In today’s Sewing Basics post, I’m sharing how to sew a pillowcase! Pillowcases are great ways to add a quick homemade touch to your bedroom or to use fabric to complement a quilt or other home decor project, and they make great gifts, too! Many organizations that accept handmade donations also solicit pillowcases, so it’s a great project to make as you get started on your charity sewing journey, too. The Easy Lined Pillowcase pattern includes instructions for five popular sizes of rectangular pillows, and the lining helps keep the “fluff” from down pillows under control.
This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. I am a Baby Lock Brand Ambassador and a Benartex Brand Ambassador and this post is part of our ongoing collaborations. Additional supplies were provided by Cricut, Fairfield, Oliso, and Sewing by Sarah.
As a Benartex Brand Ambassador, I was asked to make a project using fabrics from their Tropical Escape collection. As experienced quilters know, Benartex makes high quality, 100% cotton quilting fabrics that you can find at your local quilt shop or fabric store. When the box of fabric arrived, I spent a few minutes ooh-ing and aah-ing over the fabric selections…
…but it was the cloud fabrics at the bottom (Skies Above in Sunset, Light Blue, and Medium Blue) that really caught my eye. Sleeping on a great pillow is often compared to sleeping on a cloud, so I instantly thought that a pillowcase would be a fun project to make. I had a Fairfield Feather-Fil pillow in travel size (14″ x 20″), and I thought about how down over the years starts to “fluff” out of the pillow’s protective case (especially if, ahem, you have cats who love to stomp on your pillows, as I do!), and that’s where the idea for designing a lined pillowcase came about. I also wanted to choose a different fabric for a decorative edge, and with so many great options, it was a tough choice. I ended up choosing Palm Tree in Paradise Blue because it continued my escapist fantasy!
There are a few different methods for how to sew a pillowcase, but in this tutorial, I’m sharing an approach that is very similar to making a lined tote bag. If you’ve already made the Stack and Slice Quilted Tote, Quilted Tote, or Geometric Applique Tote, you will be pretty familiar with this process already.
Many organizations accept donations of pillowcases sewn with 100% cotton fabric, including Ryan’s Case for Smiles (distributing pillowcase to children with cancer); Little Lambs Foundation for Kids (serving children and families in Utah who are in foster care, emergency shelters, and escaping domestic violence); Enchanted Makeovers (distributing pillowcases to family and emergency shelters); Gracie’s Gowns (providing pillowcases and more to children experiencing life-threatening and chronic illnesses); and the NiCE Foundation (a faith-based organization that partners with churches and schools in Nicaragua). Get more details in the Ultimate Guide to Sewing for Charity for Beginners.
If you make your own Easy Lined Pillowcase, I’d love to see it! Share your progress and questions by tagging me on Facebook as @Underground Crafter on on Instagram as @ucrafter. You can also share a picture in the Underground Crafters Facebook group. Sign up for my weekly newsletter and get a coupon code for your choice of one of my premium crochet or knitting patterns patterns and private access to my vault of subscriber goodies. Plus, you’ll never miss one of my free patterns again! You can also buy the ad-free PDF of the Easy Lined Pillowcase pattern in my Payhip shop.
Easy Lined Pillowcase
How To Sew a Pillowcase by Underground Crafter
You can learn how to sew a pillowcase with the Easy Lined Pillowcase pattern. Pillowcases are great simple projects to spruce up your home and they are also accepted for donation by many sewing charity organizations. Pillowcases make great gifts, too, since everybody sleeps! The lining is ideal for keeping the “fluff” inside of down pillows. The pattern is available in 5 popular rectangular pillow sizes.
- Travel (Standard, Super Standard, Queen, King). Photographed sample is Travel size.
- Travel size: 14” x 20”.
- Standard size: 20” x 26”.
- Super Standard size: 20” x 28”.
- Queen size: 20” x 30”.
- King size: 20” x 36”.
- Sewing machine with free arm and a “hand-look quilting stitch,” such as the Baby Lock Brilliant. Watch my Baby Lock Brilliant unboxing video below.
- If you can’t see my unboxing of the Baby Lock Brilliant above, click HERE to watch the video on YouTube.
- Cricut 45 mm rotary cutter, cutting mat, and acrylic ruler.
- If you’re new to working with a rotary cutter, the video below demonstrates how to use a rotary cutter safely.
- If you can’t see the video above demonstrating how to safely use a rotary cutter, click HERE to watch the video on YouTube.
- Fabric shears.
- Oliso Mini Project Iron and Sewing by Sarah Wool Press ‘n Lock Tiles™ with Nifty Notions Mist Spray Bottle.
- Dritz Quilting Pins.
- Basic sewing supplies (seam ripper, thread snips, etc.).
- Optional: 1/4″ quilting presser foot with guide for seaming.
- Universal sewing needle.
- 100% cotton thread in coordinating or contrasting colors for bobbin and top thread.
- I used fabrics from the Benartex Tropical Escape collection (Skies Above Light Blue 12905-52 and Skies Above Medium Blue 12905-54 for the Front and Liner, and Palm Tree Paradise Blue 12899-55 for the Edge).
- Pillow form in Travel (Standard, Super Standard, Queen, King) size – I used a Fairfield Feather-Fil pillow in Travel size (14” x 20”).
Fabric Requirements and Cutting for Different Sizes
- Yardage requirements assume approximately 42” width of fabric.
- All sizes use 1/8 yard for Edge fabric. Cut one 2.5” strip and trim to two pieces. Each piece should measure 2.5” x (length of the shortest side of the Front/Liner pieces).
|Size||Yardage Required for Front||Cut 2 Front Pieces To||Yardage Required for Liner||Cut 2 Liner Pieces To|
|Travel||1/2 yd||15” x 19.5”||1/2 yd||15” x 21”|
|Standard||3/4 yd||21” x 25.5”||3/4 yd||21” x 27”|
|Super Standard||7/8 yd||21” x 27.5”||7/8 yd||21” x 28”|
|Queen||7/8 yd||21” x 29.5”||7/8 yd||21” x 31”|
|King||1 yd||21” x 35.5”||1-1/8 yd||21” x 37”|
- Press fabric to remove wrinkles.
- With rotary cutter, mat, and acrylic ruler, cut 2 Front, 2 Liner, and 2 Edge pieces to the sizes indicated above.
- Position the Front and Edge pieces together as follows. Be sure that the horizontal direction of the fabric (if applicable) is the same on both pieces (for example, that the same side is “up” on both pieces of fabric). On one Front piece, position the Edge at the left side; on the other Front piece, position the Edge at the right side. Pin fabric pieces together with right sides together along the short side of the Front piece.
- Using a 1/4″ seam allowance and sewing on the wrong side of the fabric, seam the first Front piece to the first Edge piece. Repeat for second Front piece and second Edge piece.
- With your iron and pressing mat, press seams flat towards darker fabric on wrong side.
- Position Front pieces with right sides together so that the Edges are aligned. Be sure that the horizontal direction of the fabric (if applicable) is the same on both pieces (for example, that the same side is “up” on both pieces of fabric) before pinning securely on both long sides and the short side opposite of the Edge pieces.
- Using 1/4″ seam allowance, sew along 3 pinned sides. Do not seam Edge side.
- With fabric shears, clip corners on short side. Flip Front right sides out. With your iron and pressing mat, press seams flat and set aside.
- Position the Liner pieces together as follows. Be sure that the horizontal direction of the fabric (if applicable) is the same on both pieces (for example, that the same side is “up” on both pieces of fabric) before pinning securely on both long sides and one short side.
- Using 1/4″ seam allowance, sew along first long side and first short side. On second long side, leave approximately 3” unseamed. Continue along long edge. Do not seam remaining short side.
- With fabric shears, clip corners on short side.
- Position the Front piece so that it is right side out on the inside of the Liner piece (with right sides facing and the wrong side of the Liner facing out) as shown in the photo below.
- Align the raw edges on Front and Liner pieces and pin together so that inside of Front piece is open.
- Using the free arm on your machine and a 1/4″ seam allowance, seam the short sides of the Front and Liner pieces together.
- Pull the Front piece out of the Liner through the unseamed 3” area on the long side of the Liner. With the Front piece away from the sewing machine, seam the rest of the Liner closed on the wrong side. Position Liner inside of the Front piece so that wrong sides are facing and the right side of the fabric is visible on both the Front and Liner.
- With your iron and pressing mat, press the pillowcase.
- Using the free arm on your sewing machine and the “hand-look quilting stitch” (#27 on the Baby Lock Brilliant) or your preferred stitch, top stitch around the short edge with your choice of a 1/4″ or 1/2″ seam allowance.