How to Sew Envelope Back Pillow Covers

    by Natasha Lawrence

    About the Author

    For over 25 years, Natasha Lawrence has written for publications from "Alaska Business Monthly" to "Savannah Magazine" and provided destination content as Florida city editor for Wcities. Her expertise in arts and crafts includes calligraphy, painting, mosaics, jewelry making, paper crafts and home decor, often offering workshops in museums and art centers.


    Making envelope pillow covers requires the basic sewing machine skills for simple straight stitching. Created to fit over existing pillows, whether decorative or sleeping pillows, these covers do not have zippers, buttons or any sew-on closures, which makes this home decor project an excellent one for the novice seamstress. The back of the cover consists of two fabric pieces that overlap at least a few inches, making the covers easy to remove for cleaning.

    Things You'll Need

    • Pillow form
    • Cover fabric, pre-laundered
    • Tape measure
    • Scissors
    • Thread
    • Sewing machine
    • Straight pins
    • Serger (optional)
    • Iron

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    Measure the pillow form. Measure the width as the distance from left to right as the pillow sits on the sofa. Measure the length as the distance from the top to the bottom of the pillow as it sits on the bed. Add 1 inch to each measurement for the front of the pillow cut piece. Add 9 inches to width measurement and 1 inch to the length measurement for the back cut piece measurement. Cut fabric for both front and back of the pillow. Fold the back piece in half length-wise. Press the fold and cut along it, creating the overlap edges.

    Turn each of the overlap edges over 1/2 inch, wrong sides together, and sew 1/4-inch from the edge. Align the remaining raw length edge of each back piece with a length edge on the cover front. The two back pieces will overlap about 4 inches along the width edges. Pin the pieces together around the perimeter of the cover.

    Straight stitch 1/2-inch all around the edges of the pillow cover. Serge or zig-zag the seams to prevent fraying. Iron flat. Turn the cover right side out. Iron the edges flat. Insert the filler into the cover through the overlapping back opening.

    • This is a good project for a "crazy quilt" or two or three contrasting pieces of fabric stitched together.