How to Make Organza Envelopes

comments (2) April 2nd, 2008     

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JenSegrest JenSegrest, member
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Seal gifts and letters in this soft, sheer fabric.
Cut the shape using our pattern and sew together.
Add the closure.
Seal gifts and letters in this soft, sheer fabric.

Seal gifts and letters in this soft, sheer fabric.

Photo: Scott Phillips

You don’t need much fabric for these wrappings, so buy the best: silk organza (polyester doesn’t press out as well.) From there, the envelope can be cut, sewn, and embellished in less than an hour. For any occasion, in any size, the organza envelope earns a seal of approval when it comes to thoughtful gift-giving. Here you’ll learn how to make a normal flapped envelope as well as one with a pleated apron flap (like the black one in the photo above).

What you'll need:
Organza fabric
Water-soluble stabilizer
Sewing machine or serger
Silk ribbon or cord
Free pattern download


Make the envelope

Step 1: Cut the shape, then sew
Use our pattern to cut the envelope. Reinforce the organza if needed with water-soluble stabilizer. Serge or zigzag-stitch the edges. Sew 1⁄4-inch seams as marked using a narrow zigzag stitch. For very clean, encased edges, use French seams.


Download our pattern and cut your fabric. Sew as shown at left.

Step 2: Add the closure
There are many closure options. My favorite is a cord and button: add a button to the top flap and one to the envelope’s lower “V.” Hand-sew each button with a small anchor or button behind it. Tie a piece of silk ribbon to the top button, and then wrap it in a figure eight around the two buttons—and voilà!—an envelope!


Buttons and ribbon make a pretty closure.

Make the apron-style sack
The elegant, pleated-organza apron flap on this envelope is easier to make than it looks—just three steps. Use 1⁄2-inch seam allowances throughout unless otherwise specified.

Step 1: Cut two squares
Cut two 7-inch squares of lightweight fabric (for the front and back). Finish the top edges with a narrow hem. Fuse interfacing behind the buttonhole area, and machine-sew two buttonholes on the front with right sides together. Sew the bottom and sides. Turn right side out.


Apron style sack. Start with two 7-inch squares.

Step 2: Make the tab
Start with a 5-1⁄2 x 10-inch rectangle. Fold it lengthwise, right sides together. Stitch the long side and one end. Trim, turn, and press. Attach it to the right side of the back as shown below.

Make a tab closure. It will be inserted in the buttonholes.

Step 3: Cut and pleat the flap
Cut two, 7 x 6-inch rectangles. Accordian-pleat one rectangle in six rows. Hand-tack the pleats in place at the sides. Trim the other rectangle to fit; then sew right sides together. Trim and turn. Sew the pleated flap to the top edge of the back (the tab will be sandwiched between them).


Cut and pleat the flap. Fold and press pleats over a piece of oaktag for crisp, even edges.

Tips: To prevent dog-eared corners, chalk mark a 1⁄2-inch seam allowance at the corner. As you stitch each seam, at about 2 inches from the corner, taper your stitching about 1⁄8 to 1⁄4 inch inside the original seamline. Taper back to the seam allowance on other side of the corner.

Photos: Scott Phillips
Illustrations: Kim Jaeckel

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posted in: silk, organza, envelope

Comments (2)

Ginab6 writes: I can't wait to try this! We're approaching the Christmas holidays so it will be more along that line. Fabric envelopes are not new, but this is a little different and I'm inspired to try lots of things with it. Thank you!
Posted: 11:56 am on October 11th
bellafiore writes: What a beautiful pattern. Thanks for providing instructions. I am going to experiment with some of the photos I've printed on organza and then create the envelopes. We'll see what happens.
Posted: 12:24 pm on July 8th
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