french seam, french seams, gingham, pillow case, rose bouquet -

Pretty Pillowcases

It's so easy to make pretty pillowcases and they are generally less expensive than ready-made cases. Besides being economical, hand made pillowcases are lovely and wonderful to gift! Christmas is just around the corner!

My Sunny pillowcases require just a couple of seams and I used french seams, so all the raw edges are covered. Encased seams are a wonderful finishing touch and avoids fraying seams and oodles of threads when washed.

I have used a standard pillow form for this tutorial. You may need to adjust the measurements depending on your pillow size. I pre-washed my fabric so the finished case fits the pillow. Not risking that the finished pillowcase will shrink after washing. 

Begin with a yard of fabric. Fold your fabric so the selvedges are together. Trim the length (the cut short ends - not the selvedge edges) of the fabric to 33". Be sure each end has a clean cut. Now trim the selvedge edges so the width measures 40"-42". Some fabrics aren't as wide, so that may change the measurement of your width. Also, you might like cases that fit more snug or more loose.**I simply match my selvedges and trim along the long edge.** Your pillow fabric will measure (around) 42" wide by  33" long. 


After everything is trimmed, turn one of the short ends to the wrong side and press. Stitch along this 1/4" fold close to the raw edge. 

Turn this edge to the wrong side to make a  2" hem.. This will be a nice clean hem along the opening of your pillow case. After turning and pressing the 2" hem, stitch close to the finished edge (the edge previously turned under and stitched). 


Hopefully, you can see my stitching. I like to do a double stitch for a more finished look. I simply stitch a bit less than 1/4" from the previous line of stitching. 

Now we are ready to do the french seams. French seams can feel awkward to sew because you are stitching with the wrong sides together and the right side of the fabric facing you. Fold your fabric, wrong sides facing, along the long edge. The long raw edges and the short raw edges should be matching. Press.You might want to pin all along the long edge and the short edge.

Sew a 3/8" seam allowance along the long edge and the short edge (remember the right side of the fabric is facing you). Now trim along the long edge and short edge leaving an 1/8" seam. 


Press this small seam to one side of the case. I place my pillow case (opening) over the end of the ironing board to press to one side. It's a little tricky when you get to the corner where the long side and short side meet. If you have a tailors ham it might make the pressing a bit easier. 

Turn your pillowcase so the wrong side is facing out. Now the right sides will be facing each other and on the inside of the case. You are looking at the wrong side of the case. Press again to smooth out all the seams. 

Take your pillowcase to the machine and, using a 1/4" seam allowance, stitch along the long edge and the short edge. You will see the raw edge is encased in the new 1/4" seam allowance. 

Once again, turn your pillowcase right side out and give it a press!

Now you have a lovely pillowcase with french seams! No stray threads or fraying seams after washing your new pillow case. And it has a lovely finished look!

I used Yuwa Rose Bouquet in White   

Carolina Gingham in Periwinkle 

Checkers in Lavender

Have fun making your pillowcases! Let me know if you have any questions. Also, I am certain there are plenty of You Tube videos demonstrating french seams if you need help.

If you have a longer than standard size pillow, you will want to cut your case longer than 33". Or if you like more room at the top of your case, cut it a bit longer. Measuring an old pillow case would help in deciding just how long you would like to cut the case fabric.