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!