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How to Make a Pillowcase with a Twist!

Guest Author - Tamara Bostwick

I am a wee bit obsessive about my bed linens and I hate when my pillowcase rides up on my pillow during the night making wrinkles in the pillowcase. Why yes, I *am* tons of fun to live with, why do you ask? Anyway, I have found a style of pillowcase that neatly solves this issue with a flap that encloses the end of the pillow. Unfortunately, they are not easy to find, especially in fabrics that I like. So, I just make pillowcases myself! They are incredibly easy to put together having only two hems and two seams. This is also a great beginner project for those just learning to sew!

finished pillowHere is how the pillow looks when it is completed.

There are three sizes of pillows: King, Queen and Standard. The pillowcase sewing instructions are the same for all sizes, with only the length of the fabric being different. The finished pillowcase closely matches the pillow size with little to no overhang on the end and should fit snugly.

This pillowcase pattern is different from most others that I have seen because it is cut along the length of the fabric rather than across the width. It does require a longer piece of fabric to begin with. This works great if you plan to make two pillowcases, but if you only wish to make one, be aware that you will have a long, narrow piece of fabric left over. Better yet, go ahead and make two and donate one to a good cause. American Patchwork & Quilting Magazine is hosting a pillowcase drive in the hopes of reaching the goal of one million donated.

Because this pillowcase runs lengthwise, you will need to choose your fabric accordingly. Multi-directional patterns that look the same whichever way you look at them work best. If you have your heart set on using a directional novelty print, you can seam two pieces together, but remember that the two sides are different lengths because of the flap on one side (one side should end up six inches longer after hemming).

Pillow sizes:

  • King: 20" x 36"
  • Queen: 20" x 30"
  • Standard: 20" x 26"


  • Fabric - For King size, you will need 2 1/2 yards; for Queen size, you will need 2 1/4 yards; for Standard size, you will need 2 yards (yardage will make two pillowcases)
  • Basic sewing supplies: iron/ironing board, scissors, pins, thread to match
  • Optional: pinking shears or serger for finishing seams

Cutting instructions:

Important: Make sure your fabric is folded straight before you cut it to prevent the pillowcase from twisting after it is sewn.

Your pillowcase fabric will be cut double the length of your pillow plus eight inches (for foldover and hems) by 21 inches wide (this allows for 1/2 inch seams). The cutting dimensions are as follows: King - 80 inches long by 21 inches wide; Queen - 68 inches long by 21 inches wide; Standard - 60 inches long by 21 inches wide.

Sewing instructions:

First flap pillowcase hem foldOn one short end, fold over fabric, wrong sides together, by 1/2 inch and press in place.

Second flap pillowcase hem fold/td>Fold fabric over again another 1/2 inch and press again. Repeat on other short end.

Next Step: How to Make a Pillowcase - Finishing

If you are looking for even more easy and fun projects, check out these books!

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Content copyright © 2015 by Tamara Bostwick. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Tamara Bostwick. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Cheryl Ellex for details.


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