How to Sew a Pillowcase
You spend a third of your life sleeping. Shouldn’t the pillowcase you rest your head on be worthy of that time investment? We think so! That’s why knowing how to sew a pillowcase is a highly valuable skill. Being able to sew your own pillowcase means that you can customize the fabric and the size of your pillowcase, so you can make sure your pillow looks just the way you want it and is super comfy.
There are a few different ways to sew a pillowcase. We are going to show you how to make a pillowcase using something called the burrito method. This method is so quick and easy that you can finish the whole project in under 20 minutes! Soon, you’ll have new custom pillowcases for every pillow in your house. Let’s get started.
1. Choose your DIY pillowcase fabric
For this pillowcase, you will need two cuts of fabric:
Main fabric: 1 yard - Choose a fabric for the main part of the pillowcase. We love sweet florals like Vintage 74 - Floret Tangerine by Jennifer Moore or Nordic Spring by Helena Nilsson for a master bedroom, or perhaps Farm Days - Sheep for a kid’s room, so your little one can count sheep as they drift off to slumberland.
Cuff fabric: ⅓ yard - For the cuff of the pillowcase you can use the main fabric again, or choose a coordinating fabric to use as an accent! To make coordination easy, choose a print you love for one fabric, then pull a solid color from that print to use for the other fabric. For example, you could use Proud - Guava from FreeSpirit Fabrics for your main fabric, then find a solid fabric that matches one of the colors in that print, like Plum from Century Solids or Rain from Cloud 9 Fabrics, and use that for the cuff.
2. Gather your sewing supplies
You’ll need just a few other supplies for this project.
Thread - You’ll want to use thread that matches the fabric pretty closely.
An iron - Make sure you have a clothing iron to press the fabric, as you will do this several times throughout the pillowcase making process.
Pins - Don’t forget these either!
2. Line up fabrics
Lay out the cuff fabric with the right side facing up. Place the main pillow fabric on top of it, also with the right side facing up. The raw edges should be lined up at the top. Pin the fabrics together at the top to hold them in place.
3. Make the burrito for your pillowcase
You thought you were learning how to sew a pillowcase, but think again! To make the fabric “burrito,” roll the main fabric up from the bottom until the roll is centered in the middle of the cuff fabric.
Fold the cuff fabric up and over the rolled fabric, matching up the raw edges, enclosing the roll inside. Pin the three layers of fabric (two sides of the cuff and one layer of the main fabric) together.
4. Sew up the edge of your pillowcase
Using your sewing machine and thread, sew along the top edge of the fabrics (where you just pinned them), using a ¼” seam allowance.
5. Free the burrito
The roll of main fabric should now be tucked inside the cuff. This is the end of our burrito. Grab the edge of the roll, and gently pull all of the material out of the cuff. Keep going until all the fabric is out in a large rectangle again, then lay the fabric flat and iron it.
6. Trim excess fabric
Cut the fabric so that it is 28 inches long (or less to fit smaller pillows!). Fold the fabric in half, with the wrong sides facing outward. Cut the fabric again so that it is 20 inches wide.
7. Sew your pillowcase
Now, fold the material in half, this time with the right sides facing outward. Sew along the raw edges, using a ¼” seam allowance. Use scissors to cut along the edges to reduce bulk, leaving a thin ¼ inch of fabric left along the edge.
Flip the material inside out, with the right sides together inside. Using something like a straw, a crochet hook, or That Purple Thang Tool to poke out the corners, then iron the fabric again. Sew along the same edges as before, this time using a ⅜” seam.
8. Finish it up
Turn the pillowcase right side out again. Using your same poking device from the last step, gently poke out the corners again. Iron it again and you’re done!
Voila: your pillowcase is ready to go. Throw it on a pillow and admire a job well done--great job! You can sleep well tonight, taking pride in the fact that you are resting your head on something you made all on your own. Thanks for learning how to sew a pillowcase with us! We are always adding new tutorials to our blog, so keep checking back for more free tips and step-by-step guides.