Pillow Pillow Who Has The Case?

–  You to can make a custom pillowcase. Our sister Lindsay got me hooked on making these. I have made one for each of my grandchildren. This iris one is the first one I made for myself. They are fun and easy to make.

First: Choose the fabric.

I tried lots of colors and settled on these colors, because they were a little softer looking than some of the others. I purchased the fabric on our Northwest Journey in February.

As you can see, I am using my sewing journal, that Q and I made, to make notes on sewing a pillowcase. The finished standard pillowcase is about 31″, so these are the figures I came up with.

Yardage amounts needed for a standard sized pillowcase:

  • 3/4 yard of main fabric 
  • 1/4 yard for the border 
  • 1/8 ” for the accent fabric – make make wider or shorter

Second: Cut the fabric.

Cutting measurements: NOTE: Make sure the widths are all about 42 inches.

  • Main fabric:  28 1/4 inches long by about 42 inches wide.
  • Border fabric: 9 inches by about 42 inches wide.
  • Accent fabric: After trimming, fold in half lengthwise and iron. The accent strip can be fabric or soft lace. You can make yours smaller if you like. I like to see it, so I like to make mine wide. My finished cut is 3 1/2″. Now you have your pieces to sew.

Third: Assemble the pieces.

Step 1: Find the center of each piece and place all pieces face up in this order, matching both the centers and the raw edges:

  1. Border fabric piece
  2. Main fabric, or body of pillowcase
  3. Accent piece, which was folded in half and ironed.

The top picture shows the order of the pieces. Notice that the pieces are different widths, that will be trimmed after sewing.

The bottom picture, above, shows the pieces stacked ready to sew. The centers are aligned and the raw edges even.

Step 2: Fold the bottom edge of the main fabric body piece up to the top edge and pin through all layers. It should look like a big tube when finished. Sew a 5/8 inch seam across the top.

Step 3: After sewing, pull the fabric out of the tube. Iron. Now you are ready to trim the excess fabric off of the sides to even the width.

Step 4: After cutting off the excess fabric, pin the wrong sides together. We are making a French seam which requires two step seaming. With the right sides together, pin the sides and bottom together and a sew 1/4″ seam around. I like to use a sewing glove while sewing. It grips the fabric and make it easier to align the fabric pieces. These were a gift from my friend at work. They came two in a pack. I like to use one while sewing, so I gave Q the other one.

Now trim the excess fabric away from the corners. Be sure not to cut through the seam. Turn pillow case inside out. IRON. Now sew 3/8″ seam allowance along the side and bottom. Note: I like to start at the top so it is aligned. I, also, sew backwards 3 to 4 times, since the top gets a lot of wear. Turn right side out and IRON. Ta Ta Your own custom pillow case.

Step 5: Finished

This is the one I finished for my grandson Mason. Can you tell what his favorite past time is? Total time for making a pillowcase is about 1 hour. Deciding what fabric may take longer. Enjoy and sleep tight. 🙂


4 thoughts on “Pillow Pillow Who Has The Case?

  1. Thanks for working out the dimensions and sharing it! I have thought about -albeit fleetingly – making pillow cases. And now you’ve done the hard part. My daughter wanted to learn how to sew so I started her on her first project: a lace layered princess Halloween costume for her daughter. I think pillow cases would have been a wiser choice!


    • Thanks. I am hooked on them. I have been going threw my fabrics to see what other cases I can make. You can make the body larger to fit a queen or king pillow. I didn’t mention this was a standard case. I guess I assumed everyone would know. The Halloween costume sound cute. Curls


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