Learn to Sew- Envelope Cushion Cover Tutorial

Posted by Freya Gilbert
on August 04, 2018

An envelope cushion cover is a great first project to get to grips with using your sewing machine.

It's the easiest and quickest way to sew a cushion cover from any type of fabric.  We make one, along with a simple needle book, in our ‘Start as you Mean to Sew On’ introduction to sewing workshop because it is the perfect first sewing project.

 This size fits an 18” cushion pad snuggly, which gives it a plump look, and it is easy to scale up for slightly larger cushions too.  Just adjust the width of the fabric to equal the size of the cushion pad wanted.  You can make cushions up to 20” with this technique, any bigger and you need to make a zipped cushion cover or three-part envelope cushion cover, which is a little bit trickier.

 You will need:

  • A sewing machine 
  • basic sewing kit
  • 45cm x 110cm cotton fabric
  • 45cm/18” square cushion pad
Most fabric shops sell fabrics in half meter increments. If your fabric is cut to 45cm, it is already the right size for this project!  Trim off 5cm from your fabric if you have bought a half meter.

How to make your cushion cover:  

Press both short edges of the fabric towards the wrong (unprinted) side of the fabric up by 1.5cm, then again by 4cm. You might want to use a pressing card to help you with this- you can make one quickly by cutting up an old cereal box and drawing on lines 1.5cm and 4cm away from one edge then using this along with your iron to create consistent hem folds. 

    Edge stitch both loose folded edges down, approximately 3.5cm from the folded edge. You can use the lines on your sewing machine to help keep a straight line. 

    CRAFTY TIP: Try not to watch the needle on your machine when sewing, instead keep your eyes on the edge of your fabric. To sew a straight line and consistent seam allowances, keep an eye on the folded or cut edge of your fabric and use a guide on your sewing machine to align this with. 

    Optional Step – You can sew button holes or add trim to the outside of one hemmed edge at this stage for an extra fun twist.

    With the right (printed) side of the fabric facing up, fold the fabric into thirds and adjust so that the cushion cover measures 43cm from one folded edge to the other and the overlap of fabric is roughly in the centre

    Pin through the top two layers to create a tube and adjust so that the opening (which will be in the inside at this point) is central to the square.
    Next, pin through all layers on either open side and sew down both open edges from one folded edge to the other, with a 1cm seam allowance. You can remove the pins which are keeping the opening closed as this will not be sewn down.
    Turn the cushion through and poke out the corners, then pop in your cushion pad and place in your favourite spot on the sofa!

    First sewing project - Done!  

    envlope cushion cover


    Our Learn to Sew series is designed to encourage new sewers to feel confident at their sewing machines and teach the basics of sewing so anyone can have a go.  We have the same philosophy at Crafty Sew and So workshops.  If you would like to have a go at sewing with a little more help and support, why not come to one of our ‘Start as you Mean to Sew On’ workshops, or one of the Learn to Sew workshop in our studio, where we can answer questions and help you every step of the way.