Start with your pillow form. What size do you want? 14″ is small but cute. 20″ is a good larger size. Maybe you want some in between or odd sizes? Joanne’s Fabrics and Sailrite offer nice pillow forms. Do you have serviceable pillows you could recover? Or do you want a pillow sham that you can stuff with extra linens or clothes? The captain requested one pillow cover for storing his down coat. What about a pillow made of old sailcloth for cockpit lounging?
Are you going to sew in the pillow form or make a cover that you can take off easily? You can easily make an envelope-style pillow or add a zipper with these instructions. Sailrite has videos too. Do you want any decorative trim or buttons? I’ll add a post on making piping in the near future. It does add interest to the design of the finished pillow.
Non sewer alert! Here is a cute pillow cover that doesn’t require any sewing. It involves making an easy knot which any Seamless Sailor can do.
A few tips:
– Use fabric that is soft but substantial. Cut your fabric the size of the pillow. 18″ pillow means cut two pieces (front and back) of fabric 18″ x 18″. That way with 1/2″ seams all around you’ll end up with a slightly smaller cover than the pillow form. This makes for a full, plump looking pillow.
– Hot knife the edges if you are using acrylic fabric to stop raveling.
– Add any decorative edge trim to the front piece. Be sure to sew it on so that it will be on the outside when you turn the pillow case right side out!
– Have fun making pillows!