Monday, June 4, 2012

How to Sew an Envelope Pillow Cover

After I recently reupholstered chairs to our three-in-one table, I had plenty of remnant fabric left over to use for accent pillows.  This past Saturday, I scored a brand-new pillow insert at a moving sale for only a dollar, and knew it was time to use up some of that remnant fabric.  I was thrilled to see that the dimensions of the insert were a perfect match to a long strip of remnant fabric from the reupholstery project.

This morning, I sewed up an envelope pillow cover (one of the easiest and quickest types to make) for the insert.   If you want to learn how to sew an envelope  pillow cover, keep reading:

How to Sew an Envelope Pillow Cover:

Materials needed to sew an envelope pillow cover
  • Fabric
  • Pillow insert (or up-cycled pillow)
  • Scissors or Rotary Cutter
  • Measuring tape or Ruler
  • Pins, Thread, Seam ripper
  • Sewing Machine
  • Ironing board and Iron
General How-To:
  • Measure the pillow insert, or pillow to be covered, and add one inch to each number for seam allowance.
    Note:  My pillow insert measures 12" x 16".
  • Measure fabric for Side A of pillow that is one inch larger on each side, to allow for 1/2" seam allowances.
    Note:  I cut a piece of fabric that was 13"x17".
Measure and cut fabric for side A.
  • Measure fabric for Side B (back) of pillow that is at least 6 inches longer than the length measurement from side A, but matches the width measurement  pillow.
    Note:   This provides enough fabric for an overlap once Side B is completed.  I cut a piece of fabric for Side B that was 19" x 17".
  • Fold Side B fabric in half and cut along the fold.
    Result:  You now have two pieces that measure 9.5" x 17" each.
Measure and cut fabric for Side B.
  • Iron all cut fabric to remove any wrinkles.
    Note:  I am using upholstery fabric, so I skipped this step - no wrinkles.
  • Create a hem on the Side B fabric edges:  Lay the first side B fabric piece on ironing board, wrong-side facing up.  Fold the edge over 1/4" and iron.  Fold over an additional 1/2" and pin.  Repeat with the second piece of side B fabric.
Create a hem for each piece of Side B fabric.
  • Sew the hems along the edge, removing pins as you go.
  • Lay Side A fabric on a flat surface, right-side up. Match one Side B fabric to one side of Side A fabric, aligning the corners. Match the second Side B piece of fabric to the other edge of Side A Fabric, aligning corners.  Pin fabric in place.
    Note:  The hemmed edges of Side B fabric will overlap.
Match fabric with right-sides matching, and pin.
  • Sew the Sides together using a 1/2 inch seam allowance.  Remove pins as you go.
Sew all four sides of pillow cover.
  • Snip corners using scissors to remove excess bulk.
Snip corners to remove excess bulk.
  • Turn the pillow cover right-side out and adjust the corners.  Stuff with the pillow insert.

  • Your pillow cover is complete.  Place it on a couch, chair, etc. and enjoy!
Completed pillow
This project cost one dollar (for the pillow insert) and took about 30 minutes to complete.  Below are some other ways I've used envelope pillow covers throughout my home:.

Up-cycle dingy pillows from around the house:  I refreshed a pillow from my husband's office (the light fabric on the striped pillow grew dingy over the years).  I used it as an insert for a pillow on my son's window seat cushion- much better!

Update accent pillows as tastes change:  Some pillows are not dingy or dirty - they just are out-of style.  The pillow below started out as an accent pillow in my post-college bedroom.  When I changed my room decor, the pillow was still in pristine condition - it just did not coordinate any more.  Rather than toss or donate the pillow, I updated it with a store-bought pillow cover in a olive-green tone and used it in my living room.  This past year, I refreshed it yet again when I enclosed it in an envelope pillow cover in my son's room.  Who knows what it's next life will be?

Create a Day-bed effect with envelope pillows:  An easy way to give a bedroom the feel of a lounge is to position the bed along a wall and line that side with pillows.  To achieve this look in my son's newly decorated room, I covered four 18" x 18" pillow inserts in fabric that coordinates with his padded headboard.  The look is just what we wanted, and he loves it.  When his tastes change (which they inevitably will), we can easily update the inserts with new covers.
Envelope pillow covers helped make a bed into a hang-out area

No comments:

Post a Comment