Microgels are extremely interfacially active and are widely used to stabilize emulsions. However, they are commonly used to stabilize oil-in-water emulsions due to their intrinsic hydrophilicity and initially dispersed in water. In addition, there have been no attempts to control microgel structural layers that are formed at the interface and as a result it limits applications of microgel in advanced materials. Here, we show that by introducing octanol into poly(N-isopropylacrylamide-co-methacrylic acid) (PNIPAM-co-MAA) microgels, octanol-swollen microgels can rapidly diffuse from the initially dispersed oil phase onto the water droplet surface. This facilitates the formation of microgel-laden interfacial layers with strong elastic responses and also generates stable inverse water-in-oil Pickering emulsions. These emulsions can be used as templates to produce microgel colloidosomes, herein termed ‘microgelsomes’, with shells that can be fine-tuned from a particle monolayer to a well-defined bilayer. The microgelsomes can then be used to encapsulate and/or anchor nanoparticles, proteins, vitamin C, bio-based nanocrystals or enzymes. Moreover, the programmed release of these substances can be achieved by using ethanol as a trigger to mediate shell permeability. Thus, these reconfigurable microgelsomes with a microgel-bilayer shell can respond to external stimuli and demonstrate tailored properties, which offers novel insights into microgels and promise wider application of Pickering emulsions stabilized by soft colloids.