How to Sew an Envelope Pillow Cover – Video Tutorial

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HOW TO SEW AN ENVELOPE PILLOW COVER

(and what to do differently if you have a really firm pillow)

Envelope pillow covers are a great way to change your pillows for the seasons or holidays without having to buy or store the complete pillow. They also have no zippers so they are fast to make and a great sewing for beginners project.

Envelope pillow case with quarter square triangle quilt block

🎯 SHORTCUTS TO SPECIFIC TOPICS:

00:00 introduction
00:22 My Massage Pillow demo
01:26 Choosing fabric
02:22 Measure the Pillow
04:21 Make the back fabrics

05:55 How to make a quarter square triangle quilt block
14:32 Sew the envelope pillow case
16:29 Put the envelope pillow case on your pillow
16:42 What to do if it won’t go on

In the video I show you the “My Massage Pillow” – a pressure activated massage pillow I discovered at the Portland Quilt Show. I learned a lesson – and almost scrapped the video – but decided you could learn along with me!

🧵 Fabric shown is from my Monthly Placemat Panel Collection for Riley Blake Designs: Navy July Stars and Red July Stars.


THE BIG LESSON LEARNED COVERING THE MASSAGE PILLOW: If you have a pillow that is really firm or dense, you need to adjust the amount your fabrics overlap on the back of an envelope pillow cover.

Fabric Selection: If you are covering a pillow that has a design on it or is a dark color be sure it won’t show through your fabric before making your envelope pillow case.

STEP 1: MEASURE YOUR PILLOW

Measure your pillow (or read the label if you are using a new pillow form). (figure 1)

STEP 2: PILLOW COVER FRONT

Cut fabric for the front of the pillow the same size as the size of your pillow.

So if your pillow is 14″ x 14″, your front fabric is also 14″ x 14″. You can use a solid piece of fabric, make a quilt block, etc. Just have a final piece that is 14″ x 14″.

The fabric being the same size as the pillow feels really counter-intuitive to me but this is how you get a snug fit that looks like you bought the pillow at a store instead of a loose fitting, homemade cover.

STEP 3: PREPARE THE PILLOW COVER BACKS

Cut 2 pieces for the back that measure the width of the pillow x (width of pillow ÷ 2) + 5″

So for a 14″ pillow you cut 2 pieces that are each 14″ x 12″.

Note: that works for most pillows but had too much overlap for the My Massage Pillow. I adjusted the calculation to add +3″ instead of 5″ and was able to get the cover on.

For each piece of fabric, iron one long side over ¼″ and then another ¼″ to encase the raw edge.

If your fabric is directional, fold and sew the top edge of one piece and the bottom of the other.

Sew to secure.

STEP 4: LAYER THE FRONT AND BACK

Place the pillow front right side up, in the direction you want the pillow to have if it has a specific direction.

Place one of the back fabrics over the pillow front fabric, right side down, matching the bottom sides. If your fabric is directional put the piece where you folded and sewed the top edge. (figure 2)

Place the other back fabric on top of the two layers, right side down, matching the raw edges. This piece overlaps the other backing piece – hence the name “envelope pillow cover”.  Pin all 3 layers together. (ffigure 3)

measure your pillow
figure 1
layer the Envelope pillow Cover fabrics
figure 2
pin the Envelope pillow Cover fabrics together
figure 3

STEP 5: SEW THE PILLOW COVER

Sew around the entire square with a ¼″ seam. Go back and forth over the place where the backing pieces end to reinforce – that area gets the most stress when putting the cover on and off a pillow and you don’t want your seam to give!

STEP 6: FINISH UP

Trim the fabric at the corners to reduce bulk.

Turn the pillow cover right side out, paying attention to the corners for the most professional results.

Put your case onto your pillow and enjoy!


— LOVE THIS IDEA? —

Be sure to save it to Pinterest and follow me for more ideas and resources for sewing, crafting and creative living.

If you make this or other projects and post on Instagram, be sure to tag me (@artisttarareed). Follow my YouTube channel for new sewing projects and tips every week.

🧵 Tara Reed

P.S. Is there a sewing tutorial you’d love to see? Leave me a comment and I’ll add it to my idea list!

— YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE —

Buy a My Massage Pillow on Amazon >

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