How to Sew a Pillow Case

Learning how to sew a pillowcase allows you to hand-make fashion accessories for your bedding for which you would otherwise pay a pretty price. To achieve more of an eclectic or shabby chick look, knowing how to sew your own pillowcase is a must. Once you know the basic steps, it is easy to modify them to fit your own quirky tastes. You can even add ribbons, button and other embellishments to get more of a custom look. Follow these simple steps and you will be well on your way.

Step 1: Determine Size

First, decide what size pillow you want to cover. Pillows come in standard sizes; 20x26 inches for a standard pillow, 20x30 inches for a queen pillow, 20x36 inches for a king pillow and 26x26 inches for euro size pillows. Smaller travel pillows are 12x16 inches. 

Step 2: Select Fabric

Second, pick out the fabric you want to use and measure it to fit the pillow.  You will end up with 3 separate pieces.

For example, if you want to make a pillowcase for a standard pillow, you will have one piece that is 53 inches long and 21 inches wide. That is 26 x 2 = 52, plus ½ inch for a seam allowance on either end.  The piece should be doubled over to be sewn, so there is no need to stitch the bottom. The other two pieces will be 21 x 9 inches in size. This will give you a 4 inch trim with a ½ inch seam allowance on either side.

Step 3: Assemble Material

Fold the small piece in half so that it is 4 ½ inches x 21 inches, then fold ½ inch along the long edges and iron them down. The piece should now be 4 inches x 21.

Step 4: Sew Pillow

Attach each piece to the either end of the long piece and sew them together. The way to do this is by sticking the ends of the long piece between the shorter pieces.

Next, fold the large piece in half, right side in, and sew along the ½-inch seam allowance. The last thing to do is turn it right side out and iron the seams. This step is so important. It gives the piece a finished look, as opposed to a homemade look.  

Now that you know the basics, you can do various things to personalize the look. For instance, you can use a contrasting color or fabric for the smaller pieces. Or you can use contrasting thread. You could even add trim with a hot glue gun or hand-sew it on. Another option would be to add grommets and then thread ribbon through it. How do you feel about beads? There are also tassels, lace, pearls, etc? The list of possibilities is endless. Whatever you decide, it is easy to see that this simple pattern can be used again and again without ever having to look exactly the same.