envelope pillow cover {how to}

pillows are good stuff. they are comfy. they are pretty. they are easy to change out. and they are easy to make. if you can sew a straight line, you can make a pillow cover.

today we’re going to make an envelope pillow cover. it’s my go-to pillow style because you can remove it for washing (important with a dog that not only doesn’t lay on the floor, but lays on a pillow on the couch) or changing out to a new cover.

– about 1/2 yard of fabric, depending on pillow size (front and back fabric can be the same or different)
-coordinating thread
-pillow form

-sewing machine
-scissors/rotary cutter

first measure your pillow to find the true length and width (as it may differ slightly from its stated size). mine was 23 1/2″ across and 16″ tall.


measure width{width/tall}

add 1″ for seam allowance to both measurements and cut your front fabric to size (24 1/2″ x 17″ for me).

measure fabric{it’s my favorite vintage brunschwig & fils fabric again}

the back will be made with two equally sized pieces. start with the pillow measurements again. add 1″ to the height of the pillow (17″ for me). for the width of each piece, divide the pillow width by 2, then add 1″ for seam allowance and 2″ for the envelope overlap (so for me, 23.5 / 2 = 11.75″ + 1 + 2 = 14.75″). cut two pieces of your back fabric to size (14.75″ x 17″).

back fabric

with the right side down, on both back pieces fold over one edge about 1/4″  along the width (my 17″ side) and iron.

iron edge

fold and iron once again so you have a neat edge.

fold again

sew along the fold.

sew along edge

lay your front fabric right side up. lay your back fabric right side down (the folded edge will be facing up) with the folded edges towards the middle. match up the left side of one of the back pieces to the left side of the front, and the right side of the other back piece to the right side of the front. your two pieces of the back fabric should overlap a couple inches. pin around all the edges.

match up fabric

sew around the entire perimeter with a 1/2″ seam allowance, making sure to back stitch at the beginning and end.

sew around

snip across the corners, close to the thread, to help your pillow have crisp corners.

chop corners

sew a zig zag stitch on the edges (or serge if you have a serger – but if you do i’m guessing you don’t need this tutorial, huh). this is optional, as these edges are inside the pillow, but it helps keep the fabric from fraying and getting all tangled up when washing.

zig edge

and the sewing is complete! through the opening turn the pillow cover right side out. poke the corners out with something pointy like a dowel rod, orange stick (manicure anyone?) or scissors, like i usually do (be gentle though, don’t jam it in there and rip it).

the opening

turn right side out

insert your pillow through the opening.

stuff it

voila. you’ve made a pillow cover.


sofa after

the back


once you master this, watch yourself – you may start to have more pillows than you know what to do with since it’s so easy and quick.  happy sewing.


linking to remodelaholic


3 thoughts on “envelope pillow cover {how to}

  1. Pingback: nursery: pillows | you're so martha

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