Monday 1 July 2013

Tutorial: Fabric Envelope

Today I am going to share with you a way I make my envelopes. With this quick and simple tutorial you can create your own personalised Fabric Envelopes of various sizes. I am using linen with hand embroidery for the shell and cotton for the lining. If you would like to use the same embroidery pattern Houses, you can find it here. The measurements bellow are for the envelope 18cm x 27cm in size. Generally I use Magnetic Snap Fasteners for my envelopes but in this tutorial I am going to skip the step of attaching the fastener. You can use any type of fastener for your envelope or leave it without it.

Important Note: Fabric with one way design won't work for this pattern because it will appear upside down on the back of the envelope. A better choice is a solid colour fabric or fabric with no direction pattern.

  • Piece of fabric for outer shell measuring 29cm x 44cm
  • Piece of fabric for lining  measuring 29cm x 44cm
  • Fusible light weight interfacing measuring 29cm x 44cm
  • Embroidery floss
  • Sewing machine
  • Pins, scissors, sewing needle
  • Optional Fasteners of your choice: magnetic snap, sew on snap, prong snap, Velcro cercles, Button

Note: For a more structured envelope, use fusible batting instead of interfacing or even fusible foam.

Step 1: Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric you are going to use for outer shell. I am fusing the interfacing to linen with embroidery. Make sure to set your iron to the right temperature and gently press and glide the iron from the centre to the edges.

Step 2: Place the outer shell and the lining right sides together. Pin in place.

Step 3: Mark about 1cm allowance around all edges leaving a 3-5cm gap on one of the long sides for turning the envelope right side out.

Step 4: Stitch around leaving the gap open. Back stitch at the beging and at the end to secure the seam.

Step 5: Cut off the threads. Trim all four corners.

Step 6: Turn the envelope right side out carefully pushing the corners out with a chopstick. Iron well with a lot of steam.

Step 7: Lay the envelope with the lining facing up.  Measure and mark about 7.5cm from the top for the flap. Measure and mark about 17.5cm from the marked point for the bottom fold of the envelope.

Step 8: Fold up the bottom part on the 17.5cm mark and iron well. Pin in place. Make sure that back and front parts of the envelope are well aligned on top of each other.

Fastener: If you are using one of the fasteners,  make marks and fix it in place now. I am working on a separate tutorial for a few different types of fasteners.

Step 9: You can hand stitch the gap close or leave it as it is and try sewing the sides very close to the edge as I do. Stitch the sides with 0.4cm allowance. Start about 1cm above the body of the envelope. Back stitch to secure the seam at the beginning and the end. Cut off the threads.

Step 10: Remove pins. Close the flap. Iron well.

Step 11: Now is the fun part. Using the embroidery floss of your choice, hand stitch around the right, bottom and left edges of the flap of the envelope using a running stitch. You can mark each stitch to make them even. Make sure that you take the floss of the right length.

Step 12: Depending on the type of a fastener you are using, you can add an extra decoration to your envelope. I like using yo-yo or fabric covered buttons on top of the magnetic snap fasteners. You are done!

I hope you enjoyed this project. Have any questions? Please feel free to leave a comment or email me.

Happy stitching!


  1. Fun tutorial!! Are the houses embroidered as well as the flowers or is a print. You make pretty things!

    1. Thank you Gina! The houses are hand embroidered on linen so as the flowers and the tiny cat. :-)

  2. Absolutely fabulous - I love the envelopes ...

    1. Thank you! I hope you find it useful. The envelopes are really fun to make.

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