Learn how to sew a pillowcase with a flap closure. This simple style of pillow cover is also known as an envelope pillowcase.
A pillowcase with a flap, also known as an envelope pillowcase, is an easy project for a novice sewer. They consist of sewing a few straight lines. These pillowcases are perfect for a bed, chair, or sofa.
This is a quick tutorial on how to sew pillowcases with a flap.
Supplies Needed for This Envelope Pillow Cover
- Fabric Quarters – These 18″ x 21″ pieces of fabric are perfect for small sewing projects. They are affordable and less intimidating for novice sewers. Many fabric stores carry a wide variety of different colors and patterns of fabric quarters available.
- Sewing Thread – Choose a thread that coordinates with the colors in the fabric you choose.
- Sewing Machine – A simple beginner sewing machine is great for this easy project. There are several options online for less than $100.
- Sewing Pins – These pins help hold the fabric in place as you sew. They are necessary for sewing straight lines.
- Pillow Inserts – After you finish creating the pillowcases, you need pillows for them! This project uses 12″x12″ pillow inserts.
Learn to make a pillow cover using cloth napkins! It’s also an easy sewing project for a beginner!
How to Sew a Pillowcase With a Flap
This is a simple project. It’s perfect for beginners. And it’s a great way to personalize your home decor on a budget.
Step 1– Measure and cut a square for the front of the pillowcase. A pillowcase size is determined by the size of the pillow insert. For a 12″ pillow, the cover should be 1 inch larger than the size of your pillow. A small pillow is 12 inches wide and 12 inches tall. So the square needs to be 13 inches wide and 13 inches tall.
Step 2 – Measure the fabric for the back panels of the pillowcase. The back panels should be the same width as the front panels. This example is 13 inches wide. However, the back panels are a different length. The back panels overlap and remain open to create the envelope flap insert for the pillow. The pillowcase needs about 5 inches of overlap for the back to accommodate the pillow. So the back panels are each 9 inches long.
Step 3 – Finish off the one raw edge of each back panel. The raw edge is where the fabric was cut and is most likely to fray. With the inside of the fabric facing up, fold over about half an inch of the fabric. Then pin to secure the new edge. Sew along the edge using a zig-zag stitch. The edge you finish is part of the flap
Step 4 – Next, align one of the back pieces with the front piece of fabric. The outside of the fabric for both panels should be on the inside. The result is an inside-out pillowcase. When you flip the pillowcase right-side-out the sewed seams are hidden. It’s an easy way to give a sewing project a more polished finish.
Step 5 – Use sewing pins to secure the pillowcase edges together. These edges are all raw edges. Then sew together the three outer sides. Leave the fourth side open for the flap. This is the side with the new edge you created.
Why Use a Zig-Zag Stitch?
I used a simple zig-zag stitch for creating these DIY pillowcases. This style of stitch is more secure than a straight stitch. Which is necessary for creating a sturdy pillowcase.
Basic sewing machines have the ability to sew a zig-zag stitch with zero additional effort. Simply change the pattern, it usually appears as a zig-zag on the sewing machine.
Step 6 – Secure the second back panel to the front panel the same way. Align the three raw edges, with the outside of the fabric facing in. Pin the edges in place. Then sew the three side seams together with a zig-zag stitch.
Step 7 – The second back panel overlaps the first back panel. Sew the second panel over the first along the two outer edges only. Do not sew the flap closed!
Step 8 – After the sewing is complete, turn the pillowcase right side out. Then fill it with a 12″x12″ pillow insert.
Create a Larger Pillow Cover
For a larger pillow insert, create a larger pillowcase. A 16″x16″ pillow requires an 18″x18″ pillowcase. A pillowcase that size requires a little more than a yard (36″) of fabric.
Cut the front panel into an 18″x18″ square. Then cut the back panels into two 18″x23″ rectangles. Finally, sew the panels together the exact same way.
The result is a larger throw pillow cover. Perfect for a couch!
Envelope pillowcases are a simple project for any novice sewer. They are simple and relatively quick sewing projects. The results are gorgeous throw pillow covers that match your style and decor in your home.