To make a pillow from a pattern, gather some cover fabric, pillow inserts or batting, brown paper, sewing supplies and a yardstick or tape measure. Measure the height and width of the pillow insert or determine a size for the pillow.
Once you have measurements, create a pattern by taking the brown paper and marking the measurements of your pillow. Add 2 inches on all four sides, such that a 16- by 16-inch pillow translates to an 18- by 18-inch measurement on the paper. Cut the measured paper along the line, and set the paper aside.
Take the fabric, and determine the part you want on the pillow and where to place it if it's a patterned fabric. Place the paper pattern on top of the fabric, and cut around the edges of the pattern. Do this for the fabric intended for the back of the pillow. Lay the two pieces of fabric together with their fronts facing, and pin the edges. Sew the pieces together with a 1-inch allowance all the way around, leaving a 5-inch opening. Carefully trim the excess fabric.
Turn the fabric right side out, and iron the edges. Take the pillow insert or batting, and place it inside the 5-inch opening. Sew the opening closed, hiding as much of the stitch in the pressed crease of the fabric as possible.