Easy Peasy Pillowcase Tutorial

OK, I’m going to give this a whirl. I think I can write a tutorial, why not? I mean, my real-life job is as an instructional designer, which is just a fancy pants way of saying that I write instructions for things. I can do this, OK, here we go.

Want to make a REALLY easy and REALLY fast gift for a special someone in your life? Why not make them a couple of cute pillowcases to decorate their beds and send them off to sweet dreams each night?

Finished pillowcase plus a quilt I made to match (free pattern below)

Finished pillowcase plus a quilt I made to match (free pattern below)

Supplies for ONE standard 20″ X 26″ pillowcase (great for a twin bed, double these supplies for two cases):

* 3/4 yd non-directional fabric (for body of pillowcase)

* 1/8 yd fabric for small accent band

* 1/4 yd fabric for outside band

*Sewing items such as sewing machine, coordinating/matching thread, scissors, rotary cutter and mat, iron

Cut the fabric:

From the main body fabric, cut a rectangle 26″ x 42″

From the small accent band fabric, cut a strip 2-1/4″ x 42″

From the outside band fabric, cut a strip 8-1/2″ x 42″

Fold and press:


Fold the 2-1/4″ strip in half lengthwise and press.

Do the same with the 8-1/2″ strip.

Attach accent band to the outside band.



Using a 1/4″ seam allowance, line up the raw edges and attach the accent band to the outside band.

Attach the body fabric.


This is where things get a little tricky, but it’s OK, I’ll walk you through it. Lay the accent band piece so that the raw edges are up. Then line up one of the long edges of the body fabric with the raw edge of the accent/band fabrics. Make sure the small accent piece is sandwhiched between the two larger pieces. Stitch together with 1/4″ seam allowance.


Close up of how to put layers together.

 Got it? Good. You’re almost done!

Press bands and sew pillowcase body

Press the bands forward so that they lay flat and the small accent band is on top of the outside band.

Fold the entire piece in half with right sides together and stitch along the bottom and side seams. Backstitch at the beginning and end to secure the threads. (Backstitch means stitch forward a couple of stitches, then press the reverse button, if your machine has one, and stitch backwards over the same stitches.) If you don’t have a reverse stitch, that’s fine, you can just tie threads off.  At this point, you’ll probably want to turn right side out and press the side seam flat or at least to one side so that it lays nicely, wha-la you are DONE!

Optional finish, zigzag the inside edge:


To prevent the seams from fraying with repeated washes or to give it a more finished look you can go back and do a zigzag stitch over the seam allowance. When you do so, make sure that the outside points of the stitch go over the edge of the fabric. Also, be sure to stitch over the seam allowance of the outside bands as well.

Here is what the finished pillowcase looks like:


As you can see in the first image, you shouldn’t feel limited to just cotton fabrics for the pillowcase body. I used a soft, snuggly fabric called Minkee for the pillowcase that matches the backing of the quilt I made above. So, now, that you’ve made the pillowcase, I’m sure you’d just LOVE to have a pattern for the quilt shown above too, right? I mean, don’t we all just have a ton of old jeans laying around the house that we’ve been wondering what to do with? OK, so here are the patterns, a PDF for the pillowcase tutorial above AND the quilt pattern! Yippee a twofer! Now, go and tell all your friends about these great patterns (if you think they are great.)

Right click and select Open in new Window

PDF for Pillowcase Pattern

PDF for Quilt Pattern

Happy Stitches,


I added this as part of the Gifts You Can Sew guide on Skip to My Lou


September 7, 2009. Holidays, Quilting, sewing.

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