Zig Zag Pillow Tutorial

I am so excited to be here at U Create! Kari’s site is so full of wonderful ideas and talented people, it is an honor to join the fun.
Make it Do is all about being resourceful. “Do what you can with what you have” is my motto. I’m always on the lookout for projects that are easy and beautiful… and don’t cost a lot.
Not long ago, I was strolling through Anthropologie online and noticed a wonderful zig zag pillow that really got my wheels turning. The zig zags were so fresh: geometric and yet meandering. I knew I could make something similar that would be a great fit to my home… and much cheaper than the $68 Anthropologie price tag. My version of their pillow is softer and less modern… and I love how it turned out. I especially love the technique I figured out for making the zig zags. It would be easy to adapt this tutorial to embellish a skirt, dish towel, or table runner.
Here’s what you’re going to need to make this Zig Zag Pillow:
    • A pillow form (mine measured 16″ x 26″)
    • Fabric the same size as pillow form for the front (in my case 16″ x 26″) You might worry this is too small–that I’m not leaving room for seam allowances. I like my pillows to be firm, so I cut my fabric exactly the same size as the form. Once I’ve sewn my fabric with a 1/2 seam allowance, it makes the casing 1″ smaller than the form. When the form is placed inside the casing there is no sagginess… and who likes sagginess? Not me! I used a linen fabric for the texture.
    • Fabric for the back. Since I want to make my casing to be removable and washable, I used two 16″ x 17″ pieces. This allows for 2″ seams and a 4″ overlap. My fabric choice was Amy Bulter’s Love Memento.
    • You will need fabric for the zig zags 3″ wide by about 5 inches longer than your pillow for each zig zag. This gives you some wiggle room to place the zig zags together nicely.
    • I pieced a decorative end cap on my pillow (16″ x 6-1/2″)
Let’s get started:
To make your zig zags, cut your decorative fabrics 3″ wide by how ever long you want your zig zag. I made my zig zags about 5″ longer than the pillow so I could have some wiggle room when laying them out.
Turn your strip of fabric to the wrong side and using a ruler and a Mark-B-Gone Pen mark a small dot directly in the center (1-1/2″ in from either side) every 1-1/2″ the entire length of the strip.
Square the ruler and draw a line from the left to center, then the right to center, alternating every other marked dot the length of the strip.
Next cut each marked line. Be sure to stop exactly at the dot. (A good pair of scissors is much appreciated here!)
Using a very hot iron with the steam turned off (ask me how I know to turn off the steam… ouch!), fold the first triangle back to the outside edge and press.
Press triangles as shown in the photo.
Continue pressing all the way down the strip as shown.
Be sure to make each point as neat as possible. And once you’re happy with the points, I recommend a little spray starch to keep things in order.
On the right side, they will look like this. Space them evenly on your pillow top, and pin them into place.
And stitch into place. I used a straight stitch down each side. I also did a little bit of fussy thread matching on my burgundy fabric. It was just too dark to use a chameleon thread like I usually try to get away with. Once stitched, trim any overhang of zigzag fabric even with the top.
If you are piecing your top, like I did, just be sure the finished dimensions are the same as the pillow form. In my case, my cream linen fabric measured 16″ x 21-1/2″ and my burgundy fabric (Amy Butler’s Love Memento) measured 16″ x 5-1/2″. Once they were pieced together with 1/2″ seam, it measures 16″x 26″ exactly.

For the two back pieces of the pillow, turn a 1/2″ and then a 2″ hem and stitch. Lay them out right sides together with the top, so the back pieces overlap. Pin front and back pieces together.
Stitch all the way around. I like to back stitch where the back pieces overlap.
Clip the corners and turn right side out. I love to use a chopstick to make sure the edges are neat. Give it a good once over with the iron and stuff in your pillow form.
Here’s a peak at the back. I love the Amy Butler line.
And here’s the finished pillow. I loved making the zig zags and my new pillow is a lovely addition to my living room.
Thanks Kari, for letting me visit today!

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