DIY: Flanged Pillow Cover with Invisible Zipper

flanged pillow cover

I’m baaaaack! Old me with a new look for the site, hope you like it!

I’ve been wanting to do some upgrade in my living room for quite a while now, and finally had the stars perfectly aligned to give me the right spare time+supplies+pillow forms.
You know sewing projects demand planning way before you even pick up a needle.

“Casually thrown TV blanket”

So, flange – there’s a new word for me. I though they were called panels 😀
Wanted the pillows to be washable, and couldn’t find a tutorial with an invisible zipper online.
Had no choice but to plan my own pattern.

Supplies. Many invisibilities.

Supplies include:

  • Pillow form –got mine from IKEA,  INNER Inner cushion, white in 65x65cm (26×26″)
  • Decor fabric – To make a plump pillow, make the width enough to fit two pieces the size of the pillow form +  10cm (4″).
    For me it was 150cm (60″) long, because the fabric is 137cm (54″) wide.
  • Matching thread
  • Needle matching your fabric weight – mine is a Schmetz 90/140
  • Something to help you cut your fabric
  • Invisible zipper – with the length of your pillow form minus 5cm (2″)
  • Invisible zipper foot (not a must but it makes your life easier)
  • Regular zipper foot – optional
  • Invisible marker
Overlapping panels

Panels, or flanges – I cut a lot of ’em. 4 for each side, i.e. 8 per pillow.
Decided to make them 4cm (1.6″) long , and 70cm wide (27.5″) – including 1cm seam allowances from each side.
My pattern wasn’t even, so I needed to cut two panels length-wise and two panels width-wise for each side, just to make it more visually pleasant.
Please avoid this and get an even pattern.

Cornerlicious. Sorry for the glare, it was late and lamp-lit.

For every pair of matching front and back panels, sew them right sides together with 1cm seam allowance.
Then zigzag along the edge to make those frays stay in place and survive every wash you throw its way.

Take every pair you made with its corner buddy, and sew them right sides together to form a corner starting from the center and going 4cm from the edge.
Reinforce the stitch to make the corner nice and strong. Clip close to the point, to remove as much bulk as possible.

This is so satisfying – invert the point and voilá, and you’re a proud parent of a corner. Do so for all four corners.


Match the central piece pattern to the frame you’ve just sewn. Invert them, pin in place, try to match the corners as much as possible.
Sew them right sides together, 1cm seam allowance + zigzag.
To handle joining the corners – sew from each side until you meet the corner diagonal stitch line.
CAREFUL CAREFUL CAREFUL to sew only the two pieces and not other fabric, unless you’re ready to face the terrible seam ripper.

Remember to leave 4th part OPEN!

Do the same for the other central piece on the other side, be careful to leave one side open – this is where the invisible zipper will be.
Don’t forget to give it a good zig and a zag all around, including the open parts.
Zigzaging them now will be a lot more easy than doing it after sewing the zipper.


Remember the open part from before? If the answer is no you’re in big trouble 🙂
Mark the middle of it on both the central and panel pieces. Then measure the middle of the zipper and mark it on both sides as well.

The seam needs to be just as it would with the seam allowance. So measure 1cm away from the edge.
Align the markings so the zipper handle is facing towards the right side of the fabric – away from you. Pin the zipper in place.

Sew starting where the zipper teeth begin. Let the tail wiggle.
You can use an invisible zipper foot, but it’s not a must, you can also iron the zipper open if you don’t have this particular foot.

Once you reached the point where the zipper foot can go past, close the zipper and sew with a regular zipper foot as close as possible to the teeth.
Careful not to sew over them because it will interrupt the zipper from zipping.

Sew a strong vertical stitch at the edges of the zipper to keep the zipper durable.
Open the zipper and continue to sew the rest of panel and central piece together (from zipper tail to corner) with the usual 1cm seam allowance.


We’re almost done!

Whip out the ironing board, and press the seams around the central piece to face outwards.
Around the zipper press the seam open.

Turn everything right sides out, and this is the most important part – align the seam of the front and back together. Keeping the allowances you just pressed to still be facing outwards.
Using a zipper foot, or every other foot you feel comfortable doing a stitch-in-the-ditch, do a… stitch-in-a-ditch!
Yup, all around, including the outer half of the zipper.

I recommend doing a few back-stitches at the corner pivots so it will be extra sturdy.

I spent 20 minutes on this part to make it as aligned as possible, and still it turned out like that.

All that’s left is to:

  1. Stuff
  2. Fluff
  3. Take a nap on your nice new comfy pillow! 🙂

Also you can spend your time playing a new game – finding the invisible zipper. It’s very hidden.
Sometimes it takes me about 30 seconds, no joke.

Or if you want, you can make another one to match.

Take care and ’till next time,


4 thoughts on “DIY: Flanged Pillow Cover with Invisible Zipper

  1. Is there any reason I can’t just fold flange pieces instead of having 2 halves sewn together? Getting ready to use your instructions!
    Thank you!


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