Piles of Pillowcases

posted in: make it | 5

Pillow Case DIY Tutorial - Threaded TogetherThese 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).

Fabric required:       

1 yard  (44-45” wide) for body of pillowcase

1/3 yard for end of pillowcase

1/8 yard for accent strip

Recommended fabrics:

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.

Optional: 

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”

Instructions:

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”).

Pillow Case DIY Tutorial - Threaded Together

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. 

Pillow Case DIY Tutorial - Threaded Together

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!

Pillow Case DIY Tutorial - Threaded Together

Press:  1) seams up; 2) accent piece up; and 3) end piece down.

Pillow Case DIY Tutorial - Threaded Together

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!).

Pillow Case DIY Tutorial - Threaded Together

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.

Pillow Case DIY Tutorial - Threaded Together

Turn inside out and press.

Pillow Case DIY Tutorial - Threaded Together

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.

Pillow Case DIY Tutorial - Threaded Together

Pillow Case DIY Tutorial - Threaded Together

I just had a brilliant idea to make “tooth” pillows – will let you know how those work out (when I get around to them).

Sweet Dreams!

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5 Responses

  1. Marissa
    | Reply

    The “grands” have stacks of these and they LOVE them! I would be in so much trouble if I didn’t change them out for each holiday and season. It’s a great way to celebrate life’s milestone too…like the Boy Scout one.

  2. somedaycrafts
    | Reply

    That is a great tutorial for making a pillowcase. I made one on a date once and it was so fun. I was impressed the guy could sew and that he had the idea:)

  3. somedaycrafts
    | Reply

    I will feature this tutorial at somedaycrafts.blogspot.com. Grab my ‘featured” button.

  4. Charlene
    | Reply

    I do this same technique, but use these measurements: 9″ band, 3″ decorative band, 27″ body. 3×9=27, that’s how I remember it, and it’s only 3/4 of a yard of fabric for the body.

    I also serge it all together – goes quickly that way!

  5. Debbie
    | Reply

    Thanks, everyone!

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