1. 1.Wash and dry your fabric before you start.  For one pillow case, cut out a fabric piece that measures 43.25” by 35.50”.

  2. 2.Fold the fabric edge .50” along the 43.25” side and press with the iron.

  3. 3.Now do the same thing again, this time turning the folded edge down  3.5” and press.  This will create the pillow case border.  Stitch across the 43.25” length close to the folded edge.

What You’ll Need

  1. 1 yard fabric per pillow case

  2. thread

  3. iron

  4. sewing machine



Make them at a fraction of the retail cost

  1. Do prices for decorative pillow cases seem expensive to you?  Make them at a fraction of the cost you’ll find in stores, and you’ll get to choose the fabrics, the colors, and the decorative touches.  Make one plain pillow case, and you’ll realize how quick and easy it is to add special borders with laces, embroidered fabrics or store bought piping.

  2. The directions on this page are for a standard 21”x31” case.

  1. 4.With the wrong sides of fabric together, line up the two raw edges.  Sew .50” from the edge, creating the pillow case side seam.  Create the bottom seam by sewing .50” from the other raw edge.

  2. 5.Press the seam allowances flat, then trim them to .25”.

Right and wrong side of fabric are indicated with different shading below only for illustration purposes.  The pillowcase fabric you choose should look the same on both sides unless you deliberately want to create a special effect.

right side of fabric

wrong side of fabric


  1. 6.Turn the case wrong side out.  Again, sew the side and bottom seams .50” from the edges.   The raw .25” seam allowance is now hidden inside this seam and there are no longer exposed raw edges.

  2. 7.Turn right side out again and press the seams flat.

Pillow Cases With Decorative Borders


  1. 1.Many appliqued fabrics and laces can be combined with cottons to make beautiful pillow cases.  Be sure to wash and dry the decorative trims before cutting, just as you would the fabric used for the case.  Cut the fabric as described in step one above.  The decorative fabric should be cut to measure 43.25” by 7”.

  2. 2.Match up the raw edge of the decorative piece with the raw edge of the pillow case fabric, wrong sides touching.  Using a basting stitch, sew them together .50” from their edges.

  3. 3.Fold the other edge of the decorative piece under .50” and press.  Sew that edge to the wrong side of the of the pillow case fabric, close to the fold.  Your decorative piece and pillow case fabric are now attached to each other.

  4. 4.Proceed, following the instruction in step 2-6 above.  Remove the basting stitch after step 3.

Costs for this project will be determined by the fabric purchased.


Pillow Cases Without Decorative Borders

When creating your own pillowcases the design options are endless.  Different designs will require different techniques.

To create a case like this with satin trim, baste a strip of narrow satin ribbon or binding to the pressed .50” fabric border.  After the border is sewn in place, remove the basting stitch.

This sheer lace fabric was applied following the instructions for pillow cases with decorative borders.  The border edge stitching does not follow the scallop edging.  It  runs on top of the lace.  (blue line represents stitching). 


Wash all borders and trims using the same method you use for the pillowcase fabric, otherwise, the trims may pucker and not lay flat.

Consider unusual fabrics for the cases but keep in mind the washability, and the comfort factors.

You will need 43.25” of any border bindings you select, but buy a bit more to allow for shrinkage.


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