In this tutorial I would like to show you how to make the simplest pillow cover in just under half an hour.
An envelope back pillow cover does not require a zip installation which makes the job much easier – all you need are a sewing machine, a pair of scissors, some pins, a piece of fabric large enough to cover an existing or a new cushion pad, matching thread and a little patience of course.
You can use a brand new fabric from a shop or you can give an old fabric a new life as I did for this tutorial.
If you are working with new fabric pre-wash it first – it will help to get rid of excess dye and minimise shrinkage in the future.
For my pillow I used:
- A cushion pad 18” x 18” .
- A piece of fabric 19” long and 45” wide.
- Cutting fabric
- Cut one piece of fabric 19” x 19” – this is going to be the front panel for my cushion pad which is 18”x 18″ and I added ½” to each side for seam allowance.
- Cut two pieces of fabric 19” x 13” – these two pieces will be sewn to form a back panel for the pillow. As the back panel consists of two equal pieces I divided 18” by 2 and added 2” for seams and 2” for overlap (18 : 2 + 2 + 2 = 13).
Making the back panel for an envelope pillow cover
- Lay one small piece of your cut fabric wrong side up.
- Turn 19” long edge by ½” inwards towards the wrong side and press with your iron.
- Fold and pin the same edge again by 1” towards wrong side of the fabric. You might want to hand baste the edge instead of using pins as I did – I was working with creasy silk fabric which is not quite stable, so I preferred to hand baste the hem before stitching it up.
- Press it.
- Turn the piece right side up and measure 1” in from the folded edge. To make sure the stitch is straight you can draw a line parallel to the edge or you can use some masking tape to create a straight line.
- Repeat the process with the second small piece of fabric.
Making a pillow cover
- Fold the three pieces together: The square panel (19”x19”) with face side of fabric facing you,
- Then place one of the small pieces face down on the top of your 19” by 19” piece with a raw edge lined up with left side of the square panel.
- Then the second small piece face down on the top of the other two pieces (this piece will overlap the first small piece) with a raw edge lined up with right hand side of the square panel.
See picture below.
- Pin or hand baste them together
- Machine stitch the pieces together ½” in from the raw edge along the perimeter backstitching at the start and the end of the stitch.
- Trim the corners to get rid of excess fabric.
You might want to zigzag or over lock the edges of your pillow cover for a neater look.
- Turn the cover right side out.
- With closed scissors gently poke out the corners.
- Press the seams.
- Insert a cushion pad.
Job is done! Was it difficult?