Envelope Pillowcase Tutorial

My Sewing Room Remodel/Organization is moving along nicely. We have moved onto Stage #2 which has 3 parts. Only problem is finding so much that calls to me to stop what I’m doing & start something new. LOL! Well, I did say I still wanted to get some sewing done while this hugh project was progressing.

While folding fabric, I uncovered some pillow panels along with coordinating fabric of horses. My daughter had asked if I found some horse fabric, if I would make a Travel Pillowcase for the daughter of a friend. Looking at my find, she reminded me that the pillow panels were to be made into pillows for her. So here I go doing some distracted sewing.

While making these pillows, I thought it would make a nice Tutorial. Plus, after doing all the calculations, this would be a great way to remember what I did.

Two Pillows Gifted

Envelope Pillowcase Tutorial –

An Envelope Pillowcase is a simple to make pillowcase, often used to cover throw pillows. They are a quick & easy way to bring some color to a room or change up the pillows for the different seasons or holidays. An Envelope Pillowcase is also a great way to use up orphan blocks or make matching pillows for a quilt.

You can either use an existing pillow or purchase a pillow form which can be found at Joann Fabrics, Hobby Lobby or online. Some are better than others and, in my opinion, the cheaper ones are usually flatter and don’t hold up to use. You could even make a pillow form, but that would be another tutorial.


  • Pillow or Pillow Form
  • Orphan Quilt Block or Fabric for the front of the pillowcase (I’m only giving directions using fabric this time)
  • Fabric for pillowcase backing
  • Optional – if using an Orphan Block, you may want batting & muslin to quilt the block before making the pillowcase

The exact measurements for the fabric depends on the size of the pillow form.

Also you will need the usual culprits found in the sewing room: sewing machine, matching thread, rotary cutter/mat & rulers & any other notions you like.

Let’s get started.


Cut 1 piece of fabric for the pillow front. Measure your pillow/pillow form seam to seam. The one I’m using is a purchased one and is 16″ x 16″ according to the package. Depending on your preferences & the firmness/fluffiness of the pillow, cut your front fabric the size of the pillow form or add 1″ for your seams. We will be using 1/2″ seams, unless otherwise noted. Cutting it the exact size can make your pillow firmer/fatter. I will be cutting my pillow panels 1″ larger than my pillow form (pillow = 16″ x 16″, my fabric is cut 17″ x 17″).

Purchased Pillow Form

Note: I will be adding a little quilting to my pillow panels, but won’t go into that right now.

Cut 2 pieces of fabric for the backing. The width of both backing pieces will be the same as you used for the front. So for my 16″ x 16″ pillow, my backing fabric will be 17″ wide.

Now this is the part that needed some calculations. The Envelope Pillowcase has an opening in the back which overlaps. I like somewhere between 3-5″ to overlap. So add 6″ to the length and cut one piece of fabric width of front fabric x length of fabric + 6″ (ok, clear as mud, right?). My front fabric is 17″ x 17″ so I cut my backing fabric 17″ x 23″ (17″ + 6″).

Cut the backing fabric in half. My backing fabric is now 2 pieces 17″ x 11-1/2″.

Pillow front and two piece backing fabric

Assemble the Pillowcase:

Step 1: If neccessary, be aware of directional fabric. On one of the 17″ sides of each of the backing fabric pieces, hem the top of the bottom piece & bottom of the top piece by turning under 1/4″ and then turn one more time. Top stitch both hems with a 3/8″ stitchline.

Pillow backing fabric – top piece hemmed on the bottom, bottom piece hemmed on the top.

Step 2: Place the front fabric piece right side up and top with backing fabric right side down placing the top piece down first, and the bottom piece on top matching the raw edges & overlapping the hemmed edges in the middle.

Layered – Top piece right-side up and backing pieces right-side down (layer the top back piece first, followed by the bottom back piece). Hemmed edges overlapping in the middle.

Step 3: Stitch all around the outside edges using 1/2″ seams. You can zig zag the seams to prevent fraying. Trim corners to reduce bulk, being careful not to cut the stitches. If you have a Serger, this could also be used to finish the seams.

Seam 1/2″, edges over-stitched & corners clipped.

Step 4: Turn right-side out & gently poke out the corners. Insert pillow/pillow form. Ta Da! You have a new pillow!

Insert the pillow form into the backing bottom pocket and fold over the backing top to form the envelope.

Hint – When inserting the pillow, leave the top backing flipped, insert the pillow form, then fold the top back over.


Stitch French Seams to enclose the raw edges.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial.

Happy Stitching!

Quilt Mouse


About Quiltmouse

I am retired. I love to quilt. I make charity quilts as well as quilts for my friends & family.
This entry was posted in Free Patterns, Pillowcases, Quilting, Sewing and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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