How to Sew a Pillowcase? (Steps and Instruction)

Last Updated on June 11, 2023

Learn How to Sew a Pillowcase: Have you ever wanted to create a custom pillowcase to match your bedding or home decor? Sewing a pillowcase is easy and satisfying; even inexperienced sewers can complete it.

Sewing has been a popular pastime for centuries, and with the rise of DIY culture, more and more people are turning to this craft to create their own unique items. A pillowcase is a great place to start for those new to sewing, as it requires only basic skills and materials.

How to Sew a Pillowcase

How to sew a pillowcase?

Here you’ll learn valuable skills such as measuring and cutting fabric, hemming, and sewing a pillowcase. By the end of this article, you’ll have a beautiful and functional pillowcase that you can be proud to display in your home or give as a thoughtful gift.

Here in this step-by-step direction, I’ll take you through the steps of making a pillowcase out of cotton cloth. Cotton is an excellent fabric because of its softness, durability, and breathability. Wash and dry the fabric before you begin to account for any potential shrinking.

Materials We Will Need

Step – How do you make a pillow case step by step?

I, Tersia Jager, will guide you through the entire process. But before we dive in, let me tell you why cotton fabric is an excellent choice for pillowcases.

Step 1: Cutting the fabric

Cutting the fabric
Image Source: Youtube
  • Measure the pillow you are covering to create a pattern. For example, if your pillow measures 20″ by 30″, we’ll add room for seam allowances and the top finished edge.
  • Cut two fabric pieces measuring 21″ wide and 41″ long. This accounts for a 1/2″ seam allowance and creates a nice finished fold at the opening of the pillow.

Step 2: Marking and pressing

Marking and pressing
Image Source: Youtube
  • Mark the fold area on one piece of fabric using the tailor’s chalk. Make one marking 1″ from the edge and another marking 6″ from the edge.
  • Fold the fabric at the 6″ marking toward the wrong side and press.
  • Tuck under the fabric at the 1″ marking and press again.
  • Repeat the marking and pressing steps for the second piece of fabric.

Step 3: Pinning and stitching

Pinning and stitching
Image Source: Youtube
  • Unfold both fabric pieces and align them at all corners and pressing lines.
  • With the right sides facing each other, pin the pillowcase pieces together along the three unfinished edges.
  • Using a sewing machine and a 1/2 inch seam allowance, stitch around the three sides, backstitching at the start and end.

Step 4: Finishing the pillowcase

Finishing the pillowcase
Image Source: Youtube
  • Make sure the needle is down at the first corner, lift the presser foot, turn the fabric, and lower the presser foot. Continue stitching around the remaining two edges.
  • Finish the seam allowances with a zigzag or overlock stitch using the sewing machine.
  • Turn the pressed folds toward the wrong side, ensuring the side seams line up. Pin the folds and stitch 1/8″ away from the folded edge.
  • Flip the pillowcase to the right side and give the crease one final pressing. Fold the fabric back towards the right side of the pillow, leaving a 4″ opening, and press.
  • Line up and tack the side seams by stitching back and forth along the seam line. This will secure the fold in place.
  • Insert your pillow into the pillowcase.

How much fabric do you need to sew a pillowcase?

To sew a pillowcase, you will need two pieces of cotton fabric, each measuring 21 inches wide and 41 inches long. These dimensions include allowances for seam allowances and a finished fold at the opening of the pillowcase.

What is the best stitch for a pillowcase?

The best stitch for a pillowcase is a zigzag stitch. The zigzag stitch provides a flexible and secure seam that can withstand the stress of regular use. It helps prevent the fabric from fraying and adds durability to the pillowcase.

Also, using a zigzag stitch or a serger along the entire pillowcase edge ensures the raw edges are finished and won’t unravel over time. It’s also recommended to stitch the end of Fabric A closed with a ¼” seam allowance and finished the raw edge with a zigzag stitch for added reinforcement.

How do you sew a pillowcase by hand?

What Are the Standard Pillowcase Sizes?

Standard Size20 in x 26 in51 cm x 56 cm
Queen Size20 in x 30 in51 cm x 76 cm
King Size20 in x 36 in51 cm x 92 cm
Body Size20 in x 54 in51 cm x 137 cm

What material is best for pillow cases?

Cotton is the best material for pillowcases. Cotton is known for its softness, durability, and breathability. It provides a luxurious feel at an affordable price. Additionally, cotton fabric is easy to work with when sewing pillowcases.

However, washing and drying the fabric before cutting is important, as cotton tends to shrink. So, if you are looking for the best material for pillowcases, cotton is the recommended choice.

How much fabric do I need for 2 pillows?

The fabric needed for two pillows would be as follows:

Each pillow requires two pieces of fabric measuring 21 inches wide and 41 inches long. Therefore, for two pillows, you would need a total of the following:

  • 2 pillows x 2 pieces of fabric = 4 pieces of fabric
  • Each fabric piece should be 21 inches wide and 41 inches long.

Adding extra length for an excellent finished fold at the opening of the pillow, so these measurements account for that.

Can I make pillowcase without sewing?

Yes, making a pillowcase without sewing is possible using the method “no sew.” This technique involves wrapping the already covered pillow or pillow form with a square of fabric and securing it without the need for sewing.

Here are the steps:

  • Take a square piece of fabric.
  • Place the pillow towards one corner of the fabric.
  • Wrap the fabric around the pillow, ensuring it covers it.
  • Use ties, such as ribbons, strings, or fabric strips, to secure the fabric in place. You can tie them in a knot or create a decorative bow.
  • Adjust the fabric as needed to ensure a snug fit around the pillow.
  • Once the fabric is securely tied, the pillowcase is ready to use.

This method allows you to create a pillowcase without the need for sewing equipment or skills. It is a quick and simple alternative if you prefer to avoid sewing.

How do you measure a pillow case?

To measure a pillowcase, you can follow these instructions:

  • Remove the pillow cover from the insert or filler.
  • Turn the cover inside out so that the seams are visible.
  • Lay the cover on a flat surface, ensuring it is spread out evenly.
  • Measure from one inside seam to the opposite inside seam.
  • This measurement will give you the accurate size of the pillowcase, from seam to seam.


Congratulations! You have successfully sewn a custom pillowcase. It’s a simple and rewarding project that adds a personal touch to your bedding. Feel free to explore more sewing techniques or browse more free patterns and guides on our website. Thank you for following along, and happy sewing!

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