Sorry for the glut of tutorials (not really! I think they're awesome!) but I am still doing a major spruce up here at the house and every little improvement lifts my heart so it's fun to share. I've been making envelope pillow covers and they are so quick and satisfying that I can't believe I haven't been making them forever. I bought my pillow forms at Jo-Ann (they are the Fairfield/Jo-Ann brand and I'm really happy with them) with my 1/2 off coupons, or catching a sale, and the biggest ones I got (22" x 22") were only 10.00 so these are really affordable.
I've seen other tutorials but mine has a little shortcut (only you will know) and a smart little touch at the end to give them a crisp shape. They only take a few minutes to make and a little fabric from your stash. So here we go!
These instructions are for the 16" x 16" pillow and the finished cover will be 15" x 15" to give it a nice full (no sags!) finished look. Cut your fabric 16" x 35" (or put together a patchwork and trim it to those dimensions!). I got this terrific gingham at IKEA and I'm really in love with it.
Now fold one end over 1" and hem it. Leave the other end unhemmed because it's going to be tucked on the inside and nobody will ever see it (and I've decided to stop worrying about things people will never see or notice).
Now fold your ends in toward the middle and overlap them until your pillow measures 15" across. Make sure the wrong side of the hemmed end is facing upward and the un-hemmed end is on top of that. Yours will look more over-lapped than this picture since I made the dimensions longer after I finished this one and realized it needed more overlap.
Now pin or glue (I used my purple glue stick and got great results) the un-sewn sides together and sew across both sides using 1/2" seam allowance.
Now here comes the smart part. Turn your pillow right side out, press your seams nicely, and press the top and bottom edges to give them a crisp fold. Then stitch along the folded edge as close to the edge as you can get without falling off.
I stitched mine about 1/16" from the edge. Take your time so you can control your seam and keep it straight.
Here's what it looks like when the pillow is in it. So much nicer than a round, quasi-shapeless edge.
I didn't stitch the rounded edge on the yellow pillow so you can see how much sharper the edge and corner are on the gingham one. The extra effort makes a difference. Make a bunch of these and layer them and you can change the look of your room in an instant! They just add so much personality and they are so quick and easy, there is no reason to wait. Plus they make great gifts!
And here's a look at the over-lapped envelope closure on the big pillow (22" x 22"). No velcro needed!
Have a great week and keep on sewing!