How to Sew a Pillowcase • 2 ways • 1 yard of fabric

If you’ve ever wanted to learn to sew, or if you’ve been sewing for years?!….
THIS is the project that will get you going!
It only takes a couple of straight lines and one yard of fabric.


And it’s probably one of my favorite quick-sew projects.
I’m going to show you two ways to make a pillowcase.

These make the best gifts for friends, cousins, nieces + nephews (remember the Halloween ones I made here?  And the Christmas ones here?….And the Conkerr Cancer pillowcases here?)   Now you’ve got one easy video that ties them all together.

So, mix it up for the holidays!
Say YES to that fabric you really want to buy!  It’s only a yard.

Just hit play below and enjoy:

MADE EVERYDAY with Dana is a fresh new sewing show, where we create everyday items you will love and use.
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  1. 3) Nicole J.

    This is great! I used a ton of other random tutorials to work out measurements, etc. with 1 yard of fabric. It’s so helpful to have it very simply presented.

    • 4) Dana

      That makes me so happy to hear!
      Fantastic 🙂

    • 6) Dana

      Thanks Elba 🙂

  2. I love how well you explain things when you make tutorials… you were one of my inspirations to start sewing. I started sewing and Christmas and haven’t looked back since! I’ve even started my own blog, which has been hard work but I’ve really enjoyed the challenge. Without sounding condescending you should be really proud of the person you are and the success you have created for yourself!

  3. I shall never buy another pillow case! Thanks for the video. I’ve always racked my brain about sewing the simplest things. Can you do a video for cushions???

  4. How timely! I was just getting ready to sew up some pillowcases and monogram them as Mother’s Day gifts. I still love and use your original tutorial. Thanks Dana!!

  5. 11) Terri Miller

    LOVE your videos. I am always so excited when I see a new one posted. Thank you for this pillowcase one!!

  6. 12) susanna

    you’re so awesome. thanks for the tutorial! my girls are getting new pillowcases.

  7. Just watched the video- adorable. 🙂 Pillowcases are the best update to a bedroom- awesome tutorial (video!)

  8. 14) Emliy

    So if you leave your pillowcase inside out & put your arms inside to grab the corners of your pillow and pull the pillowcase up over the pillow (right side out now) you don’t have to fight with the corners…

    • 15) barbara shanley

      I never thought of a fleece pillowcase, flannel yes, and I am going to try both pillowcases you presented! Thank you.

  9. 16) Sharlene

    Loved the video. Great job.

    SHARP, CRISP CORNERS: If I might pass on a tip regarding the “corners,” perhaps it might help somene else improve their corner seams.

    OLD METHOD: When sewing right angle corners, sew along one seam line, (as in the video example, the long pillowcase seam), stop at the next seam line, pivot 90 degrees, and then sew the remaining seam. Then, to reduce bulk in the corner, trim/cut across the corner diagonally close to the seam. Turn the pillowcase right side out and coax the corner into as crisp a point as possible (hoping you don’t pull too hard and pull a thread or two of the corner thru to the right side).

    I’ve followed this method, (and a few others), for many years on countless posh homemade bedding, travel and Christmas pillowcases I’ve made as gifts. (When you are making high-end projects with appliques, ruffles, frills, lace or eyelet edgings, piping, homemade contrast bias tape, ribbons and flowers, you don’t wan’t a crappy corner bulge spoiling the effect.) Alas, as careful as I was, my corners still weren’t as crisp as I wanted them to be. Even if I got them looking pretty good, after washing, the corners would sometimes fold inside, a consequence of the corner bulge.

    Then, somewhere on the internet I stumbled upon a Wrapped Corner tip someone had learned at a sewing conference from guest speaker, Nancy Zieman, (from “Sewing with Nancy”). What a difference it made. It changed my pillowcase corners forever. No more corner bulge!

    NEW WRAPPED CORNER METHOD: Instead of pivoting at the corner stitch, follow these instructions, starting with the short pillowcase seam first, rather than the long seam as shown in the video:
    1) Sew the short end of the pillowcase, starting at the raw edges and ending at the fold. (Serge/overlock to finish raw edge, using a 1/4″ seam, if desired.)
    2) Wrap this seam towards the opposite end of the pillow case, folding it down at the seamline you just sewed. (Press for a sharper fold, if desired.)
    3) Starting at the folded edge, sew the long pillowcase seam. (Serge to finish raw edge, using a 1/4″ seam, if desired. Serge CAREFULLY, as this will have double bulk at the folded seam area.)
    4) Press seams flat; turn pillowcase right side out and press seams open. (If necessary, use a pin or corner tool to coax the corner open at seams. Minimal coaxing will be needed.)
    NOTE: If you didn’t serge your seams, you may need to trim the corner a bit before turning to reduce the bulk.

    That’s it! No more awkward bulge in the corner. Sharp and crisp. Absolutely genius!!

    If you need a visual of the Wrapped Corner technique, these tutorials, with accompanying photos, might help:

    My pillowcase corners now look amazing! Oh, how I wish I’d known this when I was making all those lovely pillowcase gifts. Enjoy making your pillowcases. Thanks again for the great tutorial!


  10. 17) Nina

    Just wondering which model of baby lock machine you have I would like to purchase one. It looks amazing. Love your videos!!

  11. 19) Catherine Keller

    How awesome is this? It seems that my favorite crafty bloggers live here in Austin!!!

    Do you pre-wash the fabric for the pillow cases before making them or is that not necessary? I can see seasonal pillow cases in the future for my Grandkids!!!

    — cjk

  12. 20) Kerryjayne

    Well I love home made pillowcases. Just bought lots of wonderful fabric and ribbons.
    I love the idea of Christmas ones. Thank you

    • 21) Dana

      In this instance, it probably doesn’t make a big difference if you prewash.
      But typically I try to pre wash and dry all cotton fabrics right when I bring them home from the fabric store…so they’re ready to go for a sewing project!

  13. 22) Mary

    Very nice! What is the seam allowance when you are sewing down the sides of the pillowcases? My one selvedge edge has a 1-1/2-inch long edge that has “JOANN’S” going down the side. Should I cut that off or sew it in? I am a beginner.

    • 23) Dana

      You can leave the selvage on there, as long as you fold it under enough when you create the “hem” of the pillowcase, so you don’t see any words showing. And I used about a 1/2 inch seam allowance. And use a zigzag stitch when sewing with fleece on this project!

  14. 24) Chelsea

    Wow! This tutorial is SUPER HELPFUL!
    I was looking for things to sew and I found this wonderful tutorial! Thanks

  15. 25) Anki

    I love this DIY, really easy and beautiful and its NO-SEW, I totally dig it????

  16. 26) norma

    so much easier to sew the cuff first, the way I do it

  17. 27) Ashley

    How much fabric would you use for a king size pillow? Thanks!

  18. 28) Dawn

    Can I adapt this for a king size case?

    • 29) Dana

      Definitely! You would need more than a yard of fabric, and need to cut your dimensions larger but the steps would be the same.

  19. 30) Amber

    Hi.I’m so happy to find your blog and this project on Pinterest. Just want to personally thank you and let you know that I featured this project on my blog in my “Super Sewing Projects Just Right for Beginners” post.

    Here it is,

    Please let me know if I missed something or if you want to change and add information about your blog and project.


    P.s. Love your branding! I’ve been fan since I saw your videos on Youtube. 🙂

  20. 31) Laura Woods

    Looks really simple. How do you sew a fleece pillow case by hand? I am not really a sewer but want to make a quick and simple case for my granddaughter. Thanks.

  21. 32) Kathy

    How much fabric would you need for a king size pillow? Your video makes it so easy. I want to make one now!

    • 33) Dana

      Prob 1 1/2 yards, but I’ve never actually made that size.

  22. 34) Joanna Tripp

    Hi, sweet tutorial =) Plus, I l ove your work area. I’m looking around for a new sewing machine as well, and LOVE yours. I know it’s a Baby Lock but looking at their machines I don’t think I see yours in particular. Do you mind sharing the name of it?

  23. 35) Joanna Tripp

    oops! I see you’ve answered my question!

  24. 36) yosa

    Hello Dana,
    I have to say you make sewing so much fun and enjoyable. I followed your pillowcase tutorial and I must say my pillowcases came out looking like a professional did them. By any chance do you have any tutorials on how to make baby blankets? Thank you so much for gift of sharing.

    In Kind Regards, Yosa

  25. 38) Jackie Johnson

    My daughter is learning how to see this will be so much fun to do with her. Wonder woman pillow case ☺

  26. 39) Kathie

    I can not thank you enough for posting this!! It is the easiest way to make a pillow case I have every seen. Just Perfect.!!!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!

  27. 40) Melissa

    Do you have this tutorial in a pdf or printable format? I would like to use this with my Girl Scout troop and Homeschool class to to teach them sewing, but would need paper hand outs. This is exactly what I am looking for.

  28. 41) Thao

    Wow! I love how easy and fun you make this. I’m definitely going to make a few pillowcases this weekend. So glad I found your website.

  29. 42) Barbara Stump

    There was not mention about washing the fabric before sewing – isn’t that needed? I thought the raw edges of the side seams should be sewn in french seam to prevent unraveling. That was not addressed.

    • 43) Dana

      Typically I prewash cotton fabrics when I get home from the fabric shop so they’re ready to go. And yes, you could use french seams in the pillowcases if you’d like. You can also sew with a standard seam as I’ve shown in the video and use pinking shears (scissors with a zigzag edge) to trim the seams to help prevent fraying. Or you could serge off the seams. I’ve left many of my seams unfinished and find that they don’t fray as much as one would think…especially when washing/drying since the seams are inside the pillowcase.
      When sewing with fleece or knits, the seams can be left raw because they will not fray.

  30. 44) Tammy

    do you happen to know measurements for a queen size and king size pillowcase?

  31. 45) Dawn

    I absolutely love your tutorials. I started sewing a few months ago and found your elastic skirt tutorial. It was done so well, I followed along, rewound when I needed to and made my first skirt for my daughter. You are my go to when I need help, I’m a visual learner and the videos are perfect. Thank you so very much. ❤️

  32. 46) Sherri Mitchell

    OH my goodness I am super thrilled to have found you! I wanted to sew pillowcases for selling in my Etsy shop, and I am just loving your video tutorial. Thank you !! I am a new follower on your youtube! Have a great day and thank you again!

  33. 47) Dana

    Awesome! Sounds great!!
    Have fun sewing 🙂

  34. 48) Ashley

    Is there a PDF with instructions? I want to provide this to other adults to do a sewing group for my girl scout troop.

  35. 49) Nichelle C Zaino

    My fabric is only 42″ wide and I’m using on a standard pillow, can I get away with that or will the fit be too snug?

  36. 50) RENEE

    I am having trouble printing the free little boys shorts pattern?

  37. 51) Caitlin

    The video does not work can you resend it to me? I would like to see how she makes them ! 🙂 thank you

  38. 52) Jessica

    What is the finished length?

  39. 53) Heather

    Does the direction of the pattern matter for this? I saw a video where someone made a “Magic Pillowcase” and switched some measurements to account for the pattern running perpendicular to the selvage. I have a lot of fabric like that but would still love to make this style of pillowcase. Thanks!

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