Tuesday, September 17, 2013

DIY easy envelope pillow covers, no really!

I'm not much of a sewer but asked for a simple sewing machine when I was pregnant with Angel-baby. I thought about all the sweet things I would make for her, like baby clothes, blankets, burp cloths, shoes, bibs. 24 hour morning sickness that lasted on and off for the whole 9.5 months mixed with pure pregnancy laziness stopped me from even getting my machine out of the box other then a couple of times to read the manual. I got a quick tutorial from my mother in law, the sewer in the family,  and can now for the most part can sew a straight line if I try hard enough. Over the last few months I have been breaking out my sewing machine and making SIMPLE projects. I made curtains and a runner. Nothing that consists of much measuring, cutting or fancy stitching. With a little bit of practice, I've gotten my confidence up to advance on to something a little more than simple hemming.

With my Family Room finally finished and in place, the last thing I needed was a few decorative pillows. I have a plethora of old pillows thanks to sloppy kids and dirty dogs. I just needed to recover them and update what I had. I didn't want to spend a lot since I know these pillows will follow suit like the old ones. After talking with a friend about making some new envelope covers, I looked up how hard it would be to try and sew an actual cover myself and found that it looked surprisingly simple.

First thing I did was buy a few yards of fabric from Walmart. Total spent was $8 and change for 3 yards. The material isn't the best but neither is my sewing. I figure once I get my technique down I will splurge on nicer fabric.

Measure your pillow to see how big you'll need to make the front of the cover. My pillow was 20x20. You will use one big piece for the front and 2 pieces for the back to make the envelope closing. You'll want the cover to fit snuggly. 

I measured and cut one 20x20 piece.
Measure and cut from your fabric the exact size of your front of your pillow. 

For the back cover you will need 2 pieces to create your envelope closing. Most people use a plain material for this and save as much of their pretty pattern material for other projects, like more pillows. I was out of any scrap material for my back cover so I used this navy stripe pattern that I bought. When making the back cover you will measure the length of your pillow plus add 6 inches. You want to have enough material to overlap and close the back of your pillow. The length of my pillow is 20" so my new measurement is 26". After you measure and cut the material for the back, you will then cut that one back piece into 2 separate pieces. I've seen other sewers cut the back into 2 equal pieces to make it as simple as possible. I've also seen where one piece is slightly larger. I guess it depends on your preference. I think the pillow covers stay closed better if the back has more of a 3/4 to 1/4 ratio closing. If you do 2 equal pieces then you will have 2-13" panels. I used one piece that was 10" and the other on was 16". 
After you have all your pieces cut, you will need to measure a 1/2" seam to hem around one edge of each of your pieces. Iron them into place and sew a straight line. 

After you sew your edges, lay the piece that you are using as the front cover pattern side up facing you. Next, place your bottom piece (I used the short piece on the bottom) rough side facing up on the bottom. Place your other piece on the top (I used longer piece on the top) and when everything is aligned with the edges pin it all into place. If you choose to to do 2 equal panels then it doesn't matter what piece goes where. 

Front side pattern facing you, pin the other 2 pieces ROUGH side up facing you.

Sew around the edges when everything is pinned into place.
When you finish sewing all the way around, trim any extra strings and flip it right side out and insert your pillow.

Voila, you're done! That's all there is to it. If I can do this, anyone can! These aren't perfect but they will do for a quick fix. The one great thing that I love about these covers, while they are simple to make they are also pretty forgiving. If your cut is a little off or measurement isn't 100%, they still look great! I can whip out a couple of these during nap time and the are simple enough for a beginner sewer to do. I love that! 



  New Addiction! 

1 comment:

  1. Bravo! Now there are TWO sewers in the family! You can make the pillows for our new house.....or at least pick out the fabric; you are surely better than me in that department!