How to Sew an Envelope Pillow with Piping


Hi, I’m Clara from Online Fabric Store. Envelope throw pillows are the easiest style of pillow to make. The opening in the back makes taking off the cover simple. For this pillow I’m also adding piping, but this is an optional step. So let’s get started. The materials you’ll need are: 1 yard of fabric, this is Richloom Birdwatcher Summer, a fabric marker, pins, a ruler, thread, scissors, a pillow form, I’m using a 16 by 16 inch down pillow. If you want to add piping you’ll also need: cording, this is Fiberflex Tissue Welting Cord, and a zipper foot. For the front of the pillow cover, cut out a piece that is the same size as the pillow. The back of the pillow is made up of 2 overlapping pieces. The width for these is the same as the pillow form. Each piece should be roughly 3/4 the height of the pillow, plus 1 and 1/2 inches for the seam allowance and hem. For a 16 by 16 inch pillow, I’m cutting 2 pieces that are 16 inches wide and 13 and 1/2 inches tall. If you’re adding piping to the pillow, cut out strips of fabric for making the piping. Piping is often cut on the bias, which means diagonally, because that gives the fabric more stretch for wrapping around corners. But this takes up more yardage and isn’t critical for this project so I’m going to cut across the width of the fabric. To determine how wide the strips should be, take the width of your cording, add the seam allowance you’ll be using, then multiply that number by 2. This is 1/8 inch cording, and the seam allowance will be 1/2 an inch, so the strips are 1 and 1/4 inches wide. For the length, measure enough to wrap around the perimeter of the pillow plus a couple extra inches. I’ll need to sew 2 pieces together to make a piece that’s 68 inches long for this pillow. At the bottom of one of the back pieces, fold the fabric over 1/2 an inch and iron. Then fold over again and press. Sew across, backstitching at the beginning and end. Repeat the same thing on the top of the other piece. If you’re not adding piping, at this point you would lay down the front piece with the right side up. Then, place down the back pieces with the wrong sides up so they are overlapping. Pin and sew around the entire pillow cover with a 1/2 inch seam allowance. To make the piping, sew the strips together diagonally for a smoother transition. At the end of one of the pieces, mark a 45 degree line on the wrong side of the fabric. Line up the end of another piece so it’s perpendicular with the right sides facing. This will create a continuous piece when opened. Sew along the line and cut off the excess fabric. Put the cording in the middle of the strip of fabric and fold it in half. Attach a zipper foot to your sewing machine. Place the piping to the left of the foot. Sew with a long stitch length, not too close to the cording. This will temporarily hold the piping in place. Next, sew the piping to the front piece. Start a few inches from the end of the piping. Match up the edges of the fabric and the piping and sew. You can continue to use a long stitch length here, and again don’t sew too closely to the cording. When you reach the corner, make a couple of cuts into the edge of the piping. This will make it easier to turn the corner. With the needle down, lift the foot to adjust the fabric as you go around the curve. Continue to sew until you’re a few inches from where you started. Cut the piping a little long and rip open the cover a couple of inches. Pull back the fabric from the cording. Cross the two ends of the cording and cut through so that they meet without overlapping. On the other end, fold over the fabric diagonally and wrap it around the piping. Finish sewing it to the fabric. Next, place the back pieces on the front panel with right sides facing so that they overlap. Pin the layers together. Change the stitch length back to a standard length and sew with a 1/2 inch seam allowance. This time sew close to the piping for a tight fit. Back stitch at the beginning and end. Next, trim off the excess fabric from the corners. Then, turn the pillow cover right side out and push out the corners. Finally, insert the pillow form through the envelope opening, and the pillow is complete. Piping adds a nice finishing touch to this throw pillow. The envelope opening on the back makes switching out cover easy, so you can change up your decor any time you want. Thanks for watching this OFS project.