When working with a plain weave fabric, I measure the size that I need and simply pull a thread. This provides a clean line as a guide for cutting.
Once two pieces are cut the same size I lay them together face to face. By the way, my pillow is 20 x 20" and I cut the fabric this exact size for a snug fit.
Lay your zipper on the edge of the fabric, centered. Place pins at the start and stop of the zipper. You will use this guide for stitching later.
Next, use your normal stitch setting until you get to your pin marking where the zipper will begin (remember to safety stitch). Now change your machine settings to the longest stitch count (I went from 4-5 to 8). This gives you more of a basting stitch which will be easier to remove later. Then continue on the other end with your normal stitch setting repeating the steps.
Iron the seam open so that it lays flat.
Place the zipper face down over the seam lining it up exactly. Pin in place.
Remove the basting stitch and viola! You have a zipper! Now all you have to do is continue stitching around the other three sides of your pillow cover using a 1/2" seam allowance.
I always trim the corners so they open nicely when turned right side out. Press your new pillow cover.
This project takes less than one hour. When it comes to zippers, practice makes perfect. Let me know if you try it.
The winner of the Online Fabric Store giveaway will be announced Thursday. Don't miss it!