I really wanted to do some sewing today but was very tired and sewing when tired isn’t always a particular good idea. When I am in this state I shouldn’t attempt anything complicated because I am sort of guaranteed to mess something up.
I decided to try a simple idea I had a while ago for an easy lined pillow with envelope closure. I prefer to line pillow cases, especially when using a thin fabric like a quilting cotton. It gives the pillow case a bit more body and I think a pillow looks better with a lined pillow case. I am very happy with the result of this experiment so I turned it into a tutorial.
The envelope closure is the easiest pillow closure to make. I suppose my lined version is slightly more complicated than what people usually do when they make these pillow cases but I still think this method is suitable for beginner sewers. For this lined pillow case you only need to sew 4 seams and only 2 fabric edges require a seam finish, that doesn’t sound too complicated, right?
For the fashion fabric of my pillow I used a quilting cotton, Safari by Angela Rakucki for Anthology Fabrics, and the lining is white Kona Cotton. I recommend that you prewash both fabrics to make sure that your lining doesn’t shrink less or more than the fashion fabric when you wash the pillow case.
Step 1: Use the formulas shown below to calculate how much fashion fabric and lining fabric you need to cut.
Metric formula fashion fabric: (pillow width + 2 cm seam allowance) x (2x pillow height + 10 cm overlap + 3 cm seam allowance)
Metric formula lining fabric: (pillow width + 2 cm seam allowance) x (2x pillow height + 10 cm overlap + 1 cm seam allowance)
Imperial formula fashion fabric: (pillow width + 6/8’’ seam allowance) x (2x pillow height + 4’’ overlap + 1 1/8’’ seam allowance)
Imperial formula lining fabric: (pillow width + 6/8’’ seam allowance) x (2x pillow height + 4’’ overlap + 3/8’’ seam allowance)
I used metric measurements today and I made a pillow case for a 40×40 cm (16’’x16’’) pillow.
My fashion fabric was cut (40 + 2 = 42 cm) x (2 x 40 + 10 + 3 = 93 cm)
My lining fabric was cut (40 + 2 = 42 cm) x (2 x 40 + 10 + 1 = 91 cm)
Step 2: Cut fashion fabric and lining fabric according to your measurements from step 1. I always use a cutting mat, rotary cutter and a quilting ruler because I find this much more accurate than scissors.
Step 3: Place the fashion fabric and lining right sides together and pin the short edges. The lining is shorter than the fashion fabric but this will be solved later on.
Step 4: Sew both short edges with a 1 cm (3/8’’) seam allowance and press the seams open.
Step 5: Turn the fabrics right sides out and on one short edge press the seam as shown in the picture below.
Step 6: Now we are ready to solve the issue of the lining being shorter than the fashion fabric. On the short edge that isn’t yet pressed a small strip of the fashion fabric will be pressed towards the lining side (see picture below). The easiest way to do this is to start at the short edge that is already pressed and to use your hands to smooth the lining and fashion fabric so that any wrinkles disappear. Work your way up towards the unpressed edge and use some pins to secure the long edges as you go. When you reach the end about 1 cm (3/8”) of the fashion fabric will want to be on the lining side. First use your fingers to create a small crease and then press the fold with your iron.
Step 7: Pin both long sides and finish the edges with a zig zag stitch or overlock stitch.
Step 8: Place the pillow case with the fashion fabric side upwards.
Step 9: Measure 15 cm (6”) down from the short edge that has the fashion fabric pressed towards the lining. Make a mark on both long edges. From these marks, measure 40 cm (16”) down (pillow height, if you’re making a different size pillow) and make another mark on both sides.
Step 10: First fold back the short edge that has the fashion fabric continue into the lining on the first mark and pin in place.
Step 11: Fold back the other short edge on the second mark so that it overlaps the other folded back edge and pin in place.
Step 12: Sew along the long sides with a 1 cm (3/8”) seam allowance and press the seams.
Step 13: Turn pillow case right side out, stuff with a pillow form and put on your couch. Do you notice how presssing a small amount of the fashion fabric to the lining side ensured that you can’t see the lining from the outside of the pillow?
If the corners of your pillow are very bulky you can trim them down somewhat but I didn’t find this necessary.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and if you make any lined envelope pillows I’d love to see them!