How to sew a pillowcase

Today I have a great 15 Minute Pillowcase with French Seams tutorial for you!

As most of you know, I love lined garments.  Why?  Because I like things to look as beautiful on the inside as they do on the out.  However, sometimes lining projects is not necessary or practical and that’s where french seams come in.  A french seam encases the raw edge of the fabric so you have a beautiful, neat and tidy, finished look. And that’s where the 15 Minute Pillowcase with French Seams comes in……..

No joke, these pillowcases will not take you more than 15-minutes and they will be gorgeous!  I have seen a lot of pillowcase tutorials, but when my mom told me about this unique technique that she learned from her quilting group, I knew I had to share.

Consider making a pair of these as a gift or perhaps make some in seasonal fabrics to pull out throughout the year.  I don’t sew much for myself, let alone my husband, so this set of pillowcases is staying right on our bed.  A little gift for us.

So, do you want to make the quickest, most beautiful pillowcase ever?  Here we go……

15-Minute Pillowcase Tutorial

{with French Seams}

Materials (1 Standard Size Pillowcase):

Three different printed fabrics –

Fabric 1: 27″(main fabric) x width of fabric (approx. 43″)

Fabric 2: 2.5″(thin accent) x width of fabric (approx. 43″)

Fabric 3: 12″(large side band) x width of fabric (approx. 43″)

Basic Sewing Supplies

Here are the directions that were sent to me by my mom from her quilting group.

Here is what a french seam looks like (pictured above).  Isn’t it pretty?  No raw, exposed edges.  You can use french seams when sewing garments as well.  It’s a great finishing option if you don’t have a serger.

How about making a set of these for overnight guests?  I think that would be a lovely gesture and then they can go home with them as kind of a ‘thank you for coming’ sort of gift.

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I’ve got plans to make several sets of these pillowcases.  I have all this beautiful fabric, so why not rest my head on it when I go to sleep?  I must be a true fabric addict.  Hi, my name is Lindsay and I want to sleep with my fabric.  Haha, just kidding…….well, not really.

15 Minute Pillowcase with French Seams. Free Pattern and Tutorial from The Cottage Mama. www.thecottagemama.com

Cottage Mama’s Note:  Fabrics seen here are as follows ~

Fabric 1 (Light Blue Main): Art Gallery Fabric – Alhambra II – Moorish Blooms Aqua

Fabric 2 (Yellow Thin Band): Timeless Treasures – Sweet on NYC – Pixie YellowFabric 3 (Dark Blue Side Band): Art Gallery Fabric – Alhambra II- Cashmere Cameo Night

Materials

To make two Solid Pillowcases:

  • For Standard (20 by 26 inches) or Queen (20 by 30 inches) pillows: 2 yards of a light to mid-weight cotton fabric
  • For King (20 by 36 inches) pillows: 2 ¼ yards of fabric

Pillowcases for Every Bed | Purl Soho

The fabrics I used are shown and numbered above.

  • 100% cotton thread in a coordinating color.

To make two Edged Pillowcases you will need ¼ yard of a Contrasting Color, in addition to the materials listed above.

Edged Pillowcase Pattern

Cut

Pillowcases for Every Bed | Purl Soho

From the Main Color, cut two 21 by 57 ½ (21 by 65 ½, 21 by 73 ½)–inch rectangles. From the Contrasting Color, cut two 21 by 7 ½ inch rectangles.

Note: When cutting simple rectangular shapes for patterns such as this, straight, clean cuts are key. The best way to make these cuts is with a rotary cutter and a non-slip quilting ruler on a self-healing cutting mat. If you have limited experience using a rotary cutter, I recommend visiting our Rotary Cutting Tutorial.

Hem

Pillowcases for Every Bed | Purl Soho

Fold one short side of one of the Main Color rectangles ¼ inch towards the wrong side and press. Fold this same edge ½ inch towards the wrong side again, press and pin. Sew the hem down with an edgestitch. This is Hemmed Side A.

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Fold one long side of one of the Contrasting Color rectangles ¼ inch towards the wrong side and press. Fold this same edge ½ inch towards the wrong side again, press and pin. Sew the hem down with an edgestitch. This is Hemmed Side B.

Piece

Pillowcases for Every Bed | Purl Soho

Lay the Main Color rectangle out flat with the wrong side facing up.

With the right side facing up, line up the long raw edge of the Contrasting Color rectangle with the short raw edge of the Main Color rectangle (the wrong sides of the two pieces will be facing each other). Pin in place along this edge. Sew along the pinned edge with a ¼-inch seam allowance.

Pillowcases for Every Bed | Purl Soho

Fold along the seam so that the right sides of the two pieces are now facing each other. Press flat and pin.

Sew along the pinned edge with a ½-inch seam allowance.

Pillowcases for Every Bed | Purl Soho

Press the seam towards the darker of the two fabrics.

Sew Sides

Lay the prepared fabric flat with the wrong side facing up.

Pillowcases for Every Bed | Purl SohoFold Hemmed Side A 6 inches towards the wrong side and press.Pillowcases for Every Bed | Purl Soho

Fold Hemmed Side B over to meet the pressed edge of the 6-inch fold. Make sure that the edge of Hemmed Side B is perfectly in line with the pressed fold.

Pillowcases for Every Bed | Purl Soho

Pin along the two long raw edges. Sew along the pinned edge with a ¼-inch seam allowance.

Pillowcases for Every Bed | Purl Soho

Fold the pillowcase inside out, making sure the 6-inch flap wraps around the Hemmed Side B and the wrong side of the flap seam faces up.

Press the long side seams flat and pin.

Sew along the pinned edges with a ½-inch seam allowance.

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Pillowcases for Every Bed | Purl Soho

Turn right side out and press flat.

Repeat with the other two rectangles for the matching case.

no sew

You can literally wrap your already covered pillow (or pillow form) up like a burrito, meaning the only thing you have to purchase is fabric from your local craft store. You simply take a square of fabric, place the pillow towards one corner, wrap, tie, and you’re done!

(Here’s a more detailed video!)

Pin ItPhotography by better homes and gardens

needle and thread

Don’t let working with a needle and thread scare you. First, buying the two materials will cost you no more than a few dollars. Second, anyone can hand stitch. Sewing a pillowcase with a needle and thread is just like making one with a sewing machine, except you’ll obviously be sewing by and and it will take a few minutes longer. Don’t let the project intimidate you (and don’t expect perfection!).

(See a tutorial for making a three-piece cover here.)

Pin ItPhotography by homey oh my

with a zipper

Adding a zipper can spice things up a bit—and make it easier to insert and remove pillow forms. This is key for washing. The zipper will only be located along one seam, and most people opt to use a sewing machine, but that doesn’t mean you can’t hand sew it.

(Visit Hey There Home for all the steps.)

Pin ItPhotography by run to radiance

velcro

Adding velcro complicates the process just a bit (like the zipper!), but it makes removal so much easier and is definitely worth adding a few more minutes to your DIY project. This tutorial also uses two dishtowels, which serves as a reminder that you can really use whatever cloth material you can get your hands on (and like, of course!).

(Check out In My Own Style for a more detailed tutorial.)

Pin ItPhotography by silver pencils

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