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How to Make a Pillowcase
Also called envelope pillowcases, they are changed in a whim. No buttons, no zippers. You just grab the pillow, pull the cover, toss it into the washer. Repeat a day or an hour later when there’s blueberries all over it because the baby somehow got hands on a snack bowl full of fruit and dragged it around. At least I know now why she’d been so quiet for those 5 minutes. 🙂
Bottom line: simple to sew, simple to use.
- 1/2 yard of fabric in your favorite prints
- a pillow form (mine is 16″ by 16″)
- sewing machine or needle, pins or Wonder clips,
- iron, scissors, or rotary cutter plus cutting mat (I use this one by Olfa)
The cutting will go super quick if you use a rotary cutter. I used this Pink Splash Olfa (link) with my project.
Steps To Make A Pillowcase
Oh, one thing more before we start: the overlap will be approximately 5″. You can opt for a smaller overlap if you’re short on fabric, but I like 5″ because it will stabilize the pillow form so nicely. Now, let’s start:
For a 16″ by 16″ pillow, cut a piece 17″ by 39″.
- horizontal: 16″ x2 (front and back side of pillow) plus 2″ (hems) plus 5″ (overlap)
- vertical: 16″ plus 1″ (hem)
4) Hem the two short edges. Turn under each of the two short edges of the fabric by the finished hem amount, that is 1″ (2.5cm) and press. Then open the pressed seam allowance and tuck the raw edge underneath into that fold. Like this:
5) Press and topstitch using a 3/8″ (1 cm) seam allowance to catch the fold underneath. Backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam to reinforce it.
6) Once hemmed, lay the piece right side up. Grab the left (hemmed) edge and fold 11″ towards the center. Then grab the right (hemmed) edge and fold it 11″ towards the center, too.
This means you’ll leave exactly the 16″ in the middle not folded.
4) Stitch along the top and along the bottom edges, using a 1/2″ seam allowance. I usually finish the raw edge using a zigzag or a serger hem for a nice finish, but nobody will notice if you don’t.
Standard pillowcase sizes:
- horizontal: PILLOW FORM DIMENSION x2 (front and back side of pillow) plus 2″ (double hem) plus 5″ (overlap)
- vertical: PILLOW FORM DIMENSION plus 1″ (hem)
This is the fabric required for different pillow sizes:
- for a standard 18″ by 18″ pillow, cut: 19″ x 43″
- for a standard 19″ by 19″ pillow, cut: 20″ x 45″
- for a standard 20″ by 20″ pillow, cut: 21″ x 47″ etc.
Easy and quick! While there are many ways to sew a pillowcase, this one I think is the fastest of all. I’m planning to show you another quick way to make them, especially the longer and larger ones, but this will just have to wait for some other time. Make sure to subscribe to the newsletter (here) so you don’t miss it.
Save this project for later when you have a few spare minutes for sewing: