Why sew your own pillowcase when you can just buy one? Well, there’s the suckiness about that opening at one end. You could have a pillowcase in the most luxurious thread count, but that big ol’ opening shows your janky pillow inside (which you have no intention of giving up because dammit, it fits you like a perfectly worn pair of jeans).
Or how about when you buy the proper size case for your pillow but you still have a ton of fabric hanging off the end? It’s just laying there, with no purpose, ruining the effort you put forth to make your bed that day. Yes, sometimes it is hard just to make the bed.
Enter my solution: DIY envelope pillowcases. These pillowcases fit your pillows perfectly and are a great way to customize your bedroom decor, since you have many more fabrics to choose from. They’re just as easy as sewing a traditional pillowcase, with just a tad more sewing. Plus, a standard pillowcase can be completed with less than one yard of fabric.
These covers are slightly different than my tutorial for regular envelope covers for several reasons. (A) You’re cutting three pieces of fabric and not one. (B) Your flaps on the backside are not the same measurement, so that the opening is moved to one end of the pillow. This means you can attain cool side of the pillow status without having that seam pressing wrinkles all up on your face.
All you need is pre-washed/ironed fabric plus your basic sewing supplies.
For my the light blue cases shown in this tutorial, I used Kona in Candy Blue. I love sewing pillowcases and pillow covers with Kona because it’s 100% cotton and has a really nice weight (which makes for easier sewing).
Here are your easy-peasy steps:
(1) Measure the width and height of your pillow. Standard bed pillows are 20″ high x 26″ wide, but you should measure yours just to be safe. (This is also helpful if you’re making a body pillowcase, like you’ll see below.)
(2) Determine your fabric measurements. Let’s break this down into three panels:
Panel A: height x (width + 1″)
Panel B: height x (width – 1/2″)
Panel C: height x 7-1/2″ width.
For example, if your pillow has a 20″ h x 26″ w, panel A will be 20″ x 27″, panel B will be 20″ x 25-1/2″, and panel C will be 20″ x 7-1/2″.
(3) Cut your panels.
(4) Hem one side of panel B and panel C. This will be on the height side. Use a 1/2″ hem. I pressed down 1/4″ and over again 1/4″ to hide the raw edge, next sewing the hem.
(5) Pin panel A down with the right side up.
(6) Next, pin panel B onto A, so the right sides are facing each other.
(7) Lastly, panel C on top of A and B, right side facing A.
(8) Pin all 4 sides together.
(9) Sew 1/2″ seams along all 4 sides. You can use a 1/4″ zig-zag hem to prevent fraying, but I just do a basic straight-stitch. There is some fraying, but it’s not too bad.
(10) Turn the cover right sides out and push out the corners. Insert your pillow.
Check that out—no floppy pillowcases! Just pure cotton deliciousness and non-stop color with no gaps in between.
The dark pillows in the back were made with this tutorial as well. These actually spurred this tutorial, as I bought them as standard pillowcases but hated how much larger they were than my pillows. So I cut em up and made smaller cases, with no opening.
I also used this tutorial for the batik body pillow in the front. I’ll never go back to regular pillowcases again.
Are you also particular about your pillowcases? Have you ever sewn your own pillowcases? Do you prefer having customized pillowcases over the cookie cutter versions you can buy?