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Typically we see the ruffles made from cream or white fabric, which would work fabulously for this project. I opted to use bright, colorful fabrics for my ruffles on these pillows that I made as part of my Christmas decor.
These are directions for creating an envelope pillow cover for a 14 inch square pillow. All seam allowances are 1/2 inch unless otherwise noted.
Begin by cutting one 15.5 inch x 15.5 inch front panel from burlap.
Cut two 15.5 inch x 9 inch back panels from burlap. Hem one of the 15.5 inch edges of each panel by folding it over 1/2 inch and stitching it down with a zig-zag stitch.
Cut three 15.5 inch x 3.5 inch strips from 3 different fabrics. Hem each long edge by folding it over 1/4 inch, pressing it, and repeating. Stitch along the length of the hem, close to the edge, on one edge of each strip.
Using a long stitch length, run a basting stitch along the other edge making sure to not backstitch at either end. Leave long lengths of thread at each end. If the material is particularly stiff or thick, run a second basting stitch below the first one. This second row of stitching will help prevent breaking the threads when you begin making the ruffle.
Gently pull the top thread of the basting stitch(es) which will cause the strip to ruffle. Continue pulling the thread(s) and working the fabric into an even ruffle until it is 15.5 inches long. Tie the threads of the basting stitch(es) at both ends.
Square the front panel of the pillow cover on a Fiskars cutting mat and pin the ruffles to it at 7 inches, 9 inches, and 11 inches from the bottom edge. Change your machine back to a regular stitch length and stitch the ruffles, as close to the edge as possible, to the front panel. Remove the pins.
A 15.5 inch length of decorative trim or ribbon can be stitched over the edge of the upper ruffle to hide the stitching if desired.
Lay the pillow cover front face up with the two back panels face down on top of it. Match the edges of the panels along the top and bottom of the front panel, which will cause the edges that meet in the middle of the pillow cover to overlap. Pin around the perimeter of the pillow cover, taking care to match and pin the ruffle edges between the panel edges. Stitch around the perimeter of the pillow cover. Remove the pins. Clip the corners at a 45 degree angle to reduce the bulk. Stitch around the perimeter, within the seam allowance, with a zig-zag stitch.
Turn the pillow cover right-side out and slip a 14 inch pillow into it.
1/2 yard burlap
1/4 yard 3 different fabrics
1/2 yard trim (optional)