Home decor Slide

How to Make Custom-Sized Pillow Covers | ORC Week 5

How to Make Custom-Sized Pillow Covers | Basic Envelope | French Seam | #ORC One Room Challenge | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com
Email this to someoneShare on StumbleUponPin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on Yummly

Hello Friends,

Welcome to Week 5 of the One Room Challenge.

For the last two weeks, we’ve had a blast using paint to refresh wall art and other accessories. 

Well, this week, we’re using the same concept, but switching over to fabric. Yep! This post is all about how to update and integrate outdated pieces with fabric. And the update doesn’t have to be a full-scale upholstery job. In some situations, slip covers or pillow covers will do just as well. It happened for me! 

Yep! I was able to breath new life into an old sofa with simple pillow covers and am thrilled to bring you the super easy step-by-step tutorial. 

Custom-sized pillow covers are easy to make with these helpful hints | Envelope Pillow Covers | French Seam | #ORC One Room Challenge | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

How to Make Custom-Sized Pillow Covers |

ORC Week 5

The Decorating Train Wreck

Say hello to my 88-inch camelback sofa that is, by today’s standards, outdated in every possible way. The color, shape, size, style, fabric — all of it is one giant decorating train wreck. But even with this, it does still possess three good decorating attributes: Quality, comfort, and near perfect condition. None of these ever goes out of style. AmIright?

Back in the day, this sofa was custom ordered to fit in this area. But when styles begin to change, it was hidden away while the room waited for a replacement.

BEFORE: An outdated sofa will find a new life by simply adding new fabric | Envelope Pillow Covers | French Seam | #ORC One Room Challenge | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

The only trouble is that none of the replacements actually fit. I tried everything from love seats to sectionals. But, in the end, nothing compared to this sofa in terms of quality or comfort without ringing a big ole’ cha-ching. So it was back to the drawing board.

How could this sofa be made “new” again?

Pillow covers with a French seam provide an update to over-sized sofa cushion | Envelope Pillow Covers | French Seam | #ORC One Room Challenge | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

The Ah-Ha Moment

If you’ve been following along, you have seen me use paint with specially chosen undertones to blend several outdated accessories. So I asked myself,  “Why can’t the same be done with fabric?” 

And that’s when the ah-ha moment of the ages finally hit me. OK, I’ll admit that it took about 10 years, but whatever. Thank goodness, it’s here now.

Time to Prep, Pack and Go

So I applied paint samples from the wall and accessories on some stirring sticks, grabbed an arm cover as a sofa fabric sample, piled all of the sofa pillows into the back of my car, and headed to the upholstery fabric store. My goal was to find a way to blend the solid, albeit gold-toned πŸ™ , fabric of the sofa frame with new and current colors, fabrics, and finishes.

TIP: Use the undertones of new fabric to blend in the colors of the older fabric | Envelope Pillow Covers | French Seam | #ORC One Room Challenge | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

The Fabric Miracle

And what came together is nothing less than an upholstery fabric miracle. In one trip, I found a combination that works perfectly for this space. And because the pillows were in my car, I was also able to bring the pillows into the store and see the fabrics in real-time combinations and sizes. If you are not used to coordinating fabrics, this little exercise really does make a difference. Because once the fabrics are chosen, it is easy to incorporate fabric widths and repeats to determine exactly how much fabric is needed for each pillow cover.

Mood Board: Fabric and paint samples for the great room refresh | Envelope Pillow Covers | French Seam | #ORC One Room Challenge | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

Yes, I figured my basic math for each pillow size.

And yes, I went to the car and reviewed the math before having the fabric cut.

And, trust me, I only have a few inches of some fabric left over. This may be a discount upholstery fabric store, but the prices for my choices still ran $13-$20/yard. So I tried to only buy the exact amount needed.

In the end, the sofa pillows needed about 8 yards of fabric. But remember, there are six over-sized pillows to cover. And luckily, I did not have any waste due to repeats.

Adding Buffalo check (4-inch size) to animal print is a fun way to mix patterns | Envelope Pillow Covers | French Seam | #ORC One Room Challenge | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

How to Make Custom-Sized Pillow Covers

Because cover sizes will vary widely based on:

  • pillow size and puffiness,

  • the cover style,

  • the width of the fabric, 

  • and whether there is a repeat,

    a generic step-by-step is included to help you walk through the process for two kinds of covers. 

Basic Envelope and French Seam Pillow Covers

The process for both begins here.

Step 1 of 5: How to Make a Custom-Sized Pillow Cover with or without a French Seam | Envelope Pillow Covers | French Seam | #ORC One Room Challenge | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

Step 2 of 5: How to Make a Custom-Sized Pillow Cover with or without a French Seam | Envelope Pillow Covers | French Seam | #ORC One Room Challenge | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

When the C panel is placed over the B panel, it creates the “envelope.” 

The C seam will overlap the B seam by about 5 inches.

Step 3 of 5: How to Make a Custom-Sized Pillow Cover with or without a French Seam | Envelope Pillow Covers | French Seam | #ORC One Room Challenge | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

Basic Envelope Pillow Cover

This is an envelope cover that can be made for any size or shape pillow. 

The key to this cover is in creating a good fit by the exact measuring of the pillow and cutting of the fabric.

It’s not hard, just carefully think through the process. #youcandoit

And yes, most fabrics will also assemble using an iron-on bond. #nosewing

Just remember, if you use iron-on bond, the seams cannot be pressed again. (See end of Step 4)

Step 4 of 5: How to Make a Custom-Sized Pillow Cover with or without a French Seam | Envelope Pillow Covers | French Seam | #ORC One Room Challenge | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

Add the French Seam

But if you like a flat-edge fabric fringe, then one more step is needed.

This means allowing more fabric for the fabric fringe, too.

The width of the fringe is a personal preference.

For example, the sofa pillows shown in this post all have a 2-inch flat edge. 

First, determine the amount of fabric needed for a basic envelope cover.

Now add 2 more inches all the way around.

After the basic cover is assembled, sew the French seam 2 inches in from the outer edge.

Sorry, this time the seam has to be sewn. #noirononbond

Step 5 of 5: How to Make a Custom-Sized Pillow Cover with or without a French Seam | Envelope Pillow Covers | French Seam | #ORC One Room Challenge | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

And that’s all there is to it. 

How to Make a Custom-Sized Pillow Cover with or without a French Seam | Envelope Pillow Covers | French Seam | #ORC One Room Challenge | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

Progress from Previous Weeks

Please feel free to click the links below to review earlier projects:

Click here for Week 1 – Eclectic Traditional Great Room Makeover Plans

Link here for Week 2 – How to Make a Discount Rug Work Like A Boss

Click here for Week 3 – 4 Easy Ways to Make Elegant Wall Art

Link here for Week 4 – Mirror Makeover in 3 Easy Steps

Week 5 – You are here

Click here for Week 6 – Great Room Reveal

 

Coming Attractions

In Week 6, which is next week, it’s that time! The Reveal! The entire room will finally come together in one post.

Hosts

As always, many thanks to Linda from Calling It Home for hosting this event on her blog. Please stop by to see all of the work-in-progress. At last count, there are 250+ bloggers sharing ideas for every room in the house. #orc #oneroomchallenge

Thanks also to the ORC media partner, House Beautiful and to all of the wonderful sponsors. We are thrilled to share this journey with you! #housebeautiful

But –for now–thanks so much for visiting!

It's easy to DIY two different kinds of pillow covers from one basic pattern | Basic Envelope | French Seam | #ORC One Room Challenge | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

Email this to someoneShare on StumbleUponPin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on Yummly

49 Comments

  • Reply Debrashoppeno5 May 3, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    This looks fabulous! From the glimpse you have shown I love the fabric choices you have made. I can’t wait to see the reveal.

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 3, 2017 at 7:18 pm

      Hi Debra and thanks! Looking forward to next week already!

  • Reply Cassie Bustamante May 3, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    love this fabric combo and am anxious to see it in the space!

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 3, 2017 at 9:16 pm

      Hi CAssie and thanks! I have to admit that I’m pretty smitten with the fabrics.

  • Reply Tee May 3, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    The fabric is so gorgeous! Nice tutorial too, Susie. I can’t wait to see the final reveal of this room! Good luck with the final touches!

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 3, 2017 at 9:18 pm

      Hi Tee and thanks! I find sewing tutorials tough to photograph so I tried this option. Thanks for the vote of confidence.

  • Reply Joann @ Woman In Real Life May 3, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    The fabrics are gorgeous! And how clever are you! Can’t wait to see the end result.

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 3, 2017 at 9:19 pm

      Hi Joann and thanks! Clever…..I wish. LOL… Desperate times call for desperate measures. See ya next week!!

  • Reply Ruthie May 3, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    Your fabric is so fun! Great tutorial!

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 3, 2017 at 10:25 pm

      Hi Ruthie and thanks!

  • Reply Jessica | Petal + Ply May 3, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    Cute fabric choices! Excited to see the full reveal!

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 4, 2017 at 1:40 am

      Hi Jessica and thanks! I can’t wait till next week either! All of the projects on every blog I’ve visited are so inspiring!

  • Reply Leslie May 4, 2017 at 12:57 am

    Great fabrics and i really can’t wait to see it all come together!

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 4, 2017 at 1:40 am

      Hi Leslie and thanks! I’m so excited to finally be editing the reveal photos.

  • Reply Tim@DesignMaze May 4, 2017 at 1:30 am

    good tip on pillow sewing! i have never done it myself but maybe I will have to give it a try!

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 4, 2017 at 1:44 am

      Hi Tim and thanks! Pillow covers really are super easy. Good luck with your project!

  • Reply Michelle May 4, 2017 at 6:36 am

    Hi Susie! This pillows and the fabric are fabulous. I can’t wait to see the entire room all put together. I am seriously on pins and needles!

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 4, 2017 at 8:35 am

      Hi Michelle and thanks! This challenge was truly great for me. I was forced to completely finish the room –with all of the details –before moving on. I’m already looking forward to the October challenge. LOL… See ya next week!

  • Reply Carolann May 4, 2017 at 8:31 am

    Susie, I love this tutorial and even more, love the patterns you chose! They are some of my favs for sure. I am so in love with your space and how you are transforming it. Can’t wait to see what you cooked up next! xo

  • Reply Nancy @ Slightly Coastal May 4, 2017 at 8:38 am

    They look so great! I love the tutorial and your fabric choices are fabulous!

    Nancy

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 4, 2017 at 8:58 am

      Hi Nancy and thanks! The colors make me smile and the sturdiness of the fabric allows the fellas to use the pillows and be comfortable. These choices really are good choices for our needs.

  • Reply Emy May 4, 2017 at 8:42 am

    I love those fabric choices! I can’t wait to see them on your sofa!

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 4, 2017 at 8:59 am

      Hi Emy and thanks! We are lovin the new covers! I can’t wait till next week either! How’s that beautiful sunroom coming along?

  • Reply domesticcharms May 4, 2017 at 8:51 am

    Love the design scheme, Susie! Leopard is my favorite!

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 4, 2017 at 9:02 am

      Hi Breanna and thanks! I’m so glad you love leopard! I have two different leopard prints. I made a throw for the ottoman, too. Can’t wait to share everything with you next week!

  • Reply Roxanne May 4, 2017 at 10:33 am

    I love the fabric combinations that you chose! I can’t wait to see your reveal!

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 4, 2017 at 10:54 am

      Hi Roxanne and thanks! I tried to go off the grid with the fabrics. Fingers crossed it all comes together.

  • Reply Marie|The Interior Frugalista May 4, 2017 at 10:49 am

    You know you’re killing me, right with these little sneak peeks. I would never in a million years thought to combine those fabrics but ooh la la do they look stunning together. Love the tassels on the leopard print. Can’t wait to see the big reveal!

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 4, 2017 at 10:57 am

      Hi Marie and thanks! You are good for my confidence. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  • Reply Sue May 4, 2017 at 10:56 am

    Pinned it for later of course and I can’t wait to see how these colors work with the gold sofa- I am intrigued.

  • Reply Deborah May 4, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    Okay the fabric is !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love pillow covers too. What a great tutorial.. You are ah-mazing. Pinning this. Can’t wait for next week.

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 4, 2017 at 1:28 pm

      Hi DEb and thanks! I think I have found my niche. πŸ™‚ I totally like the wild and crazy. LOL.

  • Reply adawnpaxton May 4, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    These pillow covers look amazing! I am a terrible seamstress so I would just have to purchase new pillows and am always so jealous of those that can just sew up some new ones!!

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 4, 2017 at 4:09 pm

      Hi Dawn and thanks! Oh how I wish we could get together and sew up some covers for you!

  • Reply The Red Painted Cottage May 4, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    I love your fabric choices and color scheme, and I’m really excited to see your room reveal next week! I just know it’s all going to be amazing!

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 4, 2017 at 11:02 pm

      Hi Carol and thanks! I hope it all works out. Fingers crossed.

  • Reply thecrownedgoat May 4, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    This guide is so awesome, Susie, thank you! This is going to be really handy to carry to the fabric store. I love all of the color combinations, texture and patterns you’ve chosen. I can’t wait to see how it all going to come together. It’s already so pretty. Hugs, CoCo

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 4, 2017 at 11:03 pm

      Hi Coco and thanks. Well, they’re no stencilled floor —but they’ll do. LOL!

  • Reply Lisa Scibilia May 4, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    Susie, so glad you found some fabrics to work with your couch!! They are gorgeous and I can’t wait to see all these elements you’ve shared through the weeks in the reveal next week!

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 4, 2017 at 11:05 pm

      Hi Lisa and thanks! I do feel so blessed to have found them! ANd I must admit, I’m looking forward to sharing my room and seeing all of the others, too! It will be a super fun week.

  • Reply Maureen May 5, 2017 at 9:17 am

    You have me believing I might actually be able to make a pillow cover for my own sofa cushions that could use a refresh! I absolutely love the fabrics you have chosen and I was so hoping when I got to the bottom I would have seen a full on shot of the sofa in all its’ new loveliness! Loved the sneak peek though πŸ™‚ I really can’t wait until next week to see the final reveal!

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 5, 2017 at 10:40 am

      Awww Maureen, what a blessing you are! Thanks for your kind and encouraging words. But I totally believe that if you have a sewing machine that sews rock solid and even straight stitches, then the rest is easy peasy. Please get in touch if you have any questions.

  • Reply Pamela List May 7, 2017 at 3:22 am

    This is awesome. I took my first official sewing class a couple of weeks ago. I sewed as a brownie a million years ago, so it is like a distant haze in may mind. lol

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 7, 2017 at 3:02 pm

      Hi Pamela! I was a Brownie, too! Yay! Brownies. Well, I do believe that sewing is like riding a bicycle, it will come back to you. And, of course, the pillow covers are just a few straight seams, so it should really be quick to remmember. Please, get in touch if you have any questions.

  • Reply Ariel May 8, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    My bed set is that colour scheme, so of course I love it πŸ˜‰

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 8, 2017 at 2:06 pm

      Hi Ariel!! OMGee! Great minds! Is it on your blog? I’ll have to go see! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply Brittany Goldwyn May 9, 2017 at 10:44 am

    Great tutorial, pinning for later!

    • Reply theChelseaProject May 9, 2017 at 10:57 pm

      Hi Brittany and thanks! XO

  • Reply Mirror Makeover in 3 Easy Steps | ORC Week 4 - The Chelsea Project May 19, 2017 at 7:24 am

    […] Click here for Week 5 – How to Make Custom Sized Pillow Covers […]

  • Hello -- Welcome -- and thanks for your comments!