I love changing up our décor for the seasons….and one of the fastest, easiest ways to do that is by changing out our decorative pillow covers. All you need is fabric and a sewing machine. I won’t even say you need to be able to sew straight lines…mine are never straight and I find pillow covers about the most forgiving sewing project out there.
The other day when I wrote about spring-ifying the living room I promised I would be back with a DIY simple envelope pillow sewing tutorial… and here I am to share with you how I created the simple pillow covers for our living room. I have used this same method to make mounds of pillows for all over the house as well as for outside, and I promise that once you get the hang of it you will be shocked at how quickly you can whip up several of these babies and change the whole look of your space.
The tools I used to make these pillows:
- a rotary cutter and cutting mat… you can use regular scissors to cut your fabric but I find that cutting with a rotary cutter is fast and gives you clean straight lines to work with
- a sewing machine and coordinating thread
- sewing pins
- an iron and ironing board
- fabric of your choice… I usually use a plain fabric on the back and save my pretty designer fabrics for the fronts only
- pillow forms… my very favorite are the feather inserts from IKEA – they are super stuffed and puffy for an amazing price
Start by measuring your pillow form. This size will help you determine the size of fabric that you need to cut.
Tips to help you cut your fabric:
- I like to cut my fabric FRONTS to the exact measurements of the pillow form or maybe 1/2 inch larger at most so as to ensure a nice snug fit on the pillow form. You want the form to really FILL out the pillow – otherwise your pillow cover will look loose and sloppy.
- For an envelope pillow you are going to cut one piece for the front of the pillow and two pieces for the back of the pillow. The two back pieces will overlap so you want to take your final measurement and add 6 inches then divide that in half for the size of each back piece (for example, if your finished size is an 18″ pillow, then you need a 24″ section cut in half for your back pieces… the final size of each of the two back pieces would be 18″ x12″).
Following the tips above, cut your fabric:
Using a rotary cutter and mat is easy because the measurements are right there on your mat. If you are using scissors you could draw your lines onto your fabric with a pencil and ruler and then cut the pieces out along your straight lines.
Once you have all of your fronts and back pieces cut out to the correct measurements, iron all of your pieces smooth.
Next iron a 1/2 inch fold over on the edge of the backs. This will be the finished edge that overlaps on the back of the pillows.
Once you have ironed a fold/hem on ONE side of each of the back pieces you are ready to begin sewing. Take these back pieces and sew a straight line along the fold.
Now that you have one hemmed edge on each of the back pieces, you are ready to pin and then sew the rest of the pillow cover together. Lay the front piece with your “good” (patterned) side facing up… and then lay the “good” side of the backs down so that your RIGHT or GOOD SIDES ARE FACING TOGETHER.
Pin all the way around your pillow. All that you should be able to see are the BAD sides facing out towards you – the GOOD sides are inside the pinned ‘pillow cover’ at this point.
Now you are ready to sew straight lines all the way around your pillow cover edges. Go ahead and sew, then flip the pillow cover inside out… poke out your corners… and stuff your insert into the cover! Beautiful…you are done!!
I have had several questions about the fabrics I used so here is the information about them:
The yellow chevron is by Premier Prints. It is here at Fabric.com
The yellow floral is called Varenna… available here at Tonic Living.
The blue/green lattice box pattern is called Groovy Grille, Confetti by Waverly. It is available here at Tonic Living.
The floral bird fabric is called Summersong. I bought mine from an Etsy seller called Sweet Bobbins. You could contact them to see if they have it available!
UPDATE: Check out Super Easy Crazy Fast Ten-Minute One-Piece Envelope Pillow Covers for another post on easy quick pillows, this time made from one piece of fabric:
Do you sew your own pillow covers? What method do you use? I would love to hear about it!
Thanks for reading. And remember, my housie friends, HOME isn’t built in a day. Enjoy the journey.
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