How to Sew a Pillow Case

I found a lovely, vintage, floral sheet at a thrift store many months ago. Since that time I’ve waited to find a project suited for this fabric. I didn’t want to use it on just anything since I may never come across anything like it again! I would love to have a whole sheet set in this fabric, but alas, it only came with the fitted sheet.

I soon decided that keeping them on the bed was the perfect choice, not as a sheet, but rather as pillow cases. It’s the end of summer here in the midwest, but I think these will be an elegant addition to our bed come spring!

I found that these pillow cases were quite simple to make once I looked over another pillow case that we had. I did my best to match the design of this preexisting linen and I was very happy with the result!

Simple sewing projects are very fun and rewarding to take on. I just recently added a few Handmade Pot Holders and a set of Cafe Curtains to our kitchen, and a Drop Cloth Banner for the nursery. I was also able to transform this Placemat into a Pillow Case! And of course all of these projects were done while wearing my Half Apron (also made from a vintage linen!). As you can see, simple sewing projects are a favorite relaxation for my creative side!

Lets learn how to sew a basic pillow case together! You’ll find the easy-to-read tutorial, step-by-step instructions (with pictures!), as well as tips just below. Create pillow cases for winter, spring, summer, fall, or all of the above! Just find a fabric you love, neutral or in a print, follow these instructions, and you’ll be creating your own bed linens in no time at all. I’ve also listed a few other simple sewing projects at the very end of this post if you’d like more ideas. Now let’s get to sewing!

How to Sew a Pillow Case

Keep in Mind

  • You may need to iron your fabric depending on how wrinkly it is. All of those wrinkles can make a big difference in measurements!

Sewing Terminology

  • Right Side: The side that you want showing on the bag (also called the front side).
  • Wring Side: The side of the fabric that you don’t want showing on the bag (also called the backside).
  • Seam: A line of junction formed by sewing together two pieces of material along their margins.
  • Topstitch: To make a line of stitching on the outside of (a garment) close to a seam.

What You’ll Need

  • Fabric
  • Coordinating thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Serger (optional)
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Measuring Tape


1. Begin by measuring your fabric according to these measurements:

  • 1 panel that is 26″x42″
  • 1 panel that is 22″x42″

2. Cut the fabric according to the measurements listed above.

3. Lay the 22×42 inch panel on a flat surface with the wrong side facing up. Fold all of the sides over to create a 1 inch hem. Pin into place.

4. Again, lay the 22×42 inch panel on a flat surface. Wrong side facing up.

5. Lay the longest side of the 26×42 inch panel on the longest side of the 22×42 inch panel. Make sure to overlap the panels 1/2 inch.

6. Fold the other side of the 22×42 inch panel so that it also overlaps the 26×42 inch panel by 1/2 inch.

  • See the picture below to get a better idea of what I’m attempting to describe.
See how the 26″x42″ panel is laying between the hems of the 22″x42″ panel. This is how we will attach the panels together.

7. Pin the longest sides of the 22″x42″ and the 26″x42″ panels together.

8. Sew along this pinned section to create a 1/4 inch seam.

  • Make sure to leave the shortest side open!
Sewing the 22″x42″ panel to the 26″x42″ panel.

9. Lay the pillow case on a flat surface with the right side facing up.

10. Fold one long side of the case over so that it touches the other long, raw edge.

Here is the 22″x42″ panel sewn to the 26″x42″ panel.

11. Pin the top and raw edge together.

  • Be sure to leave the top and clean side of the pillow case alone!

12. Sew along the bottom and raw edge of the pillow case to create a 1/2 inch seam.

Here is the raw edge of the pillow case after sewing a 1/2 seam.

13. Surge around the seam you just created in order to avoid loose threads unraveling.

  • This is an optional step.

14. Turn the pillow case inside-out and slip onto your favorite pillow!

If you make this project and love how it turned out, feel free to come back and comment about your experience. I’d love to see your creation and how you used it!

More Easy Sewing Projects

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