You might have spotted this ice dye pillow before, but I’m showing you again because I wanted to share my step by step tutorial for how to sew a lumbar pillow!
Remember how I was sent the wrong dye when I made my ice dye throw for my bed? I was able to keep the colors sent to me by mistake, so figured I’d experiment with them a little. The gunmetal grey ended up producing some surprising results: a deep plum, with shots of ochre and deep teal!
I really liked it, and it is the perfect moody textile for my office. The color palette ties in the deeper colors of my raku pottery and hubby’s grandpa’s painting – and the pop of yellow of my vintage Lotte lamp.
I surprised myself by really liking this ice dye experiment, so I sewed up a quick lumbar pillow and added a spot of purple to my decor!
If you’d like to sew your own pillows – in any size! – keep reading to learn how to sew a lumbar pillow.
- Linen or cotton/linen blend fabric (I ice dyed mine first, using my ice dye tutorials)
- Coordinating thread
- OLFA self healing rotary mat (optional)
- OLFA rotary cutter (optional – scissors work too!)
- Meter or Yard stick (or measuring tape and a straight edge)
- Sewing machine (with zipper foot)
- Iron & ironing board
- Straight pins
- Coordinating zipper
- Seam ripper
How to Sew a Lumbar Pillow
First, pre-wash, tumble dry (if you’d like), and iron your fabric. You don’t want it to shrink when you go to launder it after it’s sewn. I like to use a meter stick, self-healing olfa mat, and olfa cutter to create a perfect straight line when I’m cutting fabric (see it in action here too). The overall size will depend on the size of your pillow form but, whatever the size, I like to keep a 5/8″ salvage – so I cut it that much larger than I want the overall pillow.
Cut out two rectangular pieces of fabric (adding a seam allowance of approx. 5/8″ – or even 3/4″ for the zipper). Face together the right sides of the fabric and sew along what will become the zipper side of the pillow, starting 5/8″ in from the edge of the fabric. Sew a line from this point until the spot where the zipper will start, using regular stitches, and back stitch at both ends. Then continue sewing the length of the zipper with the longest stitch your machine has (basically, you’re just basting the section where the zipper will be). Repeat the regular stitching at the other end of the pillow, stopping 5/8″ short of the edge again.
Then lay the fabric flat, with the two sides of the pillow spread like a butterfly. Press the seam flat and pin the (opened) zipper, face down, in place:
Use a measuring tape to centre the zipper:
Here’s what this prep work looks like from the right side, with the zipper pinned in and ready to be basted:
Next, baste the zipper with long hand stitches and remove the straight pins (make sure you opened it in the last step! This is your final warning to open the zipper):
Using a zipper foot, sew around the zipper following your basting stitches.
When you get to the end of your zipper, where the pull is, open a small portion of the seam there to move the zipper pull out of the way as you sew – it’s a bit bulky and makes it difficult to sew tightly around it:
Then keep sewing around the zipper:
This is what your pillow will look like at this point:
When you’re done sewing all the way around the zipper, remove the basting stitches.
Open up the seam (which was previously sewn shut, using the longest stitch your machine makes). A seam ripper makes this task easy, but tiny manicure scissors work also.
This is your FINAL warning to open the zipper. One time we sewed a pillow and couldn’t open it after. So if you skipped that step, DO IT NOW…
The final step is to just sew a seam along the other three sides of the pillow, leaving a 5/8″ seam allowance.
Trim corners and turn the pillow inside out! But only if you remembered to open the zipper, lol.
And that’s how to sew a lumbar pillow! You can obviously use this same tutorial and sew any size pillow – perfect for when you can’t find the exact size in the color or pattern you want. I bought Euro pillows for my bed because three fit perfectly across a King but it’s so difficult to find bedding sets with a Euro sham but I can easily sew my own!
Looking for more sewing tutorials? You can find all of my other sewing tutorials right here.