How to Make a Pillowcase: Step by Step Guide

As a newbie, learning to make basic pillowcases can be a great way to initiate. Pillowcases are easy to make, and as you level up, you can invent all the decorative ways to be more funny and interesting.

how to make a pillowcase

Here I will discuss the very basic way to learn how to make a pillowcase and then step up learning decorative pillowcase cases through the rolling method.

How to Make a Pillowcase Step by Step

Things you’ll need for making pillowcases

  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Needle
  • Matching thread
  • Common pins
  • Iron
  • Sewing machine

1. Make a basic pillowcase

Selection of the fabric:

Choosing fabric must concern the work you’re going to accomplish with it. As a pillowcase fabric, choose something smooth and comfortable against hair & skin, like, soft cotton, flannel, jersey knit, satin, etc.

The second thing to consider is the color scheme with your room decoration, especially the bedsheets.

Now assume of making the standard pillowcase for that collect 1.8m or 2 yards of the selected fabric.

Oh yes, don’t forget to choose the washable fabric. As you’re going to sleep on it, laundering the pillowcase would be a common phenomenon.

If the purpose is to decorate, not for sleeping, then you can go for any fabric. It doesn’t have to be reasonably soft or a washable one.

The cutting size:

Cut a 45″ x 36″ piece for making a standard pillowcase using a scissor or a rotary cutter. If your fabric has a pattern, then be sure you cut straight along the pattern.

Folding the fabric into half:

Fold the cloth length wisely with the dead-end, making it into half of the total fabric. The folding should be inward; that is, the unfinished or the opposite side of the print is outward.

Switching a short side with the long side:

It’s time to stitch the fabric’s long side. The stitch has to be straight. Use a threaded needle or a sewing machine. Now, it’s time to turn the fabric & continue stitching the sort sides. When you’re finished stitching, turn the right side outward, putting the unprinted site inward.

Go for a thread that has the same color scheme as the fabric or choose a contrasting one. The contrasting one can add flair to the fabric.

In case of doing the job with hands, be sure to keep the line straight. You may need time to do that, but it’s okay. As guidance, you can use a pin to avoid the fabric from getting away from the straight line.

Hemming the open side:

Fold the fabric back and create a hem of ½-inch. Ironing in this step would be of great help as it will create a crease. Again, fold back the fabric and create a 3-inch hem. Iron again to create the crease. Now stitch the hem from the base using a needle or sewing machine. Stitching right near the base will make the hem keep straight in place.

Time to decorate:

Your basic construction is done. All you can add is an additional decoration. You can use decorative lace, ribbon, or other present decorative stuff to adore the finished pillowcase. A wise step is to add a contrasting ribbon to hide the stitch over the hemline.

2. Make Decorative Pillowcases

Selection of the fabric:

For making a decorative pillowcase, select three different fabrics with a different color scheme. One is going to be the main section, one is for the hem at the very opening, and the other fabric is for accent.

You can either go for three solid color varieties or three fabrics having the same color different pattern. By saying the same color, I didn’t mean the same fabric or the look-alike term. It would look good if the three fabrics share some parts of color.

Have no idea what to choose? Start choosing a festive pillowcase having a holiday scheme. This pattern becomes an exciting gift material.

Cutting the fabric:

You need to cut three fabrics separately to the right size. Use a rotary cutter or scissors for the job. The main section of a standard pillowcase has a size of 26″ x 44″. The secondary portion, which is for the hem, has 12″ x 44″. The very last fabric is for trimming and has a measurement of 2″ x 44″.

Ironing the fabric:

Before you sew, you have to be sure that the creases are in the right portion; the sewing wouldn’t be exact. Iron the cloth’s large & medium pieces to make it out of wrinkles. You’re folding the trim into half lengthwise, iron it to make it flat. Here the wrong sides would be together while the printed size would be outward.

Laying out the fabric:

Placing the second fabric piece facing the printed or the right side up. Line it up with the trim (third) fabric’s edge, facing the right side down.

Now, the ultimate result is that both the raw sides are outward and folded edges inward. Now lay the main fabric over both media (second) & trim (third) fabric, facing the right side down.

Make sure all the fabrics are aligned with the top edge.

Use a pin along the edge to hold them in place.

Rolling the fabric:

You’re using your hand to roll the large piece of the fabric towards the pin. Keep rolling until you reach the pin’s edge left by few inches. Then fold the medium piece over the roll aligning with the edge, and pin it.

Stitching the edge:

Now stitch along the pin and make it straight. Don’t stitch at the very bottom or end—stitch ½-inch from the edge. After stitching, remove all the used pins.

Turning the right side of the printed side outward:

To reveal the exact output, pull back the second medium piece. As you’ve worked on it, it may have several creases. Iron the cloth after turning outward to make it look flat and clean.

Stitching the edges:

Now, reverse the pillowcase again, making the unprinted side outward, and sew all the sides using a sewing machine, leaving the hem side opened. You can use a pin to make them stay in place before sewing.

Turning again:

Now, it’s ready. Turn the case into the right form and iron it perfectly before using it over the pillow.


Try recyclable fabrics, like- cotton (100%), linen, silk, etc. 

The amount of fabric you leave beyond the stitch is a seam allowance.


The tools used here like needles, iron, scissors are dangerous. So, be careful with them.


How to be sure the cuff is aligned?

Pinning is a way to keep the cuff in place. Use a sewing pin (no needle) along the alignment you want to fix. Pinning one way and come back pinning the other way round will keep the cuff more stable. Don’t use the entire pin to engage with the fabric. Keep its end metal part visible.

A safety pin can be an alternative, though I don’t prefer it. It can ruffle the cuff slightly. You have to remove the pins right after stitching and do that carefully.

How many yards would be there in a fabric measuring 26” x 44”?

In a fabric with width 44″, 36″ or 1 yard is more than the required amount to cover the 26″. ¾ of 1 yard will be 27-inches.

What is the requirement for two pillowcases?

The measurement is simple. It’s twice the standard one. Though if you don’t follow the standard one, then the measurement depends on the pillow’s size. A standard one has 44″ as width. If you have the same, then 5ft. Will do it for the double pillowcases.

What if my pillow isn’t of standard size?

Take the fabric and wrap it around your pillow, and you’ll get a rough idea about the amount you need to cut. Add 2 to 3 more inches with the main measurement before cutting. The extra inches are for hems.

What’s the solution to accidentally sewing the hem?

Use a seam ripper to open it up. After adding the stuff inside the pillow to fluff, you can sew the opening again.

How to sew the buttons and sequins for design?

This step is something that should be done before you sew the other two sides together. Sequins, depending on style, need to be added manually. After adding the design, follow other instructions as usual. Don’t try to add the buttons or sequins using a machine, or else it can break the needle.

Final Words:

By now, you must know the right ways to make pillowcases in both basic & decorative ways. However, there’s more to explore in this section.

The mentioned two methods are the basics and easy to start with. After you learn these basic two methods, it will be easy for you to explore more. Give them a try.

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