Michelle, her mother and her daughter have all embarked on a project to make pillowcases for a children’s home. Each child in the home receives a new pillowcase on their birthday! Today Michelle shows you how to make a simple pillowcase. This project is perfect for kids, for beginning sewists and for anyone who wants an easy way to show off special fabric in their home. These make great gifts too! Visit Michelle at Hi Mamma and the family’s Petunia and Marigold shop, and let us know in the comments if you make a pillowcase.

Making pillowcases is a lot of fun both for adults and kids because there are so many different variations that you can do to make each pillowcase different. Since the beginning of the year, I have been working with my two daughters in learning to sew. We have worked on various projects but our favorite has been sewing pillowcases.

The pattern I am going to share with you today is a basic, one-piece fabric version. It has worked the best for us because it is simple and easy to follow. We will also be working on future pillowcases that will be a little more difficult, such as using two pieces of fabric, working with ruffles, etc., but for the girls’ current skill level, this works great.

Items Needed:

  • Ribbon (width of your pillowcase: in this example, 30 inches)
  • Fabric (41 inches X 30 inches)
  • Thread to match your ribbon
  • Thread to match your fabric
  • Ruler
  • Sewing pins
  • Rotary cutter/table mat

1. Select one piece of fabric. Pre-wash it and then iron so that all wrinkles are removed.

2. Lay the fabric flat with the wrong side facing upward (towards you) and laying smooth on your table.

3. Measure your fabric 41 inches in length and 30 inches in width.

4. Lay the fabric on your table, with the longer side going horizontal. Fold over the fabric 5 inches and mark. Then fold over the fabric a second time, 5 inches. The reason why we fold over the hem twice is so that when the edge of the pillowcase is hanging of the pillow, it is resting nicely off it and has a nice appearance.

5. Next pin the edge of the fabric and sew ½ inch along the hem.

Note: The third photograph is to show what the hem looks like after it has been sewn.

6. Next turn your fabric over with the right side facing up at you. Lay your ribbon along the top of the hem you just sewed to help keep your ribbon going in a straight line across the fabric. Pin the ribbon on the hem stitch and then sew along the edge of the ribbon on both sides (the left and right side of the ribbon). Try to stay along the edge of the ribbon without going off the edge.

7. After sewing on the ribbon, fold the fabric in half, with the right sides facing together and the wrong sides facing out (like below). Be sure to match the ends of the pillowcase fabric you just sewed so that they line up perfectly. Then pin the fabric together to keep it in place.

8. Along the bottom of the pillowcase (non-ribbon end) sew ½ inch, starting at the fold and sew to the corner, pivot and sew upward to the top of the fabric. Do not sew the top of the fabric (where the ribbon is) or you will sew your pillowcase shut. On this portion of the sewing project we have played with it one of two ways. We have sewn the pillowcase with a regular stitch and we have tried a zigzag stitch for extra durability. You can decide which way you like better.

9. Clip the loose threads from the pillowcase and then press the pillowcase so that everything looks crisp. My mom always shared that ironing (or pressing, where you set the iron down from the top) is one of the most important aspects of sewing… Just to make sure everything lies correctly. I must admit when I was younger I balked at it, but you know what?– She was right!