I recently got tired of our guest bedroom decor and decided to spruce it up in more of a ‘mid century modern’ style. I was looking for pillows to add a touch of color and texture, but couldn’t find anything reasonably priced. (Since when have pillows gotten so expensive?!?!)
Realizing that I already have many pillows from past room designs, my most economical option was to create my own pillow covers. The fabric that I bought was under $10/pillow at Joann’s Fabric.
Now my sewing skills are on par with my cooking skills, which means my capabilities with a sewing machine are equivalent to mastering the crock-pot. But don’t worry, I have mastered a mean BBQ in the crockpot as well as these easy sewing envelope pillows!
This tutorial will show you how to whip out an envelope pillow case cover in under 15 minutes!
What you need:
- 1 pillow or pillow insert
- Fabric (I opt for one yard per pillow and always end up with more than enough. Better safe than sorry.)
- Tape measure
- Sewing scissors (I prefer Fiskars)
- Sewing machine (I’ve had my Singer for over a decade!)
- Thread (with a color that matches your fabric)
- Iron-on adhesive tape (optional)
1. Always iron your fabric before you dig in to any sewing project! Measuring and cutting wrinkled fabric can get you in to trouble later within the project.
2. If you don’t already know the width and length of your pillow, measure it with a fabric measuring tape. Mine was 18 x 18.
3. You’ll need to cut 3 pieces of fabric. I use the Fiskar Rotary Cutting Set to help measure and cut my fabric. If you’re a rookie sewer and don’t plan to do more than these pillows, it likely isn’t worth it. But if you do sew somewhat often, I HIGHLY recommend it. Well worth the purchase. It makes cutting and measuring WAY easier.
- First piece should be 1 inch longer than your pillow on each side (so mine was 19 x 19).
- The second and third pieces should be 1 inch longer than your pillow on one side and 5 inches shorter (so mine was 19 x 13). These pieces will be the ‘envelope’.
4. On EACH of the smaller envelope pieces you’ll create a nice finished seam on ONE of the longer sides. Instead of sewing I prefer to use the iron-on adhesive tape, but you can definitely opt to sew. Regardless of which option you choose, first fold & iron down about 1/2 an inch. Then either tape/iron or pin/sew the seem.
5. Now you’re ready to compile your fabric and sew. Lay down the larger first piece of fabric right side facing up. Then put one of the smaller pieces on top, right side down (finished seem in the middle). Finally place the last small piece on top of that, again right side down & finished seem in the middle. Your two smaller pieces should overlap in the middle as this will be the ‘envelop’.
6. Now pin along all the edges about 1 inch in. You won’t pin the middle at all since that’s the envelope.
7. Dust off that sewing machine, because step 7 is all about the sewing! Make sure to use a thread that is either the same color as your solid fabric or a predominant color within a patterned fabric. If either white or black is largely predominant, I prefer to use thread that’s either of those colors. Sew at a 1/2 inch around the edges.
8. Turn your pillow case right side out.
9. Now my favorite part: stuff your pillow inside and you’re done!
This is an easy way to completely transform an out-dated pillow. Even if you’re not planning on doing a room make-over it can be fun to swap out your pillows during different times of the year!
I hope your pillows are as good as my crock-pot meals!
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