How to Sew a Pillowcase

Let’s Get Our Hands-on Experience on Something Super Useful: How to Sew a Pillowcase?

The most exciting sewing moments are those when you learn to sew in practice, for example, by discovering how to sew a pillowcase.

It makes you not only aware that you can sew and you’re good at it. It also allows others to confirm it. 

And let’s admit: We can never get enough of good old kudos. We all love the appreciation others give us when we are great at something.

How to sew a pillowcase
Image source: cottonbro z Pexels

If it was not enough, sewing pillowcases are easy. So why not turn the whole process into, for example, the best mother and son experience? 

As the old saying goes: Learn how to sew as a kid, and you’ll never have to work. 

Sewing pillowcases
Image source: Teona Swift z Pexels

Also, we know an exciting way to pump up the whole experience. 

Whether you’re:

    • DIY/clothing crafter at home 
    • Textile/sewing fanatic
    • Small/starting clothing brand
    • Fashion designer
    • Hotel, bar, or hospitality business 

you can use: 

    1. custom woven labels (discover different types of woven labels), 
    2. hang tags, and 
    3. care labels by Super Label Store

This detail is one of the best sewing tips and tricks that you’ll ever come across. 

Watch out! These labels will take your creativity to the next level. At the same time, your pillowcases will jump to their due, professional feel. 

Woven label nobbon leather coat gallory 1

How to sew a standard pillowcase?

Let’s get closer to tackling the basics with the YouTube sewing pillowcases tutorial. 

Mehreen Rehan takes us through the video accompanied by pleasurable background music. No talking, no explaining. Only doing and watching. 

See this sequence of gestures with fabric on the sewing table (or sewing cutting table) and get yourself in the right mood:

Is your sewing basket full of fancy fabrics? Is your sewing kit complete? Then let’s get our hands-on experience with the actual pillowcases’ making!

Diy pillowcase
Image source: Dinh Pham on Unsplash

How to sew a pillowcase―preparation

Let’s break down the topic of how to sew a pillowcase, but first, it’s crucial to get to grips with a bit of preparation. 

Before you start sewing pillowcases, get a hint of what you’d love to see on their covers. 

Will it have:

    1. embroidery with your or your kid’s name? 
    2. a bunch of colorful butterflies sewn on? 
    3. an ethnic pattern stitched?

or maybe 

      4. your favorite quote ironed in?

Feel free to choose whatever fits your tastes best! Don’t bother with others’ opinions. It’s not the time and place to worry about this stuff. It’s your pillow and your house, so follow what you fancy. 

Who knows, maybe it will have its place forever on your sewing chair? Or maybe it will give tone to whatever sewing room ideas you come up with?

How to make a pillowcase
Image source: Rachel Claire z Pexels

Sewing pillowcases to hand them as gifts

Remember that pillowcases work great as gifts, especially when it comes to romance!

Pillows have the potential for loads of personal meaning. Also, once you hand a pillowcase to your significant other, they will always keep it around.

Have you ever seen a person throwing a pillow in the rubbish? We never. 

Also, a pillowcase lets us keep memories close to our hearts (and heads). 

How to sew a standard pillowcase
Image source: Andrea Piacquadio z Pexels

Want another helpful tip? 

You can sprinkle a bit of your perfume on the pillowcase fabric that’s going to end up as a gift. This way, your crush will never be able to get your smell out of his nose (and heart)! 

It also works wonders if you hand a pillow to a little girl or boy on a special occasion or without. 

They’ll love it and will get acquainted with this cute gift fast!

Just imagine, it’s one of their first, very own, safe gadgets to cuddle daily. 

For naptime and bedtime, we’ve got you covered!

Sewing pillowcases tutorial
Image source: Sinitta Leunen on Unsplash

Sewing pillowcases: a visual outcome

    1. Fabrics, 
    2. other materials (like patches or appliqué), and 
    3. prints 

that you use are crucial for the final visual effect of your pillowcase project. 

Make sure that every material that you pick is among your favorites. Before you take your sewing scissors and sewing kit essentials in hand, do satisfactory research. The future of your pillowcase depends on it!

A pillow resting on the couch at home is in the reach of sight for everyone, including your guests. Keep this in mind if you wish to play your project out in a too intimate manner. 

Easy pillowcase tutorial
Image source: Meruyert Gonullu z Pexels

Sizes of sewing pillowcases

Thanks to Ehow, we share several pieces of advice regarding the sizes of pillowcases. 

Grasp these size-related indications about making a pillowcase before you start your project.


Description Extra tip

Pillow measurement

Begin by measuring the width of the pillow that you have for your use. To do that, go from the top seam to the bottom seam. 

Don’t forget to encompass your pillow’s thickness. Seams should be centered on the top and bottom. If there are no seams, wrap the tape measure around the pillow vertically. Then, divide it by two. 

Standard sizes

Use standard pillow measurements if you don’t have a specific pillow and wish to create a gift.  

    • The standard size is 20 inches (50.8 cm) wide by 26 inches (66.04 cm) long.
    • a queen pillow is 20 inches (50.8 cm) by 30 inches (76.2 cm), 
    • A king pillow is 20 (50.8 cm) by 36 inches (91.44 cm). 

Check out these 40 artistic DIY pillowcase ideas on The Sleep Judge

They will stimulate your imagination when working on a fancy gift!




Seam Allowances

It’s an open secret that you have to add a little bit of length and width to your pillow measurements. It’s because, for every pillow project, you will also have to sew the seams.  

You will have to add somewhere between 1/2 to 5 inches (1.27 to 12.7 cm) of the fabric to your pillowcase project. 

Marta Stewart published these three ways to make a pillow cover:

    1. a slip-stitched closure, 
    2. an envelope-backed closure, and
    3. a zippered closure

and the seams allowances issue is explained in detail there, so have a look

Fabric Yardage

So, now you know:

    • your pillow’s size, or 
    • the typical pillow standard size,

You are also aware: 

    • how to measure seam allowances; 

How much fabric corresponds to how many pillows? 

A standard bolt of cotton fabric is 44 to 45 inches wide (111.76 to 114.3 cm). One yard of fabric will be enough to make one pillowcase, with some fabric left.


Did you find a king pillow idea exciting? We as well!

Look at the YouTube video by Margaret Leuwen to find out how to sew a king-size pillowcase. 

King size sounds great, but what about starting from the beginning? First, let’s see how to crack the standard pillowcase option. 

Sewing pillowcases how to
Image source: Rachel Claire z Pexels

How to sew a pillowcase―easy version

There are a few extravagant variations as well as new-wave-fashionable options to craft a pillowcase. 

See The Birch Cottage for:

    • The Burrito Method (with Craftsy, you can do it in 15 minutes),
    • Contrast cuff and trim,
    • with French seams,
    • king size,
    • queen size;

Handmade pillowcase
Image source: Craftsy

Yet, in this chapter, we’re going to focus on the standard option. 

After all, when we have our basics covered, we can constantly develop our imagination further. 

Amy Sewing Studio is all about simplicity when it comes to sewing pillowcases. 

Get equipped with:

    1. one yard, 44 to 45 inches wide (111.76 to 114.3 cm) cotton or flannel fabric for a standard size pillow; 
    2. thread,
    3. basic sewing tools;

Tutorial on how to sew a pillowcase
Image source: Tomáš Petz on Unsplash

Then, follow these steps brought to us by Amy Sewing Studio to conjure your new, fantastic pillowcase with no effort. 

    1. Prepare your fabric: prewash and dry
    2. Fold the fabric lengthwise with the right sides together. At this stage, you can use a transparent ruler and rotary blade to trim the width side edges lightly. This way, you’ll gain a clean edge for later pinning and stitching freely.  
    3. Pin one width side and one length side. Then, start stitching, using standard stitch length and 5/8″ seams. Make sure you backstitch at the beginning and ending of your stitching.   

Easy to make pillowcase
Image source: Dan Farrell on Unsplash

    1. As your machine gets close to the corner, slow everything down. The intersection of the width and length seams intersect- 5/8″ away from both edges in the corner.
    2. Stop your machine with the needle down the fabric. Next, lift the sewing machine foot and turn your fabric.  

The edge you’re looking at now should still have a 5/8″ seam allowance. If it’s off, turn the fabric back to where it was and put the foot down. Then, use the handwheel to adjust the correct seam allowance. 

    1. Stitch the remaining side and backstitch at the end of the fabric. Clip threads. 

One side remains open. You know how the pillowcase works in practice, right? The opened part is where the insertion (a pillow) gets in. 

Standard pillowcase
Image source: cottonbro z Pexels

    1. Clip the stitched corner diagonally in the seam allowance but don’t cut through corner stitching.
    2. Sew/Finish the stitched seams. 

You have three options to do it:

      • with a zig-zag stitch thru both layers of fabric (in this case, stitch right next to the straight stitching line and then trim the rest of the fabric), 
      • cut with pinking shears, or
      • use a rotary cutter with a pinking blade 

(in both cases, cut right down the middle of the seam allowance)

    1. Now, two options:
      • if you did the zig-zag stitching, press your seams to the side,
      • if you used the pinking shears, press your seams open;

How to sew a king size pillowcase
Image source: Photo by Ruben Santos on Unsplash

Finishing the pillowcase band

Let’s tackle it in steps:

    1. You can choose from two alternative methods:
      • turn down 1/4″ of fabric to its wrong side, pressing as you go,
      • cut off the raw edge of the pillowcase opening with the pinking shears (in that case, you don’t need to fold down the 1/4″)

      2. Fold the top edge down another 3 inches. Match seams, press, and pin down the fabric.

      3. Set up your machine for circular/tube stitching. 

      4. With the pillowcase turned inside out, 

      • straight stitch close to the folded edge, or
      • stitch 1/4″ away from the pinked edge, around the pillow. 

      5. Backstitch at the beginning and ending of your stitching.

      6. Clip your threads. Turn the pillowcase right side out. 

      7. Your pillow is ready to go!

Velvet pillowcases
Image source: Agata Create on Unsplash

How to make pillowcases sewing by hand? 

You can read how to turn this project into reality with the help of HomeySew

Let’s start with a couple of necessary materials:




The needle is a queen of sewing supplies. Be sure to learn everything about it. 


Read about sewing threads types and tips on the Super Label Store blog. 

Keep in mind that color can (but doesn’t necessarily have to) match the fabric. It’s all a matter of your visual choices and tastes. 


We’ve cracked this one before in the article above. 

Depending on the pillow size or the purpose of your pillowcase, you’ll have to assess the amount of sewing fabric you have to buy.

See the types of fabric and sewing supplies needed to kick this adventure off for good.


You probably have one at home. If not, go ahead and pay a visit to the store.

But before, reach out to The Sleep Doctor to learn “How to pick the perfect pillow.”

Straight pins 

There is nothing we wouldn’t know about sewing pins. So don’t forget to get to grips with this article before you pin your first pillowcase project.

These are some easily found materials and sewing tools, aren’t they?

Now, let’s make this hand-made pillowcase happen.

    1. Decide on a fabric
    2. Cut and fold the fabric
    3. Pin sides together
    4. Sew
    5. Cut off the thread
    6. Use the corners
    7. Insert pillow

For more detailed instructions, refer to Homey Sew.

Beginner project sewing a pillowcase
Image source: cottonbro z Pexels