Tips On How To Sew A Pillowcase Step-By-Step

If you’ve already tried making your own envelope cushion cover or your cushion cover with a zipper, then let’s move on to the next project! There’s no such thing as too many pillows if you enjoy sewing, and the same can be said for pillowcases. They can freshen up your home décor without a lot of effort. A simple pillowcase can be used to brighten up a space with colourful fabrics and make a nice gift for any occasion.

Stylish bedroom interior design with black patterned pillows on bed

We’ll show you how to sew a DIY pillowcase in its most basic form in this sewing tutorial. We’ll start easy. Then, we will go further and show you how to make a decorative pillowcase with slightly more sophisticated designs once you’ve mastered the basics.

Planning for your sewing project

Pillowcases are often made of soft cotton fabric, satin, flannel, or knit fabric that feels good against the skin.

Choose a fabric that complements your bedroom’s interior design, especially for your bed covering and linens. You’ll need 1.8 metres of cloth to produce a set of regular pillowcases.

Choose a washable fabric if you’re planning to sleep on the pillowcases. If you’re sewing one for a more ornamental function, the fabric doesn’t have to be as soft or as easily cleaned. 

You can use any type of fabric to match the colour of your home decor. To get started on this project, you need to have a few tools:

Golden thimble with set of reel of thread, scissors for sewing and needlework

How to sew a simple pillowcase

Are you ready? Let’s start with the basics! But before we start, we need to tell you a little secret; you can even sew it without a bobbin. Interesting, right!

Here are the steps that you need to follow:

1. Cut the fabric to size

You must first measure and cut the fabric to size in order to make a pillowcase. The standard pillowcase size in the UK is 75 x 50 cm. This is the standard size you want the end product to be. You will need to account for hems and seams when cutting the fabric.

So, cut a rectangular panel on a flat surface, measuring 173 cm by 54 cm from the fabric. The reason you cut now more than what is needed is that you will want to have some extra fabric later on.

2. Sew now the hems together

You need to stitch the hems at each end of the fabric now that it’s been cut to the correct size. Give a 10 cm hem allowance. So, with the cloth folded lengthwise, measure in 5 cm from either end and insert your marking pins.

Open out your cloth so it’s facing down, and with the two marking pins, fold one end back to produce a crease level. To keep it in place, use a few pins along the fold (or iron it if you prefer).

3. Fold the cut edge into the crease to create a new one and finish the hem

Remove the pins now from the first crease and pin (or iron) along the second crease. Then, repeat the process on the opposite end. You can stitch both ends in place after they’ve been folded and pinned, removing any pins as you go.

4. Sew the seams

You don’t need to use an overlocker to sew the seams in this project.  So, fold the fabric lengthwise, measure in 13 cm from one end, and pin both layers together.

hands of a woman while sewing with needle and thread the old coloured striped pillow

5. Lay your fabric face down and open it out

Fold the end back to produce a crease level with your marker pins, just like you did with the hems. To secure the item, use a pin or an iron.

Fold your fabric in half with the hem at the other end so that the edge of your hem is also level with your marker pins. 

6. Remove the marker pins, smooth out any wrinkles, and pin along the cut edges

Sew along the pinned cut edges, stopping approximately at one centimetre from the edge and removing the pins as you go. Simply double-check that all pins have been removed after sewing along both edges.

Trim off the finished edges on both sides, approximately 3 mm away from your stitches, with the pillowcase stretched down flat.

7. Finish up

Turn your almost-ready pillowcase inside out fully. The next step is to iron the seams on both sides. It can be difficult to get the seams pressed out smooth and straight while ironing. Fortunately, you can make it happen by simply putting a piece of stiff card inside your pillowcase that isn’t too thick.

Slide the card to the edge, straightening the seam, and then you can start ironing. Begin on one side and then work your way to the other. To keep everything in place, use a couple of pins on each side.

Finally, you can sew about 6 mm in from the edge on each side. Trim any stray threads, then turn your pillowcase right side out and iron it. Done! 

How to sew a decorative pillowcase

Tutorial number 2! Are you ready? Let’s take a look!

1. Choose the right type of fabric

Three different fabrics in complementing colours are required for this project. Choose one main fabric for the pillowcase, a second for the opening hem, and a third for the trim.

Choose three solid-coloured fabrics or three sewing patterns with similar colours. The textiles don’t have to be matching, but it helps if they have one or two colours in common. 

2. Cut the fabric to the desired size

Cut each piece of fabric to the correct size with a pair of scissors or a rotary cutter. Cut the main piece to 66 cm x 110 cm to make a normal pillowcase.

The second piece should be 30 cm x 110 cm in size. Cut the final piece of cloth to 5 cm x 110 cm for the trim. 

Young woman seamstress making pattern on fabric with tailors chalk

3. Iron your fabric

Use an iron to eliminate creases from the fabric before sewing. The large and medium pieces should be ironed flat. Iron the trim flat after folding it in half lengthwise with the “wrong sides” together.

4. Now lay out the fabric

Place the medium piece of fabric on your work table right side up. Place the trim fabric against the medium fabric’s edge, with the raw edges on the outside and the folded edge on the inside.

Finally, put the large piece of cloth over the medium and trim ones. Ensure that all of the fabric layers along the top edges are exactly aligned with one another. To keep the fabric layers in place, use a few straight pins along the edges.

5. Roll up your fabric

Begin moving the top layer of cloth, which is the largest piece, toward the pinned edge using your fingers. Continue rolling until you’re just a few centimetres from the pinned edge. Fold the medium piece of fabric over the roll, aligning it with the pinned edge, and pin it in place. Then, pin all of the layers in place with more straight pins.

6. Finish the edge with a stitch

Make a straight stitch along the pinned edge of the fabric with your sewing machine or a threaded needle. The stitch should be 1.3 cm from the fabric’s edge. As you stitch, remove the pins from the fabric.

Ensure that the stitch catches all of the fabric layers. Also, make sure the stitch is as straight and tidy as possible. If you need to start anew, remove the stitch with a seam ripper, realign the fabric edges, and start over.

7. Turn the fabric roll over to the right side

To uncover the tremendous fabric roll located underneath, pull back the medium piece of cloth. Reverse the fabric by gently tugging on the roll, then straighten it out on your work table. Iron the pillowcase to ensure that all of the pieces are perfectly flat.

8. Stitch all the way around the edges

Turn the pillowcase inside out, so that the inner sides are facing out. Stitch a straight seam across the remaining raw edges of the pillowcase with your sewing machine or a needle and thread. Leave the pillowcase‘s hemmed section open.

9. Finally, iron the fabric

Lay it flat and iron it again before draping it over a pillow.

Girl ironing a pillowcase

How to sew a zippered pillowcase

What’s next? Another amazing tutorial of course! Do you know how to sew a zipper? Here’s what you need to do:

1. Cut the fabric

Cut your fabric to the appropriate size. You can also aim for a two-sided pillowcase. Decide which side of the fabric will be used for the zipper by laying both of your fabrics face down. Keep an eye out for your pillowcase pattern.

2. Mark the zipper

Place the right sides of the two fabrics together and pin/mark the fabric where you want the zipper to go. You don’t need to pin your zipper in place at this moment.

Hands of a woman sewing a zipper using a sewing machine

3. Sew the bottom edges 

You’ll sew the fabric’s bottom borders all the way to the pin that marks the location of the zipper. Sew to the first pin and backstitch at the beginning of the seam and then sew to the opposite edge and backstitch once more.

4. Place the zipper now after ironing the seam

Sewn seams should be opened and pressed with a hot iron. To keep the zipper in place, position it on top, facing down, and pin it to the cloth.

5. Now sew the zipper in place

Sew one side of the zipper in place, while backstitching, and then you can sew the other side in place.

6. Sew the pillowcase

Open the zipper at least halfway and replace the zipper foot with a standard presser foot.

Pin the edges together to make your pillowcase sewing process a lot easier and you can finish the seam allowance with zigzag stitches. Once done, remove the pillow cover and you’re done.

A new white zippered pillowcase

You’ve just finished making perfect, colourful and fun pillowcases. You can undoubtedly make as many as you want to spice up your bedroom décor as they are simple and quick to make. Follow our sewing tips and have fun with this pillowcase tutorial. Good luck with your project!

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