April 25, 2011

Tutorial: Fabric envelopes


I've made these fabric interoffice-style envelopes with one goal in mind: FLATness. All the methods I've employed were to make them flat flat flat like a real envelope. Feel free to adapt it to your own needs and do what works for you! (a post about my inspiration is here)


In addition to your standard sewing supplies you need:
  • A mailing envelope opened up to use as your pattern
  • A pen or pencil
  • a fat quarter of fabric for the outside of the envelope
  • a scrap of fabric about 4 x 10 inches for the inside flap
  • A fat-quarter sized piece of stiff fusible stabilizer. I had some Pellon decor bond so I used that.
  • Steam a Seam 2, 1/4" wide, or other skinny fusible web
  • Fabric glue
  • A bit of string or ribbon about 13" long
  • 2 buttons

Trace around your envelope onto the non-fusible side of your stabilizer. Cut out. Don't worry about wrinkles or folds.


Iron the stabilizer to the wrong side of your main fabric, making sure there aren't any little threads between them that might show through. Trim off the excess fabric.


Now find the middle of the top flap and make a mark there on the stabilizer. Glue one inch of your string here.


Now you'll be gluing down your contrast fabric for the inside flap. I put glue all around the flap edge and along the bottom of the scrap of fabric. After this picture I smeared the glue thin with my finger using a light touch so the glue wouldn't soak through.


I pressed it to make sure it was as flat as possible. Then I added a little glue along the sides where they weren't already glued down.


Flip it over so you can cut off the excess lining fabric without chopping off your string. Use a close zigzag to finish the edges.


Then start folding. I would suggest pressing down the top flap first so you get it nice and flat without having to iron it over the other stuff. I figured this out after I'd already missed my chance to do it this way.

Use the Steam a Seam to join the center seam and then the bottom flap.


Sew your buttons by hand, one to the top flap, one just below. It's easier to keep your stitches neat on the reverse if you use two-hole buttons.


I'd say it took me about an hour to make one. Well, one hour and one week because I didn't like any of my buttons at home and had to make a special trip to the sewing store.


I am trying to think of something awesome to give to someone awesome in one of these awesome envelopes now. If you make one I hope that you feel like a rock star when you use it!

29 comments:

Jessica said...

Thanks for the great tutorial!

cathy@home said...

Pretty idea for a present

Jackie said...

Very cute! My quilt shop is also making gift bags using rick rack for handles using this method.

Amanda said...

Love it!

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Great envelopes. I have to mail quilt blocks in September. Maybe I'll get some of these made before then to use.

Suzanne said...

Yay! I'm so happy to know how you did it and now I can do it too. :-)

Elsa said...

thanks so much for the tutorial! love it!

Just-Do said...

Lovely idea and great tutorial!

Cathy (Corbin) Keevill said...

What a fabulous way to wrap gift cards or mail photos in. I love it. Thank you so much for the tutorial.

Megs said...

These are great! I'll probably make some to keep school papers and stuff like that organized. There's a much better chance that I'll USE the organization tool if it's made out of cute fabric.

Hollie said...

What a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

matate10 said...

Thank you!! I love this idea!

Mama Pea said...

Just awesome! Thanks for the tutorial!!!

Mama Pea said...

Oh, can I reblog and link back to you on this? Thanks!

Mama Pea said...

Thanks for permission to reblog. I did. Hope you get some nice traffic out of it!

Stephanie

Tambo said...

these are adorable. I would love to make these in other sizes for my handcrafted cards too. tfs. Tami

tracy_a said...

wonderful idea! Thanks for sharing!

Shannon said...

This would make an AWESOME teacher's appreciation gift or wrap for a gift certificate...thanks!

món cosit a mà said...

It's a lovely idea.... I like them very much

Quilted Cupcake said...

What a great idea. I'm thinking of making some to be the packaging for my Etsy shop. I'm doing a podcast with ideas for Etsy sellers - I'll be sure to mention this tutorial.

Maria Matter said...

what a great idea Christina! thanks for sharing!

Paula said...

I really like the fabric envelope! I'm planning to make mug rugs for the Board members of my quilt club and these will make great packaging! I wonder if the post office will accept them?
Thanks for the great tutorial!

Bonnie said...

I love these and can see a great many uses for them! Thanks for sharing!

Christina said...

Paula I don't think they would stay closed during a postal voyage, and there would be the problem of keeping the postage adhered? Let me know if you figure out a way to make it work!

Sue SA said...

Great tutorial and I look forward to making some for block swaps and to gift wrap small/flattish presents like books, DVDs and CDs at Christmas time. Happy quilting, Sue SA.

Pequenos Gestos said...

Achei muito lindo este envelope, obrigada por dividir conosco. Seu tutorial está ótimo. Beijos.

Pequenos Gestos said...

Gostei muito de seu tutorial, tomei a liberdade de postar em meu blog. Caso você não aprove é só dizer lá no blog, que retiro. Obrigada. Postei os créditos de seu blog.

Shannon said...

I absolutely love this idea! (Thank you for the great tutorial!)

NancyL said...

Love these. Hoping to make some as gifts. I place a link to your tutorial on my blog. Thank you.

Nancy Lannom
buttonsandstitching.com

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