Friday, 9 December 2016

Fabric Envelope Tutorial

The most important letter for the whole year is the letter to Santa. We work hard and try to be good to each other,to do good things, to achieve better with the idea to be happy and proud with ourselves, to set a good example to our kids and enter the Holiday season with calmness. 

I made this envelope as a nice gesture of appreciation for my girls - they always write their letters to Santa and believe in the good spirit of Christmas. 

Here is the recipe for making the envelope:

materials needed:

you will find a helpful link to all the HAORI products in the description below: 

* for the face: yarn-dyed Haori fabric size: 27cm x 27cm
* for the lining: yarn-dyed Haori fabric size: 27cm x 27cm
* for the appliqué: pieces from Haori pre-cut quilting size: 7cm x 7cm
* heavy weight fusible interfacing size: 27cm x 27cm
* Haori quilting thread for machine sewing
* embroidery floss
* one decorative button for the closure  
* a pencil, a ruller, a pair of scissors and lots of imagination.

prepare the envelope:

1. Use a regular paper envelope as a template. There are so different shapes and sizes on the market - it would be your personal choice. I chose an envelope from 'Hallmark'. Their envelopes are precisely made and very classy. 

Make a copy of the envelope or use it as it is. I made a copy.

2. On a separate sheet, draw the pattern for the face of the envelope. Cut it out - just the rectangular shape that will have the address and the picture. I could have drawn my picture on the envelope, but I think this way the limitation is more obvious and can not go wild on the drawing. Besides, the small piece is better to use. 

Draw your design as desired. It is absolutely free drawing. I chose to do this winter picture just because it brings memories from my childhood. As a child, I had always drawn a house, an evergreen and a snowmen - every winter in art class, this was my idea of representing winter - mountains of snow, just the way it was.

3. Cut out the pieces for the envelope making:

3.1. Trace the pattern on the fabric, used for lining (green one).  Cut it out, leaving 7 mm seam allowance. Repeat for the fabric, used for the face. 
3.2. Trace the pattern on the heavy weight fusible interfacing. Cut along the lines, without leaving any allowance.

4. Apply the fusible interfacing to the lining with a hot iron, with no steam. 

Steam iron the facing piece to form the edges of the envelope. This will limit your space to work on the appliqué.

5. Time to work on the appliqué on the facing: 

I used small pre-cut pieces of Haori fabric to collect different colours of fabric with different texture, but very similar in tone. I will work on a post for appliqué in details later, after the holidays, but for now I would advise you, if you haven't experienced this type of appliqué, to work with simple shapes (ex. one house) without having so many objects together and just plain snow. The idea is to look like a child's drawing, so anything will work.

I did the houses with machine stitching, leaving the edges very raw. All of the pieces of the snowman I appliquéd by hand, using the slipstitch. 

For all the emboidered details, I used embroidery floss in two strings, except the antennas, where I used one string of embroidery thread. The address I did with my machine, that could stitch letters, but I am really not happy with the result. I would do it differently next time. 

6. Pin the lining and the facing together, making sure that the pieces face each other, wrong sides out. 

7. Sew around the lines that form the envelope. Leave an opening on one of the sides,  since it will be hidden after folding the pattern to shape.

Double stitch all the edges at the folds. 

8. Cut out notches on all folding corners. 

Cut the corners straight, close to the stitched line, making sure you do not cut through the stitching.

This is how it looks when all the excess fabric is removed from the corners, for nicely flattening the shape in the next step.

9. Turn the envelope right side out through the opening, left on the one of the sides. Press with steam, forming all the edges sharp.

10. Slipstitch the opening.


I love this part of the work! I already can see the product finished and approach the following steps with pure excitement. 

1. Fold into shape of an envelope, following the original paper one we used as a template. Iron press heavily with steam to hold the shape. 

2. At first I was thinking to make a decorative top stitching all around the lines, but when I looked at the envelope, almost finished, I thought that diagonals of the line form such a clean look, I didn't want to ruin it with anything. So, slipstitching it is again. I did the "invisible" stitch on both sides, folding it nicely in place, and with that, the shape was completely formed.

3. Sew the button on the top face side. Attach a small piece of red thread to the body of the envelope. 

The thread goes around the button, closing the envelope.

You better be ready with your letter to Santa, because your envelope is completely done, and ready to be mailed.

I wish you Marry Christmas and that your full list of wishes comes true!

Thanks for working with me! 
♥ IN


  1. Ohh, so lovely and thank you so much for the tutorial! This is on my list for 2017 now. I think it will be lovely to send christmaspost to dear friends in such a sweet envelope.
    Have a blessed 3rd Adventweekend.
    Hugs Martina

  2. I love this so much, I think I will secretly make these, since we post the real ones off at the post office, but will make a copy of what the children have written for them to have as adults.