At the thought of making a dog bed using a zipper, I will admit, I was feeling a bit intimidated. My sewing skills are not beginner, however there are some skills I don’t use very often, and sewing in zippers is one of those things. As this project progressed though, I realized it really wasn’t all that hard to make, and the finished project looks amazing. Here is how I made this large dog bed using fleece fabric and a foam mattress topper.
- 2 Yards Fleece Fabric
- 24 inch Zipper
- Queen Size Mattress Topper
- Sewing Machine with Zipper Foot
- Thread for Sewing Machine
- Stitch Ripper
- Measuring Tape
- Rotary Cutter, Straight Edge, and Cutting Mat (Optional)
- Stick pins or clips (optional- This just made it easier for me to line up my sides)
- Measure and cut fabric to the dimensions shown in the graphic below.
- We will start with the zipper panel. Take your 25in by 6in piece of fabric and fold in half it longways right side of fabric to right side (making your folded fabric appear as a double layer 25in by 3in).
- On your sewing machine, sew a straight stitch 1/2 in in from the folded edge following the whole length of the fabric.
- Take your scissors, insert one blade into the fold and cut open the folded edge, careful to cut along the fold and not snip your sewn line.
- Open up the fabric laying it flat on your work surface with the seam you just cut opened to the top.
- Line up your zipper along the center of the seam with the front of the zipper facing the seam.
- Using the zipper foot on your sewing machine, sew your zipper to the panel on either side of the teeth of the zipper. In order to get close to the end of the zipper, you may need to stop and adjust your zipper pull to get around it.
- Flip over the panel and using a stitch ripper, open up the sewn part of the middle seam the while length of the zipper, revealing your zipper once opened.
- Now you will need your 2- 5 inch by 7 inch pieces of fabric. Take one of the pieces and line it up with one end of the zipper panel. Your zipper panel should now be 5 inches wide and will match up with the 5 inch wide side of the rectangle of fleece. Face the fabric to the panel, right side to right side, then sew it allowing for a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Be careful not to run over your zipper teeth! It will break your needle.
- Take your zipper panel and line up one end with the end of one of your 24 by 5 inch pieces. You will be attaching them on the sewing machine, end to end, using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Make sure they are touching right side to right side.
- Line up your 37in by 5 inch strip to the free end of the 24in by 5in piece you just attached. you are going to join these the same way you did the zipper panel to the first piece. Then you will attach the second 24in by 5 inch strip the the free end. Once you have all of the strips sewn together, you are going to attach the two free ends, right side to right side, creating a large rectangle. This will be the sides of your bed.
- Using small clamps or stick pins, line up the side panels you just made to the perimeter of one of your 37inch by 24 inch panels. Make sure they are facing right side to right side. Be extra careful to line up your corners. (To see how I lined up my corners, check out the video below!)
- Using a 1/2 inch seam allowance on your sewing machine, sew the sides to the panel along the edge you just lined up.
- Before we go any further, you are going to want to unzip your zipper a few inches. It doesn’t have to be all the way, just enough so you have access to the zipper pull. This will allow you to be able to unzip it all the way later to turn it right side out. If you don’t, it can be a bit of a struggle to open the zipper from the wrong side.
- Now you are going to line up the 2nd 37in by 24in panel to the sides, just like you did with the first panel. Then sew it in place using the same 1/2 inch seam allowance.
- Once you are finished sewing, trim any hanging threads, unzip the zipper and turn the cover right side out.
- Take your mattress topper and lay it on a flat surface.
- Measure and cut out 4 rectangles that are 36in long by 23in wide.
- Once they are cut, stack them and place them inside the dog bed cover. (This will be a bit of a struggle. Kind of like putting a pillow in a pillow case that is too small. Keep at it! It will eventually slide in place.)
- Zip it closed and you are done 🙂
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