DIY Basic Throw Pillowcase with Faux Leather Applique

A Basic Throw Pillow can make any space more inviting and cozy! Learn how to make an easy-to-sew throw pillowcase with applique in this tutorial. This is a great project for beginners. Make throw pillowcases for the holidays, weddings, kids' rooms, and everyday décor. Choose to make a 16 inch, 18 inch, or 20 inch finished square pillow. Let's get started!


For finished 16" by 16" pillow:
  • Cut (1) 17" by 17" piece of fabric
  • Cut (2) 12" wide by 17" high pieces of fabric

For finished 18" by 18" pillow:

  • Cut (1) 19" by 19" piece of fabric
  • Cut (2) 14" wide by 19" high pieces of fabric

For finished 20" by 20" pillow:

  • Cut (1) 21" by 21" piece of fabric
  • Cut (2) 16" wide by 21" high pieces of fabric

For all sizes:


Decide if and how you want to lay out your optional Monogram Letters, Sentimental Word(s), or choice of applique on your square of fabric.


Apply Basting Spray to the wrong side of your optional applique. I like to place my applique on top of a scrap of newspaper when I spray to prevent my worktable from getting sticky.

Once applied, with right sides up, position your applique on the square piece as desired.


When sewing with cork fabric or faux leather, it's best to use a Teflon foot or roller foot to help prevent your fabric from sticking to the underside of your presser foot. Otherwise, you can add a layer of tissue paper between your presser foot and your fabric while you sew. The tissue paper can be torn away after sewing. Another option is to add a small piece of matte tape to the bottom of your presser foot.

If you don't have an issue with your fabric sticking to your foot, a Narrow foot is a great option for sewing close to the edge of your applique. 

Once you decide on the type of presser foot you're using, topstitch your applique in place 1/8" from the raw edges.


Press one long edge of each rectangle piece 1/2" to the wrong side. A Hot Ruler helps for easy, accurate measuring and pressing.


Press that same long edge of each rectangle piece 1/2" to the wrong side again to conceal the raw edge.


Topstitch each rectangle piece 3/8" from the folded long edge. 


With right sides together, take one rectangle and align the top, bottom and right raw edges with the square piece. Then, with right sides together, take the other rectangle and align the top, bottom, and left raw edges with the square piece. The folded long edges of each rectangle should be towards the center. Sew the pieces together with 1/2" seam allowance around all four edges of the square. If desired, zig zag or serge the raw edges to help prevent your fabric from fraying. 


Turn your finished pillowcase right side out, insert your pillow form, and enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed this simple tutorial. If you have any questions, we're here to help, so please just ask. We’d love to see your completed project! So, be sure to share your photos on social media with #sallietomato! Share and see photos of this pattern in the Sallie Tomato Patterns & Hardware Group on Facebook!

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