Very impatiently, I measure and pin just enough so that everything looks fine. Luckily, uneven hems or wavy lines do not upset me. I tend towards less expensive fabrics and Freestyle Sewing.
We took the heavy sticky sliding doors off the master bedroom closet and replaced them with great graphic Ikea curtains. (I'm almost done with the New Closet!) But tonight I had fabric left over and made four pillow covers super quick like, with zero measuring. They were really fun to make and actually look pretty good.
The curtains were over a foot too long so I had too much fabric left over to just throw away. And I remembered that I had four uncovered tiny pillows that had been sitting in a closet for a couple years. I think I paid $1.99 each for them at Ikea long ago, but they have just been bouncing around closets ever since. Perfect.
I had just enough fabric to make four envelope pillow covers. I used the pillow as a guide instead of a measuring tape. I first folded over the short edges about half an inch, ironed them, then folded them again and ironed them again. I sewed these in place. I then folded the fabric into an inside out envelope shape and sewed along the unfinished edges to make a pillow pocket. Flip them back right side out and voila. Instant pillows. And no wasted fabric.