You may have noticed that most of the pillowcases in homeware shops come with a pretty border along the edge. Now you can learn how to make a pillowcase with a tailored border and durable French seam. Best of all, it won't take much more than 15 minutes of your precious time. You can make one for the whole family while your little one naps!
How To Make a Pillowcase Tutorial
Ready to learn how to make a pillowcase? Let’s get started! If you would like to make some different styles of pillowcases, here are some other styles on my blog. See more styles and links at the end of this article.
Pillowcases come in 3 common sizes – Standard, Queen, and King.
There are some slight differences in sizing between countries but this how to make a pillowcase tutorial should fit most pillow inserts. Some of you, like me, might call them pillowslips or even pillow covers.
How to Make a Pillowcase Size
Here are the dimensions of the 3 sizes of pillow inserts. Most of you will have a standard-size pillowcase.
Measurements for pillowcases:
- Standard pillowcase size : 20x26"
- Queen pillowcase size: 20x30"
- King pillowcase size: 20x36"
The finished size of the pillowcase, of course, is larger than the actual inserts. This pattern gives you a nice loose cover. You can adjust it if you like a tight cover.
Supplies for Making Pillowcase
Here is what you need to make a pillow cover pattern:
- FABRIC - You will need 1 yard of fabric that is at least 44 inches (112cm) wide.
- BASIC SEWING SUPPLIES - Sewing machine, thread, pins
- MEASURING TOOLS - Ruler or tape measure
- CUTTING TOOLS - Scissors, or rotary cutter, and cutting mat.
Which Fabric is Best for Making a DIY Pillowcase?
Pure cotton woven fabric is best as it will breathe and give you a great night's sleep. Choose bright contrasting fabrics for the border and trim for a modern stylish look that matches your bedroom decor.
The fabric chosen should be light to medium weight. I like using quilting cotton.
Cutting Instructions for DIY Pillowcase Pattern
Start by cutting out your fabric in rectangular pieces in the following sizes. You will need to cut the main fabric, border and trim.
Here is a photo of the pillowcase template just so you can visualize what you are cutting.
How to Make a Pillowcase - Video Tutorial
Here is a video I made for you to see the whole process of how to make a pillowcase. It really is quite easy!
I add new sewing and craft videos to my YouTube channel weekly so don't forget to subscribe.
Apology - at 0.36 in the video I incorrectly labeled the main and border and the text shows the reverse. This is a fairly obvious mistake but once you load a video it can't be changed. If you have any doubts refer to the photo directly above this section.
How to Make a Pillowcase - Step by Step Instructions
Here are the instructions for how to sew a pillowcase:
Step 1: Prepare the Trim
Press your trim in half lengthwise with the WRONG sides together matching the long raw edges.
Step 2 - Layer the Main and Border
Layer your main and border pieces with RIGHT sides together with the trim sandwiched in between.
You will be matching the 43 inches (109cm) side of each piece.
Make sure the border is on the bottom layer as this will make the next step easier. Pin along the top raw edge so the pieces don’t move.
Step 3 - Roll up the Main
Now roll up the main piece of fabric almost to the top of the border.
This is the view from the side.
Step 4 - Pin the Border
Wrap the border around the main fabric and match all the raw edges. This is called the burrito method of making a pillowcase.
It is easy to see from the side view why it has this name. Remove your original pins and repin through all layers.
Step 5 - Sewing Pillowcases Border
Stitch across the top raw edge with a ½ inch (12mm) seam allowance.
Pull the main fabric through the end of the roll to turn your pillowcase the right way out.
Give your border a good press. Most cotton fabrics will press nicely at the seam but you can topstitch across if you wish.
If you are going to embroider the border, now is the easiest time to do it.
Step 6 - How to Make a Pillowcase with a French Seam
Fold your pillowcase in half with the WRONG sides together and the raw edges matching. Stitch along the side and bottom, ¼ inch (6mm) from the edge.
Trim the seam to ⅛ inch (3mm) and clip the bottom corner.
Turn the pillowcase the WRONG way out and press the seam.
Now stitch around the seam again ¼ inch (6mm) from the edge. This will completely encase the seam and prevent it from fraying in the wash.
This is how your inside seam will now look. See how the raw edges are all enclosed giving you a durable seam.
Turn the pillowcase the right way out again and give it a good press.
How to Make a Pillowcase - In Conclusion
All finished and looking good! I hope you enjoyed this how to make a pillowcase series. Make one in a fun fabric to match your family's personalities.
PIN IMAGE FOR LATER
More How to Make a Pillowcase & Cushion Tutorials
Now you have beautiful pillows for the bed, why not learn how to make curtains?
This tutorial shows you how to make a pillow cover with French seams, but I have more pillow and cushion patterns. Here are 10 more pillow patterns!
- How to Make a Pillowcase with a French Seam
- How to Make a Cushion Cover
- Pillowcase Pattern
- How to Make a Doll Pillowcase
- Make a Cushion Cover with Piping
- Tooth Fairy Pillow
- Pom Pom Pillows DIY
- Star Pillow Pattern
- DIY Travel Pillow
- Christmas Pillow DIY
- Reading Pillow Pattern
- Best Pillow Patterns
How to Make a Pillowcase
- Sewing machine
- Sewing Basics Thread, pins, iron, measuring tape
- Fabric Main
- Fabric Border
- Fabric Trim
- Cut the main, trim and border according to the cutting size instructions.
- Press the trim in half lengthwise, wrong sides together.
- Layer your main and border pieces with RIGHT sides together with the trim sandwiched in between.
- Roll up the main fabric almost to the top. Fold the border around the top. Pin.
- Stitch across the top of the border. Pull the main fabric out the end.
- Fold the pillowcase in half wrong sides together. Stitch the seam ¼ inch (6mm).
- Trim the seam to ⅛ inch (3mm) and clip bottom corner. Turn wrong way out and stitch again ¼ inch (6mm) from edge.
- Turn right way out and press again.
Thank you for this very helpful tutorial and instructions, it helped so much as I could pause the video, Soo happy with the results!
Hi Margi, it should be 11 x 43 but actually, 13x43 still works, it just means your border is 1 inch longer. Thanks for picking that up.
Quick tutorial and video. THANK YOU
I do have one question, for the king size on the video it lists the border as 13"x43" here on the instructions it lists it as 11"x43"....help!!
Raw edges are always together. So the border is folded and you will have 2 raw edges and these align to the raw edge of the main piece. I hope that makes sense. Thanks for watching and I'd love to hear how it turns out.
I want to make the pillow, I have the three pieces of fabric cut and ready to sew but.....I cannot tell...are the raw edges to be pinned and sewn together or is the FOLDED edge pinned to the RAW edge of the border....I cannot tell from your website or from the video. thanks!
Hi Grace, I'm so glad it turned out so well. Camping is so much fun. Make sure you keep in touch about your article. A camping theme is such a great idea.
This pattern is perfection! I just finished a set of pillowcases for a friend. She wanted pillowcases made for her son for camp using the sheets as the main fabric. Probably the easiest project that I've done in ages!!! Love how they finished up. Thanks so much for such an easy to follow tutorial. I plan to make some camping themed pillow cases to feature on my blog this summer
Hi Cindy, thanks for your kind words. Your granddaughter is going to have so much fun with you. 🙂
Thank you so very much for this well designed instruction. My mom taught me some sewing basics when I was about 10. Yes that was a long time ago! Now it is my turn to help teach my 10 year old granddaughter and I plan to use your instructions. I know we can do it thanks to you. Cindy
Thank you. You have the best tutorial I have found for sewing the different sizes of pillowcases.
Yes you would normally press it away from the cuff but the other way would work just as well if you like the way it looks. Thanks for reading.
Do you press the trim piece away from the cuff?
Hi Terri, You do need to plan ahead a little. Yes when you pin the border to the main initially (my photo is labelled as LAYER), the bunnies feet will be facing the main fabric raw edge. That way when it is later opened up it will face the right way. I hope that makes sense 🙂 Place a couple of pins before you sew and test it. Thanks for reading.
I have a question- I am using a fabric with bunnies on the border;
Do I have to turn this fabric upside down whe I sew the layers together. I am thinking the bunnies will be upside down when I turn the fabric.
Thanks for your thoughts
It is always best to wash your fabric first before sewing in case it shrinks. Most fabrics have chemicals on them to make them look smooth and crisp on the roll when you buy it so you would want to wash anyway before sleeping on your new pillowcase. Thanks for reading my blog 🙂
Do you wash your fabric first?
Hi Michelle, thanks so much for the kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed it. xxDixi
Love your clear instructions and crisp photos to go with! I've made this pattern many times and your images are just the B E S T! Thank you so much!
Thanks for sharing the link your pillowcases! They look amazing 🙂
Thank you for this lovely tutorial! It was extremely well done with wonderful pictures.
Thought I would share how my pillowcases turned out: http://kabramkrafts.com/2017/03/diy-pillowcases/.
I linked back to your tutorial as it was very helpful. Thanks again!