How to Sew a Pillow Case

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Ever wondered how to sew a pillow case?

Maybe you need a pillow case but haven’t found one that’s in a color or pattern you want. Perhaps you need to learn how to sew a body pillow case since they’re not sold at most stores.

Maybe you want to learn how to sew pillow case covers because it’s just too expensive to buy them at the full retail price.

sewing pillow cases
Photo by Christelle BOURGEOIS on Unsplash

Don’t worry. Pillow case sewing is simple – and we’ll show you exactly how to make your own.

How to Sew a Pillow Case: Tools

You don’t need a sewing machine to put together a pillow case, though using one may make the project go faster.

So long as you have a needle, a spool of thread, and the desired fabric material, you can sew a pillow case together in a flash.


When it comes to pillows, it’s all about what you like to feel against your head and body.

Satin is often the first material recommended for pillow cases as they’re known to help prevent wrinkles and are smooth to the touch, but it’s also a little pricey.

Flannel and cotton are pretty common pillow case materials and much cheaper too. You can get away with rougher materials for decorative pillows, though people may still attempt to sleep on them.

Needle and Thread

Hand sewing is easy, though time consuming.

Unravel a piece of thread that’s twice the length of the project you’re sewing – plus an extra 4-6 inches so you can easily tie off your project.

Insert the thread through the eye of the needle and pull until both sides of the thread are of equal length.

With both ends of the thread in your fingers, tie them together by looping them into a circle and pushing both ends of the thread through.

Just to be cautious, tie them at the same spot once or twice more so that it won’t accidentally come undone. This will be your starting knot that will hold the rest of your sewing in place.

how to sew pillow case
Photo by Azrul Aziz on Unsplash

Sewing Machine

If you’re using a sewing machine, begin and end every line by sewing a little forward, doubling over your work by using the reverse switch and going forward over the same area. This will ensure your work doesn’t accidentally come undone.

Sewing Pillow Cases: Normal and Body Pillows

Measure the size of your pillow and add an inch to the length.

With your fabric folded in half, cut out the dimension with the width along the fold so you have one piece.

Lay it out, unfolded, with the pattern facing up. This is the main body of your pillow.

Next, you need the cuff that will protect the opening of your pillow case.

On another or the same folded piece of fabric, cut out the cuff. Using the same length as before for your width, cut a length of about 12 inches. Do not unfold.

Keeping the cuff folded, lay the cuff along right end of the main body fabric so that the raw edges are both facing the same direction and are lined up.

Use fabric pins to secure the pieces of fabric together to ensure they won’t move as you sew.

If you’re using a sewing machine, sew as close to the edge as you can while maintaining a straight line. If you’re sewing by hand, use a long needle to do a running stitch close to the edge. Keep the stitches as straight as you can. Remove the pins as you sew.

Once that’s finished, lay out the cuff so that you can’t see the stitching you’ve just finished. Laid out in front of you with the cuff to the right, fold the cuff and main body fabrics in half along the widths so that the raw edges are meeting each other. The underside of the fabric should now be facing you.

Pin the left side and the bottom of the pillow case to keep the fabric from moving while you sew those edges together. Invert and stuff your pillow inside!

Take a look at this handy video to see the full process in action:

How to Sew Pillow Case Covers

Measure the size of your pillow and add an inch to the width and length.

Cut out two squares of fabric in those dimensions. Lay one out so that the pattern faces you and then place the other square on top of it with the pattern facing down.

Leave approximately 1/2 inch from your stitch from the edge of the fabric as you sew.

Start about 1 inch below the top left corner and sew up, take a sharp right turn, and sew along the top side of the pillow.

Sew along the right and bottom sides of the pillow, and then go up one inch on the left side. Tie off or sew back over to end that stitch.

Cut off the corners of the fabric. Invert the pillow case and insert the pillow. Fold in the raw edges of the left side 1/2 inch and, by hand with a small to medium length needle, slipstitch the opening shut.

how to sew a pillow case
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

And there you go! Endless design possibilities at your fingertips now that you have the right know-how.

Now you know how to sew a pillow case and how to sew pillow case covers! Any questions?

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