I hate matchy-matchy bedding. I love the look of bedding that feels collected and more expensive as long as you keep elements in the same color family. Besides you can add and subtract blankets, sheets, pillowcases, quilts and duvets to suit the season’s needs.

I got a beautiful paisley duvet cover a couple of Christmases ago and have kept my eye out for cute pillow shams to pair with it. I finally gave up and decided to sew my own. It was so easy that I don’t know why I didn’t do this sooner.

For standard size(20×26 inches) pillows you will need:
1 1/2 yards of 44in width fabric for the fronts
1 1/2 yards of 44in width fabric for the backs
coordinating thread

PREWASH all of the fabric!!! Then cut both fabrics into two 24 inch pieces across the width of the fabric, resulting in 4 pieces that are 24×44 inches.

Cut the two pieces of fabric for the fronts of the pillowcases down to 30 inches. My cutting mat measures up to 24 inches; so to help me, I pinned the fabric at 20 inches…

then moved the pin down to the 0 mark and cut at 10 inches. This helps me keep my mark when I measure anything longer than my cutting mat and helps me to be sure I am accurate.

Also cut the two fabrics for the backs in half. Half of 44 inches would be 22 but with fabric shrinkage from washing I landed just over 21 inches. I cut at an even 21 inches. In the end it is not very important because the backs lays over itself.

After all the cutting, there should be 6 pieces of fabric:
2 – 24×30 inches for fronts
4 – 24×21 inches for backs

With all four backs, pin up about 1 1/2 inches of fabric along one of the 24 inch sides. Looking back now I would have double turned the hem here so that the raw edges would be secured from fraying when washed. Live and learn.

I hit this edge with an iron to keep it from unfolding and then stitched it down.

Once all the backs have one hemmed side, lay one piece down against the front fabric with the hemmed side in the middle of the pillow, making sure to keep the front of the fabrics against each other.

Stitch around the three outside edges. Back-stitch well at the middle of the pillow because this area will get lots of pull when putting the pillow in and taking it out.

Attach the other half of the back in the same manner as the first, making sure to keep the front sides of the fabric together.

While the pillowcase is still inside out, snip the corners. This helps the corners lay flatter and look better. Turn the pillowcase outsides out, poke out corners and iron flat.

*Note: I used corduroy fabric for the front of my pillowcases. If you ever need to iron corduroy, always iron from the back and never place the iron directly to the front side of the fabric. The iron can scorch and ruin the texture of corduroy and other textural fabrics. 

Measure and mark the front of the pillowcases to create the border. I used a washable marking pencil, however, growing up  my mother always used white chalk when marking fabric and that works just as well.

I made a border of 2 inches all the way around my pillowcase. With the border and seams of the pillowcase, my inside area for the actual pillow was around 19×25 inches. I planned for it to be slightly smaller than the pillow so that the pillow would look more stuffed and full. I don’t like it when a pillow swims around in the pillowcase, especially for a pillow sham.

Stitch around the marked rectangle to create the border. Do not back-stitch, but leave the threads long to pull to the back or inside and tie off.

Wash the pillowcases to remove the markings, then stuff in you pillows and enjoy!


One response to “Pillowcases

  1. Ben & Joy Chamness

    Very Nice….Keep it going….Nana & PopB

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