Wednesday 5 August 2015

Pillowcase Tutorials

Following on from my recent Pillowcases for Oncology Kids post,  I thought I'd do a round up of free pillowcases tutorials I've found online. Pillowcases are super easy to sew - great for someone new to sewing - but it helps to have measurements and a quick how to.

35 FREE pillowcase tutorials from around the world - Australia, US, UK, Canada ~ Threading My Way

When I first started making pillowcases, I found a pillowcase tutorial, over at Flower Press. Now, a pillowcase is not hard to make, but the tutorial saved me working out the measurements myself. This particular tutorial gives measurements for Australian, UK and US standard pillowcases.

Pillows vary in size from country to country. Even in the same country, the dimensions of pillows can differ. This is not a problem, though. Getting a pillowcase to fit is not an exact science. This is a case where, close enough is good enough. There's lots of room for leeway!!!

My suggestion would be to measure an existing pillow or pillowcase. Chances are, once you look closely at a pillowcase, you won't need a tutorial. They really are that simple.

I've grouped the tutorials according to countries. Compare your measurements with those in the tutorial, to make sure they are similar. There are variations in sizes between the tutorials from the same country. 

Case in point... I once paid a small amount for an Australian pillowcase pattern, in support of charity. The pillowcase was too large to use and I had to make modifications to make it fit. Lesson learned... don't assume the tutorial or pattern uses the same measurements as your pillow.

Pillowcase tutorials on Australian sites...

Pillowcase tutorials on U.K. sites...

Pillowcase tutorials on U.S. & Canadian sites...  as far as I can tell these are all U.S. or Canadian sites. Some were a little hard to gauge. 

Most of the pillowcases listed above have plain seams exposed on the inside of the pillowcase. This is not a problem at all, as the seams will be neatened by zig zagging or overlocking (serging). I sew my pillowcases this way and have never had a problem, even after countless washes.

For those who would prefer a tidier inside, I've listed a few more tutorials. These pillowcases go by various names - magic pillowcase, burrito style pillowcase, sausage pillowcase to name a few. I have never made one, but my understanding is that the seam where the cuff joins the pillowcase is hidden, and the rest of the seams are French seams. Despite some descriptions, the French seams are exposed; it's just that they are a very neat finish - no stray threads - and they make for a very strong seam. The French seams are used on the sides, and across the bottom if there is a seam.

I really must try making a pillowcase this way and compare the two - both how long it takes and personal preference.

Magic pillowcase tutorials on U.S. and Canadian sites...

I couldn't find magic pillowcase tutorials from anywhere else, but the tutorials above can be easily modified to make any size you want.

Once you've made a few pillowcases, you'll realise just how easy it is to jazz up a plain pillowcase with embellishments or colour blocking.

Adding lace or piping between the cuff and main part of the pillowcase, will only add a few minutes to the project, but can really make a difference to the look of the pillowcase.
On the pillowcase below, the red, contrasting piping breaks up the two blue fabrics.

Do you have a favourite tutorial? Tell me your thoughts on magic pillowcases versus traditional pillowcases.

... Pam

I'd love you to share this post.


  1. I absolutely LOVE making my own pillow cases! Thank you for the round up! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

  2. Thank you Pam - what a great round-up! :)

  3. What a list, Pam! I have not checked all the tutorials, but I like MADE's tutorial for the simple pillowcase. Her photos and instructions are always clear. I also like the Cottage Mama's magic pillowcase tutorial...I saw a tutorial before and could not follow, but her tutorial is so clear now I understand how to sew it! Thank you for the list!

  4. This is a fabulous round up of pillow case tutorials, Pam. I have only made pillowcases for doll sized pillows. And I used the French seam method. Thanks for sharing all your hard work searching!

  5. I always use french seams in my pillowcases. Easy and neat. The Craftsy blog has a tutorial too.

  6. Thanks for the tutorials round up!! I will definitely need those:)

  7. I love making pillowcases - they're practical - they bust a lot of stash - they're easy to make - they make great gifts - and they're mega fun when you use theme or seasonal fabric - win/win/win/win/win :D I only make them the magic/burrito way - once I discovered that technique, I booted all others to the curb :D I just went through the list looking for a specific design (the kind where the pillowcase is closed on the end) - as it turns out, that's called an envelope style closure, and you listed a great tutorial for it (@ makeit-loveit :) I knew the general construction technique but couldn't picture in my mind, the proper layering - and now I know, so I can get cracking on some for Christmas gifts :D Thanks for the compilation!

  8. I've never made a pillowcase, that sounds like something that needs rectifying! I've added detail to existing pillowcases, and I've made lots of bedroom cushions but no actual pillowcases. Thanks for the roundup here, because I clearly need to make one some time!

  9. Beautiful pillowcases Pam! Love the Hello Kitty ones :)

    Thanks for sharing at Creative Mondays

  10. i have sewed all my life and made lots of pillows but never pillowcases! I think it would be great fun to make some for my grandkids much better than the boring shop ones lol

    1. The little ones in our family love their bright, fun pillowcases. I usually try to make a new one for each birthday and Christmas and put their presents inside.


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