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How to Make a Pillowcase

How to Make a Pillowcase

By Janelle Cahoon, Quiltcentric

This tutorial presents a great method for sewing a pillowcase that has no exposed raw edges.

To sew a standard-size pillowcase you’ll need 7/8 yard of cotton print fabric for the body of the pillowcase and 3/8 yard coordinating fabric for the band.

  1. Cut a 26 ½” x 41” rectangle of the main fabric for the body of the pillowcase and a 10” x 41” strip of the coordinating band fabric.
  2. Lay out the band fabric right side up on your work surface.  Lay the main fabric rectangle right side down over it, so the fabrics lie face-to-face, matching the edges on the (top) 41” edge.  Pin top edge.quiltcentric_how_to_make_a_pillowcase_step_2
  3. Start at the bottom edge and roll your pillowcase-body rectangle up toward the top (pinned) edge.
  4. Stop rolling the rectangle when you’re about in the middle of the strip of the band fabric.quiltcentric_how_to_make_a_pillowcase_step_4
  5. Wrap the bottom edge of the band strip up over the fabric roll.  Pin through all 3 layers at the top edge so all 3 raw edges stay matched.  Be careful not to pin through the fabric roll.quiltcentric_how_to_make_a_pillowcase_step_5
  6. You now have a long fat tube of fabric.  It seems weird, but stay with it – this works!
  7. Sew the pinned edges together using a ½” seam allowance. quiltcentric_how_to_make_a_pillowcase_step_7
  8. Now pull the tube of fabric right-side-out, first turning back the edge and then pulling out the inner roll of fabric.  It’s kind of like turning a sock or a sleeve right-side-out; you just have to get it started and work at it a bit.quiltcentric_how_to_make_a_pillowcase_step_8
  9. When you’ve finished pulling the tube of fabric right side out it will look like this.quiltcentric_how_to_make_a_pillowcase_step_9
  10. Unroll the rolled-up rectangle.  You should find that the band fabric is right-side-out and that it encases the raw edges on the top of the fabric rectangle.
  11. Press the band flat, with the seam allowances pressed toward the band side rather than the rectangle side.  Turn over and press the back side too.quiltcentric_how_to_make_a_pillowcase_step_11
  12. Fold the whole piece in half lengthwise with the right sides out.  (Yes, really, right-side-out!)quiltcentric_how_to_make_a_pillowcase_step_12
  13. Match the raw edges and sew from band to end using a scant ¼” seam.
  14. Turn the pillowcase wrong-side-out and press seam allowance.
  15. With the wrong side still out, sew the long edge of the pillowcase again, using a generous ¼” seam.quiltcentric_how_to_make_a_pillowcase_step_15
  16. This will enclose the seam sewn in Step 13, eliminating raw edges.
  17. Now it’s time to close the bottom of the pillowcase.  Turn the pillowcase back right-side-out and repeat Steps 13 – 16 for the bottom of the pillowcase.quiltcentric_how_to_make_a_pillowcase_final

It’s as easy as that!  This is simple enough that you can make a matching pillowcase or two for every gift quilt you make (a great use of leftover fabric) or make some extra-large cases for safely storing your quilts.  If you want to make some pillowcases for charity, you might like to read my article on the Million Pillowcase Challenge.

If you have a technique or quilt-related article to share, just email me through the Contact link above!


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