How to Make a Holiday Envelope Style Pillow Sham

Hello there! I recently wrote a blog post for So Sew Easy on how to make appliques and now I'd like to show you how to make an adorable, and simple, envelope style pillow sham to adhere those appliques to! These adorable shams are a great way to decorate on a dime for all holidays. You can make shams for your existing pillows, or buy (or make!) new pillows to cover. The possibilities here are endless because you can choose any word or shape that you want. Hearts, bows and lips for Valentines day. Snowflakes, Christmas trees, holly and more for Christmas. Turkeys, leaves, cornucopias and pumpkins for Thanksgiving. The list goes on and on!

This project is so simple and involves only a few seams so it's a great place to start for beginning seamstresses and will be a super quick project for more advanced sewists! We'll also be sewing these shams together with a french seam for a professional finish, which is a great seam for beginners to learn.

Let's begin!

1. Cut out your fabric pieces. You'll be cutting three pieces in all. One for the front, and two for the back. My example is rectangular, but yours can certainly be square. 

 2. Hem the ends of the back pieces. On one short end of each back piece, fold and iron over 1/2". Then, fold over 2" and pin.

3. Sew the hems. Sew each hem by stitching just inside each folded edge, removing pins as you go.

4. Place the back pieces on top of the front piece. Place the front piece right side down. Then, place the back pieces, right sides up on top of the front piece (this now means that the wrong sides, or inside of the fabricpieces are touching)The back pieces should overlap 4". 

5. Pin and sew around all 4 sides.  Sew using a 1/2" seam allowance. This is the first part of constructing a french seam. If it seems incomplete, I promise I'm not leading you astray! Proceed!

6. Trim corners and seam allowances. Trim the seam allowances to a scant 1/4".

7. Turn the sham wrong side out. Reach your hand into the sham and turn it wrong side out.

8. Iron and pin around entire sham. 

9. Sew around entire edge. Using a 1/2" seam, sew around all 4 sides of the sham. This is the second part of our french seam and closes our first seam within the second one. The result is a beautiful, professional, finished seam.

Now you're done!! You've completed your french seam and constructed the sham. Turn it right side out, press it one more time, put it on a pillow and be proud of yourself!

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