I've been collecting travel/stamp fabric thinking I would use them for a quilt. But when I saw a video on Creativebug.com showing how to make envelopes from magazine pages I realized I could make fabric envelopes! And what could be more fun than sewing an envelope on a pillow? I'm thinking the pillow could be left on someone's bed or chair with a message tucked in the envelope for a special day--sort of a variation of putting a message in a lunch box!
So here's a TUTORIAL so you can make your own "Leave me a Message" envelope Pillow.
- 14 inch square purchased pillow form. (You could also make your own).
- Paper envelope to use a template--at least 4 x 6 inches or use larger a greeting card envelope.
- Plain paper to make a pattern for your fabric envelope
- 1 Fat quarter of a fabric for the pillow front
- 1 Fat quarter for the inside of the envelope
- 1 Fat quarter for the exterior of the envelope
- 1/4 inch pre-made bias double fold bias tape or 2 1/2 inch wide strip of fabric, at least 12 inches long. (Does not need to cut on the bias). You can make a regular quilt binding or use a Clover Tape Maker: Width 25mm, 1" to make a double fold tape
- 1/2 yard of fabric for the back of the pillow
- Matching sewing thread
- Pearle cotton #8 contrasting color for hand stitching on envelope
- Chenille needle, or needle with eye wide enough for the Pearle cotton
- 1 decorative button
- 1/8 inch ribbon to make loop to close the envelope
- Tailor's chalk or other non-permanent marking pencil or pen
- 16 1/2 inch square quilting ruler--helpful but not necessary
- Sewing machine with open toe foot. A walking foot also very helpful but not mandatory.
- Cut one 15 1/2 inch square for the front of the pillow
- Cut two 10 1/2 inch x 15 1/2 inch rectangles for the back of the pillow
- Carefully take a paper envelope apart and smooth it flat
- Cut off the envelope flap along the fold line
- Lay the two envelope pieces on a plain piece of paper. You may need to tape two pieces of paper together to make a piece large enough for the body of the the envelope.
- Trace around the body of the envelope and around the flap.
- Now draw a 1/4 inch seam allowance around all sides of both the envelope body but ONLY the lower edge of the flap on your pattern.
- Mark the fold lines from the template envelope on your pattern
- SAVE the paper envelope used as the template. It helps to refer back to it when you fold your fabric envelope.
- Place fabric for inside of envelope and outside of envelope RIGHT SIDES together. Pin on the 2 pattern pieces. Cut out the envelope pieces.
- Mark where the two fold lines will be at the top edge of the envelope body
- Using a 1/4 inch seam, sew the two parts of the envelope BODY together, leaving the top edge between the 2 fold lines OPEN. (The envelope flap will be sewn tucked into this opening later).
- Trim the points on the envelope body and clip notches. Be careful NOT to cut your stitches!
- Turn the envelope body right sides out. Press, turning the raw edges under 1/4 inch at the top.
- Make a double fold tape using the Clover Bias Tape Maker OR make quilt binding OR cut a commercial 1/2 inch bias fold tape the length needed to cover the two upper sides of the envelope flap. 12" is probably long enough.
- Cut a piece of 1/8 inch ribbon about 2 inches long, fold in half
- Turn the envelope flap pieces so they are WRONG SIDES together
- Attach the 1/2" tape or binding to the two upper sides of the flap, leaving the BOTTOM EDGE OPEN. Miter the corners.
- Tuck the folded ribbon into the miter at the point of the envelope flap. Tack it down.
- Finish sewing the tape to the edges of the flap.
- Tuck the raw edges of the flap 1/4 inch into the opening at the top of the envelope body
- Pin in place
- Sew flap to the envelope body using a edging stitch
- On the INSIDE of your envelope, mark the Fold Lines using tailor's chalk or non-permanent fabric marking pen. TIP: Check your template paper envelope to see where the fold lines should be.
- Determine where you want the envelope on the front panel of your pillow. Pin completed the flat OPEN envelope to front pillow panel.
- Sew the open envelope to front pillow panel along the two side fold lines and bottom fold line. Don't sew across the top edge where the flap is.
- Fold envelope and pin. Refer back to paper envelope template if needed.
- Sew on button
- Using the Perle cotton, stitch the envelope closed. Make sure you don't accidentally sew the front of the envelope to the back of the envelope!
- To make the pillow back: Fold one long raw edge down 1/4 inch both back pieces. Press. NOTE: If the design of the back fabric is directional, turn down the lower edge of the top half and the upper edge of the bottom half.
- Fold over again 1/4 inch. Press. Sew folds closed stitching close to the edge.
- Lay the upper half of the back on top of the front of the pillow, RIGHT sides together.
- Lay the bottom half of the back on top of the front of the pillow, overlapping the upper half of the back. Pin front and back pieces together.
- Sew SCANT 1/4 inch seam around all 4 sides of the pillow cover.
- Trim the corners. Turn right side out, making sure to fully turn the corners. Press.
- On the outside of the pillow cover, top stitch 1/4 inch around all 4 sides on the front of the pillow. The top stitching will cover the raw edges inside the pillow cover.
- Insert the purchased pillow form.
- Write a note, tuck it in the envelope and leave it for someone special! You should also find a pocket behind the envelope--a place to hide a little present or a piece of chocolate!
Hope you enjoy your "Leave Me a Message" Envelope Pillow!
Suggestion: One of my friends thinks this would be a great place to keep a rosary, using it as a Prayer Pillow. I think that would another great way to use this pillow! Thanks for that idea, Janet!
The Fine Print: Copyright 2016 Judith Tucker. Feel free to use this tutorial to make pillows for friends and family. It's also fine to make a pillows to sell on craft table at a fair or quilt show. If you do sell pillow covers, please credit the design to www.sleepingdogquilts.com. Thanks! Use for commercial purposes is NOT allowed.