What do teens like better than sleeping 'til noon? Sleeping over with friends... where there is usually no actual sleeping until noon. Perhaps this pretty pillowcase will tempt them into dreamland. It's a version of our favorite easy-as-pie instructions we've used a number of times to create pillowcases for holidays and other special occasions. The main difference this time is we only made one case, and we cut separate pieces for the front and back of the main body, requiring three full seams instead of just two. But that extra seam was worth it, because it allowed us to feature the beautiful flying birds of the Bonnes Aimies fabric swooping right through the middle.
If you like these pillowcases, check out our other variations:
Sewing Tools You Need
- Any Sewing Machine (we recommend the Janome DC2011)
- Any Serger (optional for seam finishing; we recommend the Janome 1100D)
Fabric and Other Supplies
Fabric amounts shown are for ONE pillowcase:
- 1¼ yards of 44-45" wide fabric for the pillowcase body: we used Bonne Amies in Marseille Colette by Michael Miller Fabrics
NOTE: If your print runs vertically you can get away with one yard; our print was horizontal and so we needed a bit extra to make it all work.
- ⅓ yard of of 44-45" wide coordinating fabric for the pillowcase trim: we used Bonne Amies in Marseille Gigi by Michael Miller Fabrics
NOTE: The cut is 9" wide so you could get away with ¼ yard, but your cuts would have to be exact; you'll be safe at ⅓ yard
- Scrap or 1/8 yard of 44-45" wide coordinating fabric for the pillowcase flange accent: we used Bonne Amies in Marseille Picnic by Michael Miller Fabrics
NOTE: You could also use a Honey Bun pre-cut if you have one
- All purpose thread to match fabrics
- See-through ruler
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Straight pins
- Tape measure
- From the fabric for the body of the pillowcase (Marseille Colette in our sample), cut TWO 21" x 27" pieces.
NOTE: If you are using a directional print, your design should run horizontally along the 27" width.
- From the fabric for the pillowcase trim (Marseille Gigi in our sample), cut ONE 9" x 41" piece.
NOTE: Again, check your print direction if necessary.
- From the fabric for the flange accent (Marseille Picnic in our sample), cut TWO strips 1½" x 21".
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Attaching the flange and creating the pillowcase body
- Press the two flange strips in half lengthwise, wrong sides together. Once pressed, each strip is now ¾" wide.
- The flange in our sample is designed to show about ½" out from the seam between the trim and pillowcase body. This means we have to pay attention to where we position the flange. The folded strip should be ¼" from the raw edge (or a total of 1" from the fold to the raw edge) along each short side of each pillowcase body piece (the 21" side).
NOTE: I was working with scraps and so needed to use as little fabric as possible. If you have a bit more fabric, you could cut your strips a full 2". Folded in half, the strips would then be 1". You could exactly align the raw edges of the folded flange with the raw edge of each pillowcase body piece... instead of insetting ¼" as I did. With this method, after your ½" seam, you'd have a ½" reveal.
- Using a machine basting stitch, stitch each flange in place, staying within the ½" seam allowance.
- Place the two pillowcase body pieces (with the flanges sewn in place) right sides together.
- Pin along both sides and across the bottom.
- Stitch both sides and across the bottom, using a ½" seam allowance.
- Zig zag, overcast or serge the raw edges of all the seam allowances so when the pillowcase is laundered these do not fray. I used an overcast stitch with my Overedge foot.
- Turn the pillowcase right side out. Push out the trimmed corners from the inside to make nice, square corners on the outside. Use your finger or a blunt edge tool, like a large knitting needle or a chopstick. Press well.
- Finish one long edge raw edge of the pillowcase trim piece with an overcast stitch, zig zag stitch or serger.
- Press a double-fold hem along this finished edge. To do this, turn up the finished edge ½" and press, then turn up another 4" and press again.
- Unfold the pressed hem. Your fold lines will remain.
- Fold the 9" x 41" trim piece in half, right sides together, so it is now: 9" x 20½".
- Pin in place securely along a ½" seam allowance line, and test to see if this 'trim circle' fits the pillowcase body by slipping the trim circle over the open end of the pillowcase. The open edge of the pillowcase body and the trim circle need to be a perfect match. If the trim circle seems a bit too big or too small, adjust your seam allowance accordingly.
- Using the appropriate seam allowance you tested above, stitch along the 9" raw edge. Press the seam allowance open.
- Re-fold the ½" first fold of the bottom hem. Re-press and pin in place.
- Edgestitch this part of the hem in place. It will become the finished edge inside your pillowcase.
Finish the pillowcase
- Again, slip your trim circle over the open end of your pillowcase body, right sides together, matching raw edges and aligning the trim's seam with one of the pillowcase body's side seams. You are matching the raw edge of the pillowcase opening with the raw edge of your trim piece. Pin all around.
NOTE: Here's another point to TEST your seam allowance. Place a few pins horizontally along the ½" seam line. Then, check from the right side to see if the flange reveal is really how you want it to be.
- Once you've tested and insured you have the proper seam allowance to give you the correct flange reveal, stitch all around the pillowcase opening, using a ½" seam allowance. Press the seam up towards the pillowcase trim.
- 'Re-fold' the remaining 4" of the trim's hem, following the pre-pressed line. This will bring the folded edge of the trim around to the inside of the pillowcase.The folded/edgestitched hem of the trim should neatly overlap the inside pillowcase/trim seam.
- Pin in place from the front.
- As you look at your pillowcase from the front, you should have 4" of trim showing from seam to folded edge.
- Topstitch ¼" in from the seam - on the trim side, to secure the trim's hem in place. Press well.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Liz Johnson
Other machines suitable for this project include the Bernina bernette 46 and the Singer 2271 Esteem II.