Beginner Sewing: How to Make a Pillow Cover

You can make a great looking envelope pillow cover in 30 minutes or so.

Fact: there is no easier way to update your home than to put out a few new pillows. Worried about the cost? Don’t want to toss the pillows you already have? (They’re fine after all, just a bit dated…) We’ve got a solution for you: make your own pillow covers! This beginner sewing tutorial guides you through the process (quick and easy!). And we’ll tell you how much fabric you need for many common pillow sizes. Home refresh? Done and done.

Beginner Sewing: How to Make a Pillow Cover

Dritz® supplies:

Omnigrid® supplies:

Other supplies:

  • Pillow form in desired size or old pillow that you want to recover
  • Use this chart to determine your fabric needs/cuts; it has guidelines for both quilting cotton and home décor fabrics
  • Basic sewing supplies
  • Matching thread and sewing machine
  • Iron and pressing surface

Beginner Sewing: How to Make a Pillow Cover

We made two envelope pillow covers. We chose a faux suede fabric for the rust pillow, and (swoon!) the blue print is a vintage Shibori-like fabric we had in our stash. If you plan to remove and wash your pillow cover after it’s made, prewash your fabric before cutting. Iron fabric to remove any wrinkles.

Beginner Sewing: How to Make a Pillow Cover

Measure pillow from seam to seam in both directions to determine cut size. Following this chart, cut fabric pieces to size with Omnigrid® ruler, cutter, and mat. Cut back piece in half widthwise. For example: 18” pillow, cut back into two 18” x 13” pieces. These 2 pieces will overlap to form opening on back of pillow.

Beginner Sewing: How to Make a Pillow Cover

Hem the edges of the overlap on both of the back pieces. Using the drapery hem gauge, press the overlap edges under ½” to the wrong side. Fold a second time to 1 ½” and press.

Beginner Sewing: How to Make a Pillow Cover

Edgestitch along 1st fold to secure hems.

Beginner Sewing: How to Make a Pillow Cover

Follow this tutorial to eliminate excess fabric in the corners of pillow. You only need to mark and cut the corners of the front pieces right now.

Beginner Sewing: How to Make a Pillow Cover

Align edges of back pieces with front pieces, right sides together, and pin. Back pieces should overlap each other about 4” in the middle of the back.

Beginner Sewing: How to Make a Pillow Cover

Trim excess back corners fabric following edge of pillow front.

Beginner Sewing: How to Make a Pillow Cover

Stitch around all 4 sides with a ½” seam allowance. Start in the center of one side and pivot at all corners.

Beginner Sewing: How to Make a Pillow Cover

Trim corners and turn pillow right side out. Use point turner to push out corners. Press cover.

Beginner Sewing: How to Make a Pillow Cover

Open overlap in back and stuff pillow into cover. Push corners of pillow into corners of cover.

Beginner Sewing: How to Make a Pillow Cover

Stand back and admire! We just love the way these contrasting fabrics and textures look when layered together. New pillows really do add an instant refresh, and let you achieve a new vibe easily and economically (especially if you’re repurposing existing pillow inserts). 

Beginner Sewing: How to Make a Pillow Cover

Dritz Home Refresh Lookbook

Check out our Home Refresh lookbook and see more about these pillows, plus other easy ways to add quick updates to your space. We’ve also got more pillow tutorials  here on our blog.

Finally, won’t you join our vibrant community of sewing enthusiasts on Instagram and Facebook – we’d love to chat with you there!

Happy sewing. 

 

 

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