham with a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of the sewing to secure your work.

Adding Embellishments and Finishing Touches

If you want to add any trims, flanges, or decorative details, it should be done between the front and back pieces before sewing them together. Pin these in place so that they will be captured in the seam allowance.

Turning and Finishing the Sham

Turning the Sham Right Side Out

After sewing the perimeter, trim any excess fabric, especially at the corners, to reduce bulk. Carefully turn the pillow sham right side out through the opening in the back panels. Use a point turner or a blunt object like a chopstick to push out the corners.

Topstitching (Optional)

For a more defined edge or if you have added a flange, you may choose to topstitch around the perimeter of the sham. This can be done close to the edge or at a set distance to create a border effect.

Pressing Your Pillow Sham

Use an iron to press the edges, making sure that the sham lies flat and has crisp corners. This will give your pillow sham a professional and refined appearance.

Finishing Thoughts

With your newly sewn pillow sham, you’ve taken a step toward customizing your bedroom and showcasing your sewing skills. Not only does a handmade pillow sham add a unique touch to your space, but it also allows you to select fabrics and designs that reflect your personal taste. Whether you choose to keep it simple or adorn your sham with trims and buttons, the beauty of this DIY project is that you can make it truly your own. Now, your pillow sham is ready to be displayed proudly and to provide comfort and style as you relax and unwind in your personal haven.


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