Project Serged and Corded Story Time Pillow

By Milinda Stephenson

Skill Level: Beginner  

-+ FromTo Love List

Create the perfect pillow using creative serger techniques on the Baby Lock Vibrant. The pocket is perfect for storing books and toys, and using a serger will give you stitches that last! From the flatlock stitch to the cording edging, this pillow is quick and easy and will be a fun addition to any kid’s room! Download printable instructions.


  • Pocket front: two 16” x 4 ½” strips of contrasting cotton/linen (two separate fabrics)
  • Pocket lining: 16” x 7 ½” cotton fabric
  • 3/8” cording - 100” long
  • 1 ¾” cotton fabric cut on the bias – 100” long
  • Pearl/piping foot
  • Pillow front: 16” x 16” cotton fabric
  • Pillow back: two 8 ½” x 16” cotton fabric
  • 16 x 16” Ultra Soft Fusible by Baby Lock for pillow front
  • Two 8 ½” x 16” Ultra Soft Fusible by Baby Lock for pillow back – if Ultra soft is not available use a one sided fusible fleece
  • Two spools 12wt cotton thread – for ladder stitch
  • Piping foot
  • 20” zipper


  • Baby Lock Vibrant Serger


  1. Preparing the Pillow Front:

    1. Iron 16” x 16” Ultra Soft Fusible stabilizer to pillow front placing the fusible side of the stabilizer to the wrong side of the pillow front.

    2. On the wrong side of the pillow front, find the center front and mark a line from the top to the bottom of the fabric piece.

    3. From the center front marking, measure over 2” on each side and mark a line from the top to the bottom. From the last marked line, measure over 2” and mark another line.

    4. There will be a total of four vertical lines on the pillow on the pillow back. These will be the fold lines for the flatlock stitch.

    5. Following the instructions located in the Vibrant instruction manual, set the serger up for a 3-thread flatlock or flat stitch.

    6. . Place the decorative thread in the needle and overlock thread in both the upper and lower loopers. Place the cutting blade in a down position.

    7. With a scrap of fabric, test the stitch. If needed, adjust the upper or lower looper tension or cutting width. When stitching, allow the stiches or loops to fall off the fabric edge.

    8. Fold the fabric along each of the marked lines. Place under the presser foot, aligning the fold with the left side of the stitch finger.

    9. With the flatlock stitch, the stitches will need to fall off the fabric edge for the stitch to be opened and lay flat from the right side.

  2. Creating the Piping:

    1. Attach piping foot. Set the serger for a 3-thread overlock wide with overlock thread in the needle and upper and lower loopers.

    2. Wrap the fabric strip (wrong sides together) around the cording, making sure to position the cording along the fold and the fabric edges together.

    3. Place the cording under the presser foot, making sure that the cording is in the groove on the underside of the presser foot.

    4. Take a few stitches to catch the cording and the stitch the entire length of the fabric strip.

  3. Creating the Front Pocket:

    1. Attach the cording to one of the 16” x 4 ½” fabric pieces. This will be the bottom piece of the pocket. Use the 3-thread overlock and the piping foot.

    2. Serge the two 16” x4 ½” strips together. Press the seam on both sides to set and press the seam toward the bottom strip. This is the front pocket.

  4. Lining the Front Pocket:

    1. Sandwich piping, raw edges facing out, between pocket lining and pocket front.

    2. Serge pillow pocket lining to pillow pocket front and piping, right sides together, across top using the 3-thread overlock.

    3. Turn and press. Position pillow pocket to the bottom front of pillow placing the lining against the pillow. Use binder clips to hold the two pieces together.

  5. Attaching Piping to Pillow Front:

    1. Serge piping, raw edges facing out, all the way around pillow front overlapping ends.

  6. Preparing Pillow Back:

    1. Attach the cording foot. Using the 3-thread overlock, attach the zipper to the pillow back pieces.

    2. On each pillow back piece, measure in ¼” on each piece and mark a line from one end of the 16” to the other. This will be the placement line for the zipper.

    3. To attach the first side, place the fabric right side up. Place the zipper right side down (zipper coil). This will place the zipper tape on the right.

    4. Align the zipper table with the marked line placing 2” of the zipper on each side beyond the fabric edge.

    5. Place the zipper under the cording foot aligning the coil with the groove. Stitch. Repeat for the other pillow back piece.

  7. Stitching Pillow Front & Back Together:

    1. Open the zipper about halfway.

    2. Place the pillow front and back right sides together.

    3. With the serger, set-up for a 3-thread overlock stitch around the pillow on all four sides.

    4. Press both sides of the seam to set, and turn the pillow right side out.

    5. Insert 16” pillow form.

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