I’ve made my own pillow covers before, but I always got lazy and just did an envelope back–then got annoyed when the cover didn’t ever fit snugly. This time around, I took the time to put in a zip. I even added piping! And I can’t believe I hadn’t been doing that all along. It’s not that much extra work and it looks so professional:

When I was starting to plan all of this redecorating I went to a local warehouse for decorators’ fabric and saw that serape-ish stripe. I went back the next weekend and bought it, then realized it went really well with the leftover blocks from my quilt coat. (Wow, is it a lot faster to quilt just a pillow front and back than a whole long jacket.)

My other tip for nice plump pillows, other than adding a zipper? Make them 1-2 inches smaller all around than the size of your insert. The inserts here were 18×18 but pretty squishy, so I went with a 16×16 final cover size and it worked out perfectly.