How to Make an Envelope Backed Pillow Cover {an easy novice sewing tutorial}

How to Make an Envelope Backed Pillow Cover {an easy novice sewing tutorial}

It is no secret that I try to get away with using as much fusible web as possible; opposed to sewing. For some reason, to me, it is just quicker to pull out the iron rather than my sewing machine – and I am not really sure why. However, if I find some pillows that I know will be around for awhile I don’t mind lugging out the machine to make a few quick and easy custom covers.


I always seem to come across inexpensive bargain pillows and even though the fabric or design may not be anywhere near what I am looking for – it’s still a great buy to pick them up just for the pillow form itself. All that is needed to make it fit in with your own decor is fabric.

Envelope backed pillow covers are truly a simple project to sew, even if you do not have any sewing skills at all. If you can sew a straight line – you can make an envelope backed pillow cover.


This tutorial can be used to cover any size pillow you are looking to update. There are probably 101 different ways to make a cover – but this is my own tried and true simplified method designed for a self taught sewer like myself.

These covers can also be made using one coherent piece of fabric, however this tutorial is broken down using three different pieces of fabric sewn together.

Begin by cutting the fabric pieces. Use a straight edge ruler to measure and mark the guidelines onto the fabric – then cut them out. You will need three pieces of fabric, as detailed below, to make one cover.

‘A’ – Measure the size of the pillow you are covering and add one inch to the width and height
{example: for an 18×18 pillow this piece of fabric will measure 19″W x19″H}

‘B’ – Using the measurements from fabric cut ‘A’ as a guideline – Keep the height the same and subtract 6 inches from the width
{example: for the 18×18 pillow this piece of fabric would measure 13″W X 19″H

‘C’ – Using the measurements from fabric cut ‘A’ as a guideline – Keep the height the same and subtract 8 inches from the width
{example: for the 18X18 pillow this piece of fabric would measure 11″W X 19″H}

Working with fabric pieces ‘B’ and ‘C’ – finish the raw edges of one side of the fabric by sewing a 1/2 inch seam.


This is done by simply folding the edge over and sewing a straight line down the height of the fabric. {see blue dashing lines in the example above} This will give the raw edges of the fabric a finished look and prevent fraying and raveling of the fabric.


Next you want to start putting the cover together by sewing piece ‘A’ to piece ‘B’.

To do this – Lay fabric piece ‘A’, right side facing up – and place fabric piece ‘B’ on top, right side facing down. Make sure the finished edge of fabric piece ‘B’ {shown as the solid blue line} is placed as shown above.

Sew a straight line down the raw edges using a 1/2 inch seam allowance {shown as the blue dashing line in the example above}


Follow by attaching fabric piece ‘C’.

To do this – Lay fabric piece ‘A &B’, right side facing up – and place fabric piece ‘C’ on top, right side facing down. Make sure the finished edge of fabric piece ‘C’ {shown as the solid blue line} is placed as shown above.

Sew a straight line down the raw edges using a 1/2 inch seam allowance {shown as the blue dashing line in the example above}


The final step to sew seams across the top and bottom to close the cover.

To do this – Lay the ‘B,A,C’ piece of fabric right side up.
Fold in piece ‘C’ at the seam {shown by the black arrow above}.
Then fold in piece ‘B’ at the seam {shown by the second black arrow above}.

Sew a straight stitch across the top and bottom raw edges using a 1/2 inch seam allowance {shown as the blue dashing line in the last example above}


Turn the cover right side out…..


and stuff with with a pillow form – or an inexpensive bargain pillow.


The overload of pillows above were used to create a make-shift reading nook in my little guys room.


I decided to make the best of the open space between the two windows and add a couple benches which also double as hidden storage.


Even though the pillows add some much needed color, texture and pattern to the space – I like that they can be moved around and actually be used to make a comfy spot for my little guy to lay and read {even on the floor}.

The Mongolian Faux-Fur Pillows were purchased {here} and they are my little guys favorite – they double as tactile toys for my sensory driven little one.


I’ll be sharing more on the benches shortly. Enjoy.

                  

Comments

  1. Great tutorial, thank you Stephanie Lynn!

  2. What a great tutorial, I shopped for fabric today to make some spring pillow covers. Your room is adorable!

  3. I think even I can do this…thank you for the “lesson”…the room is wonderfully done…I love it each time I see it on your blog…

  4. Thanks for one of the clearest set of instructions I have seen in a long time!!

  5. How awesome….thank you for the tutorial….

  6. Thanks for this tutorial. I am a novice seamstress and this will come in handy. Love the madras fabric!

  7. Great tutorial! The steps outlined are VERY helpful. Can’t wait to try this!

  8. I think even my basic sewing skills can tackle this! Thanks for the step by step and your little guy’s reading nook looks spectacular!

  9. This is a timely tutorial for me, who can’t sew. I picked up some coffee sacks yesterday and at least one is going to become a pillow.

    ~Bliss~

  10. Good tutorial- thanks! I love those furry pillows! I think we ALL need tactile stimulation sometimes.

  11. Stephanie,

    Used this to make pillow covers for the outside patio. So easy peasy. Here is my post:
    http://laurmelashouse.blogspot.com/2012/04/little-pillow-happy.html

    Love your blog,

    Toodles,
    Laura

  12. I just made a pillow following your pattern.It turn out great.Thank you so much for sharing with us beginner sewers .I am on my 2nd pillow.

  13. Thanks for making such a clear tutorial… really appreciate the work you put into this for us all to benefit from!

  14. Wow! Thank you so much. As a new/self teaching in progress sewer, this was so easy to follow even for me!!! That’s saying a lot. I am so glad I found you.
    Thank you,
    LBS

  15. Love the instructions. Just what I was looking for. I like to switch pillow covers and this makes it so simple. Thank you for posting.

        

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