How to Sew Ruched Fabric Pillow Shams

High-end, fabric pillow shams can be a splurge when decorating a bedroom. With basic sewing skills, inexpensive white cotton can be transformed into beautiful, designer look-alike shams at a fraction of the cost.

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Hem Back and Envelope Flap

Gather pieces cut for back and envelope flap. Create a double hem by folding fabric over twice on one 21" side of each piece. Press when folded (Image 1) and stitch hem into place. Repeat until one side is hemmed on each 12" piece. If using a fabric with a "right side", make sure hem is on bottom of fabric piece.

Make Ties

Gather fabric pieces cut for ties. Position one horizontally on ironing board. Visually divide into quarters length-wise. Fold top 1/4" over and press then fold bottom 1/4" up and press. Fold entire piece in half, with raw edges covered in the fold, and press (Image 1). Sew along top and end of tie to secure (Images 2 and 3). Repeat until all 12 ties are made. Trim threads.

Attach Envelope Flap and Ties

Gather both pillow fronts, envelope flaps and 6 ties. Position pillow front on work surface with widest 1/3 fabric section facing towards you (mentioned in Step 2) and facing up. Place envelope flap on top, right-side-down, raw edges facing you. Insert raw ends of three ties, spaced evenly along pillow case edge. Pin everything together, pleating ruched fabric by hand (Image 1). Sew along pin line and remove pins. Fold over and press along seam line. Pin envelope flap and front of pillow together (Image 2). Sew line about 1/8" from seam edge to hold envelope flap in a folded position and create a small trim edge (Image 3). Repeat with other pillow case.


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