Sew a Round Pillow Cover with Fringe Trim

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When making a list of gift ideas for Christmas, I wasn’t sure what to get my sister.

I’d already decided to make all my nieces and nephews pillowcases and was on the hunt for fabric. As I searched Spoonflower, I came across this fun fabric:

Fabric with flowers and a chihuahua

It was perfect for my sister. She and my niece have a little dog, Walter, who is a chihuahua mix and looks just like the dog featured on the fabric.

Instead of making my sister a pillowcase, I decided to make her two throw pillows.

One was a square pillow with pom pom trim and the other was a round pillow with fringe trim.

How to Sew a Round Pillow Cover with Fringe Trim

After following the directions in this lesson, you’ll have a round pillow form covered with fabric and ringed with fringe trim.

This project includes both machine and hand sewing.

Tip: Read all of the steps before you begin.

You Will Need

Round Pillow Insert – Standard polyester pillow forms come in different shapes and sizes. This tutorial focuses on a pillow cover for a round pillow but the size of the form isn’t specified. Select the size you want and calculate the amount of fabric and trim based on the cutting directions below.

Fabric – woven fabric for the pillow front and back. Before selecting the fabric, think about how the pillow will be used. If the pillow will get a lot of use, select a fabric that is more tightly woven.

Fringe Trim – select a trim that complements the fabric.

fabric, trim, and round pillow form
A pillow form, fabric, and fringe trim

Basic Tools: sewing machine, thread, scissors, pins or clips, rotary cutting tools (cuttermat, and ruler), iron, marking pen, hand needle, and sewing gauge

Tips for Preparing Fabric and Trim:

  • When you buy the trim, read the info on how to clean it.
  • Prewash and dry the fabric and trim if there is a chance the pillow cover will ever be washed in the future.
  • Press large wrinkles and creases out of the fabric before cutting.

Measurements and Cutting Directions

  • Fringe Trim – The trim should be a length that is a few inches longer than the circumference of the pillow form. (The circumference of my pillow form was about 45-inches. I added an extra 6 inches to the trim for a total of 51-inches.)
  • Fabric
    • First, determine the diameter of the round pillow form from one side seam to the other across the middle of the pillow.
    • Next, cut two circles from the fabric based on the measurements described in the options below the video.
YouTube video

Two Cutting Options:

  • Option 1: Cut 2 circles of fabric with the same diameter as the pillow form. This will result in a pillow that is very full and plump.
  • Option 2: For a pillow that is slightly less full, cut 2 circles of fabric 1-inch larger than the pillow form’s diameter.

What I did: I wanted a full, plump pillow, so I cut 2 circles of fabric with a diameter of 16 inches which was the same measurement as my round pillow form. (If I wanted the finished pillow to be slightly less plump and full, I would have cut the fabric circles with a 17-inch diameter.)


Tip: Read all of the steps before you begin.

Attach the Fringe Trim

Tip: Set the stitch length on your machine to a longer stitch (4) to keep the fabric from puckering. This row of stitches will secure fringe trim to the top fabric.

Important: You’ll use a seam allowance of 1/2″ to connect the front and back pieces together in the next section, so right now use a shorter seam allowance when tacking the fringe down. (I use the edge of the pressure foot as my guide.)

Directions: Start along the bottom of the fabric. Line up the edge of the trim with the edge of the fabric. The fringe should be on the inside of the fabric. Pinning or clipping the trim in place is optional.

Sew the fringe to the front fabric piece

When attaching the fringe with basting, go slow and make sure none of the fringe gets caught up in the stitches.

As you get close to where you started sewing:

  • Stop a few inches from where you started.
  • Overlap the ends of the trim.
  • Cut the end of the trim one loop past the starting point.
Overlap trim before cutting.
After the trim is cut.
After the trim is cut.
  • Nestle the ends of the trim together.
  • Sew the ends of the trim down. Backstitch over where the trim ends come together.

Connect the Front and Back

Note: The front fabric is the one the fringe trim was sewed to.

  1. Lay the front fabric right side up and smooth the fringe to the center.
Smooth the fringe to the inside of the front fabric.

2. Lay the back fabric right side down on top of the front. If there is a directional pattern to the fabric, make sure it is going the same direction as the front fabric.

3. Secure the back fabric to the front fabric. First, put clips or pins at 12:00, 6:00, 3:00, and 9:00.

Pin or clip in 4 places first around the circles

4. Then put clips/pins halfway between those four.

5. Finally, put clips/pins between each of those. Make sure the edges of both fabrics are lined up with each other and all of the fringe is lying flat on the inside.

Clips secure the front and back all the way around the circles.

6. Mark where you will start and stop so you don’t accidentally sew the cover completely closed. Leave a 7-8 inch opening.

Mark points where you will start and stop sewing.

7. Set the stitch length to a mid-size stitch (2-3).

8. Use a 1/2″ seam allowance and sew the front and back together with a straight stitch. The back of the pillow cover should be on top when you’re sewing. Start and stop on the marks.

Sew the front and back together.

9. Turn the pillow cover right side out.

10. . Insert the pillow form into the opening and adjust it until it fills the cover evenly.

Close the Opening

At the opening, there is a good possibility that the woven part of the fringe trim is visible. However, around the rest of the pillow cover, the woven part is hidden in the seam allowance. You want all of the woven part of the trim to be hidden.

Warning: Clips work best for this next part, but pins do the job, too. Just be careful not to poke yourself!

  1. Hold the pillow in your lap and move the fringe toward you. We’ll call this the front of the pillow.

Step 2 may take a little finesse.

2. Fold the raw edge of the fabric on the back about 1/2″ so it is in line with the seam allowance.

Then work the fabric on the front so it covers the woven edge of the fringe.

4. Put the front and back together so the woven edge is hidden and secure with clips.

5. Thread the hand needle so it is doubled and hand sew the opening closed. The video below demonstrates how to sew the opening closed even though the pillow has pom pom trim.

YouTube video

That’s It. You’re Done!

A round pillow with fringe trim on an orange chair.
Walter and the round pillow with fringe trim.
Walter and the round pillow with fringe trim.

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Pinterest pin for round pillow with fringe trim tutorial.

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