Hey there! So glad you are tuning back into Flawed yet Functional! Today I’m sharing a bit more about my recent sewing project for our master bedroom: a Flanged Euro Sham sewing tutorial. If you didn’t catch the reveal, check that out here. Sewing is one of the healthy hobbies I take time and effort to participate in. While sewing might not be your thing, I share this tutorial to encourage you to step outside your comfort zone and learn something new! Find a hobby you love (or think you’ll love!) and jump in with both feet!
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links which just means if you purchase from the links provided, I may get a small commission at no additional cost to you! At Flawed yet Functional, I only reference products that have real value that I actually use.
Three euro shams lining the head of a king sized bed is my favorite styled look. This is easy to customize for your bedroom if you sew your own pillow cases. While there are many steps, no one is very difficult. You can do it! Take a look through the post then buy your materials and jump right in!
Supplies (for one sham)
- Home decor fabric – 2 yards with 54″ width, with no pattern matching, possibly more to match patterns
- Thread to match fabric
- Interfacing – enough to make 8, 29″x3″ strips and 4, 15″x3″ strips
- Invisible 22″ zipper that complements fabric color
- Sewing machine
- All-purpose pressure foot
- Overcasting Pressure Foot
- Zipper pressure foot (standard
- One 26″ Euro throw pillow insert
Before cutting, make sure to wash, dry, and iron your fabric. If the fabric is dry clean only, give it an iron first to make sure it is as straight and smooth as possible.
Plan and Measure Cuts
For my shams, I used a solid color woven fabric that did not have an obvious pattern repeat. It did have an obvious line of “nubs” running parallel to the selvage. Make sure to keep each piece of the pillow facing the same direction. Since the pieces are squares, this is very easy.
For one pillow, you will need one square 29″x29″. This will make a finished pillow pocket that is 24″x24″ with a 2″ flange on all sides. You will also need two pieces 29″x15″ for the back of the pillow. These will be connected with the invisible zipper for easy removal of the pillow insert and laundering.
Below is my sketch of the fabric with the pillow pieces laid out. If you have a pattern to match on your fabric, you will not be able to put the cuts end to end. The layout below only works for solid colors or patterns that don’t need to be matched.
Yes, there is quite a bit of waste, but if your fabric pattern allows, one of the 29″x15″ pieces could be cut to the left of the pillow front. Just check your layout carefully!
Tip: Measure twice, cut once!
Measure and remeasure each section before cutting. I like to measure from two spots on each side to make sure the length is what it should be.
Cut the three fabric pieces.
Droopy flanges are no good! Cut 29″x3″ or 15″x3″ sections of iron-on interfacing and iron to the wrong side of all the edges.
Tip: The bumpy and slightly shiny side of the interfacing is the glue. This side goes on the wrong side of the fabric. Don’t attach it to your iron!
Three inches of interfacing is overkill for where the zipper will be attached, so feel free to make this narrower, if you like. I wouldn’t skip interfacing at the zipper though. It makes installing the zipper much easier.
The corners need special attention so the fabric doesn’t bunch and the corners are not overly pointy. After ironing on the interfacing, trim a triangle section from the outside corners of each piece.
Create this triangle by making a dot 1/2″ from the corner along each edge of the fabric, then draw a straight line between the dots to make a triangle.
For the 29″ square, trim all 4 corners. For the 29″x15″ trim two adjacent corners along the 29″ side. You do not need to trim the corners that will be in the middle of the pillow (i.e. where the zipper is).
Finish the Edges
Using the overcasting pressure foot, sew an overcasting stitch (or a zig-zag stitch using an all-purpose foot) along the edge of all three pieces. This is to prevent unraveling.
Install the Zipper
Now it’s time for the zipper! Don’t be scared! Just go slow, double check before you sew, and you’ll be fine!
If you like videos, check out this helpful one for installing an invisible zipper!
Center the Zipper
First, using the 29″x15″ pieces, fold 1/2″ of the fabric and iron in the crease. Fold so the wrong sides are facing each other. This crease will be the guide for lining up the zipper teeth.
Second, measure 4.5″ from the edges of the 29″x15″ piece of fabric and mark the spots. These spots mark the opening for the zipper. Do this for both sides of the pillow back.
Double check that the marks line up by laying the pieces next to each other. If they don’t match, measure and mark again!
Pin Right Side of Zipper to Right Side of Fabric
Open the zipper and begin pinning the top with the plastic stopper lined up with the mark from the previous step and the teeth lined up along the ironed crease.
To do this, I flipped my fabric over so the right side is up to make the pinning easier.
Sew From Top to Bottom
With the zipper foot (standard or invisible) on the sewing machine, line up zipper teeth to fit into the outer groove of a standard zipper foot. Hold the teeth open a bit, so the needle will sew very close to the teeth. Begin sewing at the plastic stopper and sew until the ending mark for the zipper opening.
For my sewing machine, I had to change my stitch as well as attach the zipper foot. Check your manual to find the correct stitch for your machine. You want the needle to fall very very close to the zipper teeth.
Sew only to the marked zipper opening. The zipper will be longer than the opening. This is intentional. Don’t worry about it right now.
Before going any further, zip the zipper up and take a look at it from the right side of the fabric. Is the seam smooth? Did the zipper close?
If all looks good, continue with the other side.
Repeat on Other Side
Here’s the tricky part, not sewing in the second side of the zipper the wrong way! There will be a curl in the zipper if you’ve done it right, so don’t worry about that.
Open the zipper again and line up the right side of the zipper with the right side of the fabric for the other side of the pillow back. I recommend watching the video above to make sure you get this right!
Think this step through several times before sewing!
Sew in the same way as the first side: begin at the zipper stop and sew down to the ending mark of the zipper opening.
Check Zipper Again
Before moving on, zip the zipper back up and look at it from the right side. Is the seam smooth? Did the zipper zip? Are any teeth showing?
If any teeth are showing then you didn’t sew close enough to the teeth. For this problem, you can simply sew a seam again but closer to the teeth.
If you accidentally sewed through some teeth, the zipper won’t shut and you’ll have to rip the stitches out and try again.
Finish Seam Above and Below Zipper
The hardest part is over! Now you just need to sew up the seam above and below the zipper.
The zipper was installed with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Line up the right sides of the fabric, and sew a seam with 1/2″ allowance from the edge of the pillow to the zipper.
As you get close to the zipper, pull the loose edges of the zipper away from the fabric, toward what will be the inside of the pillow. Sew right up to the marks you made for the zipper opening.
Repeat on the other end of the zipper.
Turn the fabric right side up and lay flat out. The seem should be flat and straight from one edge, through the zipper, and to the other edge.
Iron the seams open.
Sew Front and Back of Pillow Together
Now for an easy, super satisfying step: sew the two squares together!
Zip up the zipper, or leave a 1 inch gap for easier re-opening, and put right sides together. Sew along entire edge of the pillow with a 1/2″ seam allowance.
Trim the corners and iron seams open.
Unzip and turn pillow right side out. Take care at the corners to push the corners fully out. You won’t be able to fix the corners once the flange is sewed in!
Iron the pillow.
Sew 2″ Flange
Sew a seam with a 2″ seam allowance around the whole pillow.
Use quilting pins to mark the 2″ allowance at the corners. I would start at one corner then sew until about 3-4″ from the next corner then mark that turning point with a pin. Turn then sew the next side, stopping again 3-4″ from the bottom to mark the 2″ turning point.
Unzip and Insert Pillow Insert
You did it! You made your very own custom flanged Euro sham!
Put that lovely pillow in the place you made it for and step back to admire your handiwork. Great job!
Whew! If you made it to the end of this VERY detailed post, kudos to you! I hope you are inspired to make custom textiles for your home, and sewing really can be easy! Make sure to remember this Flanged Euro Sham with Zipper Closure tutorial for your next bedroom makeover!
Check out the rest of the posts for the master bedroom refresh!