Needle & Thread

Pillowcase Please!


It’s pretty obvious we live in a time where almost everything you could want or need is located close by or able to be delivered by mail. But sometimes, despite the fact something as simple as a pillowcase, something we use every day without giving it a second thought, could be such a joy to create and an even greater joy to gift!

Here is a simple tutorial on making a pillowcase. You can make it as fancy as you want, although simple sometimes remains best especially since it’ll most likely be washed and used A LOT…. It is a very basic item to sew….so if you don’t have much practice, I guarantee you….give me a few hours and go step by step, you’ll have something you can be proud of! If you’re more experienced with a sewing machine, you can whip this out in less than an hour! To be honest it takes me longer to decide on the fabric choices than it does to actually make it.

Starting with fabric….choose 3 prints in a quilting cotton weight and decide placement of these three fabrics!

You’ll need to choose the following:

  • Main Fabric:  1 yard.
  • Cuff Fabric: 1/3 yard.
  • Trim Fabric:  1/4 yard.

Once you’ve chosen your fabrics….figure out where the GRAIN of the fabric is. If you’re not familiar with grain lines then visit this site…it’s a fantastic tutorial!

Finding the Fabric Grain

When you’ve gotten to this point, you’ll need to start cutting. Whether using scissors or my tool of choice, a rotary cutter, go ahead and cut your fabrics.

From Main Fabric, cut 1 piece that is 27” x 40” (Pillowcase Body)

From Coordinating Fabric, cut 1 piece that is 9” X 40” (Cuff)

From Trim Fabric, cut 1 piece that is 2” X 40” (Trim)

Now it’s time to assemble your fabrics! (make sure to give them a nice press)

Lay the Cuff out flat with the right side facing up.  With wrong sides together, fold the trim piece in half lengthwise and press. Match the raw edges of the Trim along the top edge of the Cuff and pin to hold. Place the Pillowcase Body on top of the Cuff/Trim with right sides together and pin.

Once you’ve made it this far, we’re going to create a roll up effect with the pillowcase!

Starting at the bottom of the Pillowcase Body, begin rolling the fabric towards the top edge.

Continue to roll up the Pillowcase Body until it is a few inches from the top edge.

Take the bottom edge of the Cuff fabric and wrap it over the rolled up Pillowcase Fabric.

See how the Cuff wraps over the Pillowcase Body, like a fruit roll up.

Pin through all layers of fabric. I love to use my trusty Wonderclips, but pinning really is the best method here because we have multiple layers.

Using a 3/8” seam allowance, sew along the raw edge. Fold back the Cuff and carefully pull out the Pillowcase Body. Press the Cuff and Trim on both sides.

Finishing the sides and seams….. this is where the French Seam comes in! If you’ve never sewn or heard of a French seam, here is a fantastic tutorial!

How to Make an Envelope Pillow with a French Seam

Fold Pillowcase in half wrong sides together, matching up the Cuff and Trim fabrics on the seam line. Pin around the raw edges on the side and bottom of the Pillowcase.

Stitch together down the side and across the bottom using a 1/4” seam allowance.

Be sure that the Cuff/Trim seam is even.  I actually sewed this first, then went back and did the rest.

Clip the corner where the side and bottom seam meet.  This will help with the bulk when you turn the pillowcase.

Turn the Pillowcase wrong side out and press the seams down.  Using something like a knitting needle or chopstick, push out the corners.

Now, the Pillowcase is facing right sides together.  Pin the side and bottom seams.

Stitch the side and bottom seams using a 1/2” seam allowance.



Turn the Pillowcase right side out and press the seams flat. You now have enclosed French seams and the Pillowcase has no loose threads on the inside.

HURRAY! You’re finished! You should have a finished gorgeous pillowcase measuring  30″ x 19! Now go have a nap or wrap this puppy up as a present!

Fabric used in my pillowcase and baby quilt were designed by the talented Lizzie Mackay called “Hip Hooray” and printed by Blend Fabrics!




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