We are Elizabeth and liZ from Simple Simon and Company and we are here today to share one of our fastest and easiest projects that can change a room in your home—–envelope pillow covers! They can make a big impact with a little amount of fabric.
Pillow covers are one thing that I made a million of when I first started sewing for my home and they are still one of my favorite projects to make. But throughout the years I have learned some tips and tricks to take your envelope pillow covers from homemade looking to professional looking and I will share those with you today!
Easy Tips to Make a Professional Pillow Cover
Tip #1–Use a good quality home decor fabric. I used Michael Miller’s Bekko “Willow” line for these pillows and it is a great weight for these pillows. I would suggest using a cotton sateen or home decor weight fabric. If you do choose a quilting cotton fabric, you will need to also use a lightweight (or featherweight) interfacing to get the weight of fabric that you need to make a great envelope pillow.
Tip #2–Cut your pillow fronts and back to the SAME SIZE as your pillow insert. This is one of those mistakes that I made early on. I used to cut my pillow front 1-2″ bigger than my pillow insert to allow for seam allowances, but what I ended up with was a saggy, baggy pillow cover instead of a tight fitting one that looked better. Yes, by the time you stitch up your pillow cover it is actually going to be smaller than the pillow…..but it will look so much better! Another tip is to be sure to make sure the corners of your pillow cover fit super tightly in the corners to make them crisp and clean looking.
Tip #3–Use a feather/down insert in your pillows. My absolute favorite are the 20″ by 20″ feather pillow inserts from IKEA. They are inexpensive but are great quality and will last you a long time. I have some from 5 plus years ago that are still going strong and still look great. If the feathers start to fall to the bottom…just give them a couple of shakes and then you are good to go again. (And they make that perfect karate chopped pillow on your couch!)
Tip #4–CLIP YOUR CORNERS! The difference between a homemade pillow cover and a professional one is sometimes the little details in the sewing. Clipping the excess fabric on the inside of your pillow will make your corners crisp and clean and look like a million bucks. If you don’t know how to do that—head HERE, it’s really simple.
Tip #5–Match your fabrics at the seams. I know that this takes a little more time and a little more fabric but I promise that the results are worth it. Having the fabric match at the side seams and across the pillow back is much more professional-looking!
And now that you have all the tips…..you are ready to get to your envelope pillow making!
Here’s what you will need to make one envelope pillow cover:
1 20″ by 20″ feather down pillow insert
3/4-1 yards of fabric per pillow cover (depending on matching prints)
And to make it easy we have created a printable PDF sheet that gives all the directions of exactly how to make the pillow cover in 4 easy steps! Just click the image below to download and print from your home computer.
You can change out your covers for the seasons and they look so great on your pillows! But don’t say that I didn’t warn you with how addicting these are to make…..but your friends and family will love you for making them all new pillow covers!
Be sure to see all of our other home decor as well as sewing tutorials over at Simple Simon and Company.
Pillow covers for everyone! Thanks for sharing your tips for a pro finish. I’ve got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for tomorrow that features your tips: http://sewing.craftgossip.com/?p=87584 — Anne ps – So happy I got to hang out with you at SNAP!
Connie Strom says
You say to cut front and backs same size but when I clicked on instructions it said to cut 20 by 13 for back. Please explain the difference
Thanks for all these fabulous tips! Can you recommend a specific interfacing for lightweight/quilting fabric? Thx!
I hope you are still around…I need to cover a square (20 x 20) pillow but with rounded edges….any ideas or advice? thank you – I really liked the tip about cutting the fabric the same size as the pillow.