Simple Sewing: Pillowcases

  • Difficulty Rating: Beginner
Handmade Pillowcases

It’s National Sewing Month, and what better time than now to set aside time to sew up a simple set of pillowcases customizes for your personal aesthetic?

This project sews up rather quickly and is a gratifying one since you are able to use your skills to create something useful for your home.

Fiskars Rotary Tool

First thing you’ll want to do, as best as you can, is iron all wrinkles from your cuts of fabric. Then, fold your ¾ yard cut of fabric in half matching the selvages (uncut edges). Lay your folded fabric on your cutting mat and use the Rotary Ruler to trim your fabric to 26 ½”. Without moving your fabric, lift and turn the Rotary Ruler 90 degrees to trim the selvage edges (not the folded edge) so your measurement is 22” leaving you with a piece of fabric measuring 26 ½” x 44” (Fabric A) once you open it from the fold.

Fold the ¼ yard cut of fabric in half matching the selvages. Lay your folded fabric on your cutting mat and use the Rotary Ruler to trim your fabric to 8 ½”. Follow the same step as above to cut the opposite direction at 22” in length leaving your with a piece of fabric measuring 8 ½” x 44” (Fabric B).

 Sewing the Cuff

Open the fold and fold the ¼ yard cut of fabric in half lengthwise this time, matching the cut edges. Iron down the length of the fabric, creasing the fold. This leaves you with a 4 ¼” x 44” strip of Fabric B (aka: the pillow cuff).

Lay the raw edges of Fabric B against the right side of one long edge of Fabric A. Sew them together using a ¼” seam allowance and making sure to lock your stitch at both the beginning and the end. If you are using a sewing machine instead of a Serger, use a zig-zag stitch along that same stitching, inside the seam allowance, to give a finished edge.  The helps keep the fraying of the fabric to a minimum during washing.

 Ironing the Seam

Iron the seam toward Fabric A.

Topstitching

Then, take it back to your sewing machine and topstitch 1/8” away from the main seam using a coordinating thread. Topstitching is a straight stitch that runs very close and parallel to a seam on the right side (aka: top) of your fabric.

Sewing Seam

Next, fold right sides of fabric together and pin the seam where the Fabric B meets Fabric A to make sure the seam is even once stitched. Sew down the entire length of the raw edge with a ¼” seam allowance and make sure to lock your stitch at both the beginning and the end.

Zig-Zag Stitching

Be sure to remember to zig-zag stitch (or use a Serger) along the entire edge. After zig-zag stitching the long side of the pillowcase, stitch the end of Fabric A closed with a ¼” seam allowance, locking your stitch at both the beginning and the end. Then, finish the raw edge with a zig-zag stitch as well.

Turn your fabric inside out and push out the corners for a crisp point. Wash your pillowcase before slipping it onto your favorite pillow. This case will fit up to a Queen-sized pillow form.

Supply List

3/4 yard fabric (100% cotton)
¼ yard fabric (coordinating 100% cotton)
Coordinating Thread
Sewing Machine
Sewing Pin
Iron
Ironing Board
Standard or Queen Bedroom Pillow