Pillow Covers or Pillowcases

Pillow covers protect a pillow and are also called pillowcases. There are two types a plain or housewife pillowcase and a planned or Oxford pillowcase. Where would we be without these to protect our pillows as these can be washed regularly. When buying a duvet set additional ones can be bought to made to match or coordinate.

These are a fairly easy first sewing project as it has no fiddly zips to put in.

Cotton or a cotton mix fabric is good to use for these. If you want to use other fabric then you should try to find one that is just as washable. 


Making Plain or Housewife Pillow Covers


How to make a plain pillowcase.

  • Measure the pillow width and length. Make a front pattern allowing extra for seam allowances. This is usually 1/2 inch or 1.5 cms.Make the pattern for the back similar to the front by allowing the seam allowances but also make the front 7 inches (18cms) longer to allow for the flap.
  • Place the pattern on the wrong side of the material and cut out.
  • The opening edge of the back piece and the flap edge of the front piece have to be neatened by turning under twice to conceal the raw edge.
  • Take the other end of the back and front pieces and put right sides together. Place the flap part of the back over the front and pin through all sections.
  • Sew seams and then use a zig-zag stitch to neaten the raw edges.
  • Turn the case to the right side and press

Adding a Frill

  • You need to cut out a frill piece to fit the size of your case. The length of this will depend on how much gathering you want. The back and the flap need to be cut out separately, remembering to add the seam allowance.
  • Gather the frill evenly around the sides and pin it onto the front piece.Machine stitch the frill in place. 
  • The opening edge of the flap and the back need to be neatened by turning the raw edges under twice.
  • Place the other raw edge of the flap piece and front piece right sides together so that the frill is in the middle. Sew in place then turn it right side out.
  • Take the back and front pieces right sides together and sew around the edges leaving the flap edge open. Neaten the seam with zig-zag stitch.
  • Turn through to the right side and press. 

Return from Pillow Covers to Pillows


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Please take care with any soft furnishing that it does not come into contact with any heat source. 

If you have found an error on this page or want some more information on sewing cushions.

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