Pillow sham tutorial: envelope-style!

Okay, so I don’t know if “envelope-style” is the technical name for this kind of pillow…but that’s what I’m going to call it.  Back when I posted about some of the nursery projects I’ve done I promised to post a tutorial for these easy-to-make easy-off pillow “slipcovers.”  Here a pic of some of the ones I made for the nursery window seat:

This is the same type of pillow sham I made awhile back for the living room as well–from the front, you can’t see the envelope closure:

This style of pillow cover is perfect for any place you have pillows that risk getting somehow soiled (hence the nursery and living room pillows being done this way).  If the pillow sham gets something on it, you can easily remove it and wash it and throw it right back on the pillow–no harm done!  So without further ado, here’s how I do it!

Supplies you’ll need:

  • fabric (if you plan to wash these covers, make sure the fabric is not dry clean only)
  • thread
  • sewing machine
  • straight pins
  • fabric tape measure
  • sharp scissors
  • pillow form or old pillow

1. Cut your fabric pieces.  For 20×20 pillows I cut the front piece as 21×21 (for a 1/2 inch seam allowance).  For the back piece (where the opening will be) I cut a piece to be about 27 inches and then cut that in half to make the two pieces that will overlap.

2. For each of the shorter pieces, fold over the long edge 1/4 inch and iron.   Fold over 1/4 inch again and iron again.  If your fabric doesn’t lie flat after this, use straight pins to hold the folded edge in place.

3. Stitch along the folded edge.  Repeat with the second shorter piece.

4. Place the 21×21 piece face up.  Place one of the shorter pieces face down (right sides together) on top (unfinished edge) of the 21×21 piece, aligning the top.  Place the second shorter piece face down on top of the other two pieces, aligning the bottom (unfinished edge) with the 21×21 piece.  The two sewn edges will overlap by approximately 5-6 inches.  Pin along all the edges.

5. Stitch all the way around the perimeter using a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

6. Turn sham right side out, and insert the pillow form into the overlap.

7. Sit back, relax, and enjoy your new pillow sham.  No, really, you CAN relax…because even if you spill on the sham, you can wash it!  Doesn’t that help you relax?

Let me know if you try this–I’d love to hear/see how it goes.  Be sure to let me know if any step is unclear.  Happy pillow-making!

4 thoughts on “Pillow sham tutorial: envelope-style!

  1. Pingback: Fabulous fabric finds a new home « the2bedroomblues

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  4. Pingback: Almost there: nursery progress and new built-ins! | the2bedroomblues

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