How to Sew French Seams…on the INSIDE of your Pillow

Why?

Why take the time to sew a French seam on the INSIDE?

If these pillow covers were for my own home, I wouldn’t take the time. Since they are for my customers, I will take the time to rid these pillows of as many raw edges as possible. And, honestly, it’s a pretty simple upgrade that doesn’t take much additional time.

How to sew French seams. How to get rid of raw edges on your pillow covers.(This pillow cover is listed here.)

This all started on Instagram with a conversation about ‘knife-edge’ pillows. A local designer asked if I’d sew a few knife edge pillows for her. After looking up the definition via Google (because I had no idea what that meant), I was a bit perplexed about what knife edge really meant. I found a few conflicting definitions. I started a conversation on Instagram and Julia from Red Rainboots Handmade left a comment that made the most sense. (She makes beautiful barn quilts.)

Once again, I was reminded about how much I have to learn and how far I still have to go in this vast trade called quilting. In an effort to apply some of these tips I gathered from a few fell Instagram friends, I attempted to upgrade my quilted pillow covers.

The raw edges on the insides of my pillow covers had bothered me for a while and after a bit of research and a few discussions, I experimented a bit and found a method that works for me.

How to sew French seams. How to get rid of raw edges on your pillow covers.
How to sew French seams on the inside of your pillow covers:

These steps assume you already know how to sew in a zipper or sew an envelope pillow cover.

1. Every pillow cover starts with some version of a front panel and a back panel. Here are two front panels. (Mine happen to be quilted panels.)

How to sew French seams. How to get rid of raw edges on your pillow covers.

2. You can skip this step, but I choose to draw tapered lines on my pillow cover. This eliminates the ‘super pointy corner look.’ I move from a quarter inch seam allowance to half inch seam allowances at the corners.

The important part here: draw your lines on the right sides of your fabric. Face up.

How to sew French seams. How to get rid of raw edges on your pillow covers.

3. Here is where everything starts to look backward. Sew your pillow panels together with the front side face up and the back side face out. (Using my method with zippers, my zipper is already installed at this point.)

Yes, sew them together as if your pillow has all the raw edges exposed.

How to sew French seams. How to get rid of raw edges on your pillow covers.

4. Trim carefully and closely to the seam you just sewed. Raw edges are still exposed here.

How to sew French seams. How to get rid of raw edges on your pillow covers.

5. Turn your pillow cover wrong side out. This is what my pillow cover looks like wrong side out. No tattered fibers!

How to sew French seams. How to get rid of raw edges on your pillow covers.

6. Sew around the perimeter of your pillow cover using an approximate quarter of an inch seam allowance. This is creating a finished edge on the outside of your pillow.

(If you use zippers, you only sew three sides. If you are creating an envelope back, you’d sew around the entire perimeter.)

How to sew French seams. How to get rid of raw edges on your pillow covers.

7. Flip your pillow right side out. You can see me holding my pillow cover open. (I use leftover fabrics on the insides of my pillow…that’s why you see right sided fabric in there.) And do you see any tattered raw edges? Absolutely not. Clean seams on the inside.

How to sew French seams. How to get rid of raw edges on your pillow covers.

And clean seams on the outside.

How to sew French seams. How to get rid of raw edges on your pillow covers.

This is also a great technique to use on homemade pillow cases for your bed. Leave me your feedback. Worth it or not worth the extra effort?

How to sew French seams. How to get rid of raw edges on your pillow covers.

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