• Folarin Debellotte

Make an African Print Pillow Cover

African prints such as Kente cloth designs are lovely for home decorating as well as for clothing. Even a beginner can sew a pillow cover that looks like it came from a specialty shop. For fabric check out Ankara and Lace


Measure the Pillow


Use a tape measure to measure the height and width of your pillow form. Add 1/2 inch at each edge for seam allowances. For example, a 14-inch square pillow form would require two 15-inch squares for a cover. A 1/2-yard piece of fabric would be sufficient. A rectangular form 12 inches by 24 inches would require two pieces 13 inches by 25 inches. This would require 2/3 yard of fabric.


Cut the Fabric

Cut your squares or rectangles according to the measurements you took. For a woven fabric such as African print cotton, you may tear the fabric to get edges that are perfectly straight along a thread. Press your squares or rectangles and pin them right sides together, leaving one side open on the square or one short side open for a rectangle.


Sew the Cover

Sew 1/2-inch seams along the three pinned edges. Turn the cover right side out and press. Press under 1/2 inch of fabric along the open edge. Insert the pillow form. Use a slip stitch to hand sew the open edge closed. Your pillow is finished.


Zippered Cover Option

To make a removable cover for your pillow, cut the pieces as above. Sew one side of a zipper of appropriate length along a short edge of one piece. Sew the other edge of zipper to the corresponding edge of the second pillow piece. Leaving zipper unzipped, in the remaining three edges of the pillow together and sew 1/2-inch seams. Turn cover right side out and press. Insert pillow form and zip closed.

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