Monday, August 29, 2011

Pillow Covers

My sister commissioned me to make pillowcases for her throw pillows.  I told her I’m not exactly a whiz on the sewing machine, but she was willing to take the risk with $7.99 worth of fabric and my limited skills.  How hard can it be, right?  The tutorial on made it look like a cinch, and you know what, it really was.
Ikea fabric laid out.  A little trippy, right?
The article on is pretty clear, but I had to make some adjustments and distinctions.

You will need

Cloth ( $7.99 from Ikea)
Thread: ($2.00 at my local shop)

1.       Cut out your fabric.  They have an easy chart for pillow sizes, but it didn’t have the 20” pillow listed.  I used my amazing math skills to figure out that if I’m adding 2” to the width, I needed to add 4” to the length.  So for a 20” pillow, you’ll need a cloth that measures 20” by 44” (as the author notes, the lack of seam allowance is intentional so you don’t have a saggy pillowcase)
Fabric cut to size.
2.       Measure in from the long sides 12” and mark it on the wrong side of the fabric (this is where you’ll be folding the ends later).
3.       Press a ¼ “ seam on each of the long sides.  The easiest way I found to do this is to draw a line in pencil on the right side of the fabric, then just folding it and ironing it at the same time.  I started by pinning it, but it was unnecessary.  Then fold it over again, press it, and sew it.  These are the hems at the opening of the pocket.
Really, just marked and press.
4.       Fold the pillow ends in where you marked it earlier, with the wrong side facing out.  Pin it in place. 
5.       Sew a seam ½ “ in from the edge on both sides.  Then use a seam finishing stitch like a zigzag very close to the edge of the fabric to keep the fabric from fraying.
This is to show what the finishing stitch looks like.
6.       Turn it inside out and voila!  Done.

Front and back shot.

 I was very pleased with how it came out, and all in all I only worked on it for about 2 hours. The 2 hours of work took me a whole day due to unforeseen complications like power outages and having the wrong thread, but hands on time was 2 hours. 
Finished product.

Try It:

$9.99 for 2 pillowcases, or $4.99 each

Buy It:

There’s a big range, but $24.00 to $54.00 per cover seems to be the basic range on Amazon.


Try It!  It was simple and quick, and would be a cheap way to add a little pizzazz into your living room.  Now that I know just how simple and cheap, I’ll have to make some for the brown microfiber hideousness that are my own throw pillows!


  1. These are great. Love the fabric choice!

  2. I had a similar experience with crib sheets! Mitchell & Anna were right, I love the try it or buy it experiments you do. Have you tried homemade yogurt (Alton brown) or soft pretzels yet? So fun, but not sure if it's worth it... Anyway, can't wait to see what you try next!

  3. I can't take any credit for the fabric choice, my sis has a good eye!

  4. Mary Catherine, I haven't tried either, but they're now on the list, thanks for the suggestions! Glad you're enjoying reading, Anna told me you might!