Today I’m going to show you how to sew Euro shams! (This post is a collaboration with Tonic Living, but all thoughts and opinions are my own).
Can you believe I’ve never sewn Euro shams? Weird, right, considering alllll the sewing my Mom and I do:
- Beaded applique tea cozy
- Back tab curtains
- Gathered silk pillows
- Euro pleat curtains
- Closet curtains
- Gathered shower curtain
- Simple button hole shower curtain
- Clothespin bag
- Layered sheer curtains
- Lumbar pillows
- Throw pillows
- Silk sleep mask
- Catnip stuffed toy
- Boot stuffers
- Oval tablecloth
- Insulated pot holder
- Round pillow
- Curtains on a track
- Lunch bag
- Tea towel
- Beach tote bag
- Silk curtains
That’s not even all of the DIY sewing tutorials we’ve shared – and it barely scratches the surface of all the things we’ve sewn! We’ve sewn everything from pyjama pants to dresses to dog coats. But still, I have been buying Euro shams for 10 years. It’s because I used to prefer that my duvet cover and Euro shams match, so I’ve always just bought the Euro shams that go with my duvet cover, and mixed in my own DIY throw pillows:
But for my recent bedroom makeover, I decided to shake it up. Instead of matching my shams and duver cover, I mixed and matched a grey and cream striped linen duvet cover with linen Euro shams and throw pillows in shades of watery blue/grey.
The look is still coordinated, especially because all of the bedding (even the curtains!) is linen, but the overall vibe is little more relaxed and beachy. The beautiful fabric came from Tonic Living – the Euro sham color is called Lake and the smaller throw pillows are made using Ocean. You can see all of the beautiful linen options here and find the tutorial for the Euro pleat curtains made with Tonic Living linen here. The lumbar pillow is one I ice dyed myself, using white linen. I love using linen for ice dyeing and Tonic Living has a fabulous selection of pure linen fabrics.
What is a Euro Sham? Where do Euro Shams Go?
Not everyone uses a Euro sham, so in case you’re not sure: a Euro sham is the largest of the three pillows on my bed – it’s a large, square shaped pillow at the back of my pillow collection. I have a king sized bed and three Euro shams perfectly fill the back. For this size bed, I just personally really love the look.
How Big is a Euro Sham?
The standard size of a Euro sham is 26″ square.
- Linen fabric
- 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 Euro Shams:
First, measure and cut out two squares of fabric for one Euro sham, adding a seam allowance of approx. 5/8″ – or even 3/4″ for the zipper.
You can use scissors to cut your fabric, but if you’d like to easily cut a perfectly straight line, use an Olfa self-healing mat and rotary cutter with a straight edge:
Pin the two squares together on one side (which will be the bottom of the pillow). Make sure the warp and weft are matched in the same direction, and that the right sides are facing each other.
The first step will be to insert the zipper. Lay down the zipper beside the pins and mark the beginning and end of the zipper with a pin:
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:
You can see where I’m pointing, the stitching changed from a basting stitch to a regular stitch. The basting stitch will later be opened up, it’s just temporary.
Then lay the fabric flat, with the two sides of the pillow spread like a butterfly. Press the seam open with an iron:
Pin the zipper and loosely baste into place – basting is optional, but makes sewing the zipper in so much easier:
Using a zipper foot on your sewing machine, sew around the zipper following the basting stitches:
Remove the basting stitches:
Then flip over the fabric and, using a seam ripper, remove the stitches from in front of the zipper:
Now the zipper has been installed and the most important step is next: OPEN the zipper!
Place the right sides of the fabric facing one another again and pin the edges, leaving a 5/8″ salvage. Sew the three remaining sides and then turn the pillow right side out – that’s it!
Hopefully this tutorial for how to sew Euro shams was helpful – you can, of course, use this tutorial for any size throw pillow! And if you’d like to see more pillow sewing tutorials, check out this post: how to sew a lumbar pillow. For a slightly different pillow sewing tutorial, learn how to sew a pillow with a flapped zipper here.
How Do You Style a Euro Sham?
This is how I style my Euro shams and make my bed:
- Smooth the duvet and pull it up close to the headboard, folding the flat sheet back over a few inches.
- I used to stand up the pillows we sleep with, against the headboard. But I recently added a second set so now I stack the sleeping pillows against the headboard.
- Then layer on the three Euro shams.
- Place two smaller square pillows and one smaller bolster pillow in front of the Euro shams.
How do you make and style your bed? P.S. in addition to beautiful home decor fabrics, Tonic Living has a lot of beautiful pillows for sale, just so you know…
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