Friday, 16 September 2011

learn to sew - pillowcase tutorial

pillowcase tutorial
pillowcase tutorial
pillowcase tutorial

I'm a big fan of all textiles so I love bed linen and I love to mix and match my prints and patterns. I find pillowcases are a great way to change a look. They are also a wonderfully simple sewing project - simple and a bit addictive. And its a great way to use and admire your stash! I whipped up the gingham case this morning with its vintage sheet trim to test my tutorial, the other cases are made from my marble fabric as I showed yesterday.

When I looked for a tutorial I couldn't find one that had the features I wanted and that was for local sizes, so I've made my own. I hope you find it useful. This pattern has a double thickness cuff, which you can sew in a contrasting print like I have here, and an internal flap to keep the pillow inside hidden. Also a bit of trickiness at the end hides all the seams at the opening and gives a lovely neat finish (photo above).

Pillowcase Tutorial

Fabric

All measurements are in inches as I used my quilting ruler and rotary cutter to cut the pattern pieces. All seams are 1/2 inch unless otherwise stated.

You will need three pattern pieces, Front, Back and Cuff. Measurements below. Keep in mind the final positioning before cutting if your fabrics are directional, like some of mine. I've used measurements for standard Australian pillows (finished size ends up as 28 x 1712) but I've done some research on the standard sizes in the US and UK too, so you can adapt the tutorial to where you live. However, best to check your own pillowcases before you start to see if these are relevant. Its not too hard to adapt if not.

pillowcase table

Method
pillowcase diagram
1. Cut three pattern pieces - Front, Back and Cuff.

Fold Cuff fabric in half lengthwise, right sides out and press.

2. Lay Front piece of fabric right side up (directional print in final position). Place Cuff fabric with fold on the left on top of the Front piece with right (cut) sides aligned. Pin.

pillowcase tute

3. Sew along seam.

4. If you have an overlocker, overlock or serge the seam. Alternatively zig zag along the raw edge.

pillowcase tute

5. Open out cuff and press flat. Press seam towards Cuff side.

6. Overstitch along cuff fabric (I use my 1/4 inch foot against the fold to get a neat straight seam.

My creation

7. The finished overstitching gives a neat look.

8. Take the back piece and press over a 1/2 inch seam, then turn and press again. Sew. This is the flap hem.

pillowcase tute

9. Take the back piece and lay it down, right side up with the flap hem you've just sewn on the far right. Lay the front, right side down on top of it, left edges aligned and with the cuff fabric on the right.

pillowcase

10. Fold the extra length of the Back piece over the Front piece to form the flap. This is the trickiness which hides this seam in the final pillowcase. Try and make sure it is square and fold hard against the cuff underneath.

pillowcase

11. Pin the seams on the bottom, left and top.

12. Sew around side and bottom edges with 1/2 inch seam and then overlock or zigzag around the raw seam to finish.

pillowcase tute

13. Turn the pillowcase out the right way and voila, all done!

PT13

I hope this tutorial inspires you to make some pillowcases! They would be a great way to add some spring freshness to the house. I bought the gingham for about $3 a metre on special, the vintage is a swap so it doesn't need to be expensive.

Please, if I've got something wrong or its not clear I'd love to hear from you, just email me. I'd also love to see and hear if you make a pillowcase :-)

16 comments :

  1. Beautiful pillowcases! I made some a while ago out of coordinating oranges and I love the way my day starts off brightly and I have a little smile inside knowing that I made them. I used a french seam for the side seams as I don't have an overlocker.

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  2. I'm inspired!!! :) Such a great little tutorial... It looks easy peasy... thank you!

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  3. What a great tutorial.
    The fabric combinations look fabulous together. x

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  4. I've always thought to do this but never have. Think I will now though and I love the cuff detail. Gorgeous, happy fabric. Now I just have to wait for my sewing machine to get fixed :(

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  5. This is one of those posts that is awaiting The Right Moment. You know I can get a bit obsessive. I have no doubt that one day a new morn will dawn and I shall awake to a day of the Great Pillowcase Cook Up.

    Thanks mate!

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  6. my mother recently gave me some embroidered cuffs from vintage pillowcases; the "used" part was worn, but the cuffs were still good, so she cut them off. now i know what I'll do with them! thanks so much for sharing this!

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  7. I love the bright fabrics you have used, so great with spring realy to go!! Lovely.

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  8. Love them, well done on the tute, great way to hoe through a fabric stash. Am on way to my sewing machine now :)

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  9. I will be trying this one. I have made slips before using my own method and my pillows sometimes slip a little out of them by morning :)

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  10. Thanks for the tutorial. It saved me time measuring and looks great with the cuff. I've just used this tutorial to make a pillowcase for my mum. I'm using the pillowcase instead of wrapping paper, so Mum will have the present plus a new pillowcase and no wasted paper. If time permits, I'm going to do more for Christmas.

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  11. Just had to leave you a message about your Tute for pillow cases. I tried a couple of other tutes, as I wanted to make 6 pillowcases for my grandchildren. Made the first 4 with great difficulty. So I had another Google search and found yours, which was doubly useful as it was to Australian Specs. Ended up making a lovely pillow case for my Granddaughter, which is the second to last one,and will use it as well for her brother, to make the last one. I wanted to thank you for making the instructions so easy to follow, even for an old chook like me. I will post it on my blog, which is:
    http://elliesue-littlefairywren.blogspot.com/
    Thank you,
    Elaine

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  12. Thank you for you tutorial! I just made two and they turned out great! Thank you thank you!

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  13. Thank you so much for this tutorial! I just made two and they turned out so great! Thank you thank you!

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  14. Hello,
    thank you for the tutorial. I love the flap (not usually found on other pillowcase tutorials ...). Beatrice.

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  15. Great tutorial! Here is one of the pillowcases that I made for my friend in Australia: http://carrauntoohil.livejournal.com/991.html. I'm in America so your measurements for Australian pillowcase sizes in inches (my rulers aren't metric, unfortunately) were super helpful.

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  16. Thank You for simple tutorial.And pretty! But we use cm not ".Kiss from Serbia,
    Cale
    p.s.please,come and visit my little blog.I will be happy.

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Thank you for dropping by and commenting :-)