These instructions will make one standard size pillowcase (approximately 32” x 20”). I have adapted these into EASY instructions from some complicated directions I got for free from a quilt shop in California about 15 years ago. There are almost no limits to the fabrics and colors available. The instructions can be adapted to any size pillow.
I first made pillowcases when my daughters were headed off to college. If your students attend a large school it is fairly easy to find novelty fabric, otherwise use the school colors. Use stencils to cut out the school/sorority letters out of iron-on patch material; zigzag around to make sure they stay on through repeated washings. I have also made them to decorate beds. An inexpensive way for decorator pillows to coordinate with sheets on the bed. Use ribbons and buttons to close up the end. Now I make them for the “grands” for holidays, to decorate their bedrooms (e.g., anything pink, baseball), or to match their hobbies and interests (e.g., Boy Scouts, dance, soccer).
1 yard (44-45” wide) for body of pillowcase
1/3 yard for end of pillowcase
1/8 yard for accent strip
It is up to you to decide whether you want to use something recommended for children’s wear (e.g., flame retardant fabrics). I’ve always used 100% cotton (e.g., quilting-type fabrics, novelty & holiday-print fabrics and flannel). Prewash all fabrics.
Rickrack and other embellishments
Cutting (or “ripping”) Directions:
From the 1 yard piece, cut one piece 27” x 41”
From 1/3 yard piece, cut one piece 10” x 41”
From 1/8 yard piece, cut one piece 3” x 41”
Press the 3” x 41 accent strip in half lengthwise, right side out, raw edges together (strip will now be 1 ½” x 41”) .
Press the 10” x 41” end piece in half lengthwise, right side out, raw edges together (strip will now be 5” x 41”).
Sandwich the accent (1 ½” wide) strip between the end piece (5” wide) and right side of the bottom long edge of the body fabric with all raw edges together. You can pin them together if you are hesitant about feeding them along, or do like I do and just hold them in place. Make sure that your “body” fabric is going in the desired direction.
Sew a 5/8” wide seam along the bottom edge. Don’t panic if they don’t match up exactly on the other end, just trim accordingly!
Press: 1) seams up; 2) accent piece up; and 3) end piece down.
Top stitch the accent piece to keep it standing up. This is a good time/place to add rickrack or ribbon, if desired. I only add buttons and other embellishments if the pillowcases won’t actually be used for sleeping (who wants a button in their ear?).
Fold the body piece (with attached accent and end piece) in half with right sides together, matching the edges (should be starting to look like a pillowcase at this point!).
Sew a 5/8” seam around the long side and top open edges. You can doublestitch this if you think it will get heavy duty wear.
Clip close to the seam and the corners.
Turn inside out and press.
Taking pictures and all, this one took me about 30 minutes. Usually I make these in “assembly-line” fashion. In no time at all you’ll have a Pile of Pillowcases.
I just had a brilliant idea to make “tooth” pillows – will let you know how those work out (when I get around to them).
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