home sewing tutorials | Sewing

How to Make a Pillowcase (10-minute pillowcase tutorial + video)

How to make a pillowcase: This easy step-by-step tutorial will show you how to make a quick and easy pillowcase using the “burrito method”.

how to make a pillowcase
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.

Easy Pillowcase Tutorial

Today, I have a quick and easy tutorial to share on how to make a simple pillowcase with a contrasting border.

Because really, one can never have too many pillowcases!

Why make these pillowcases?

  • Quick and easy. Pillowcases are a fast and easy project that is perfect for a beginner sewist or if you just need a few new pillowcases to spruce up your bedding.
  • Great way to use up unloved fabric. If you have fabric laying around that is no longer to your taste, pillowcases are a great way to use up the fabric. Each pillowcase takes just about a yard in total. 
  • Great as a gift or as crafts to make and sell. Custom-made pillowcases are great as gifts and are a perfect project to make and sell.
  • Perfect for donation. There are so many worthy organizations that ask for pillowcases. Foster care organizations, charities, hospitals, a quick google will list organizations in your area. (I personally like the Salvation Army Austin Pillowcase project.)

In our case, I have a significant amount of this Riley Blake Sweet Nothings fabric that I purchased about 10 years ago to make a quilt for my daughter.

I never made the quilt and she is no longer a fan of the fabric, but I had just enough of an “acceptable” print to make pillowcases to go along with her new comforter. (The fabric is really a great match – the top photo shows her comforter with the pillows.)

how to sew a standard pillowcase

The tutorial shows you how to make a pillowcase step by step, using the “burrito method”. I have included a quick video for those who like to see the tutorial in video format. (The video should pop up automatically when you scroll by the 1st photo. Just close it out if it gets in your way.)

How To Sew A Pillowcase Burrito Style

What is the “burrito method” you ask? The burrito method is a fabulous way to sew a pillowcase with a separate border that encloses the seams.

You basically lay the border fabric out flat and roll the main fabric up and then fold the bottom half of the border around the main fabric like a burrito and then sew. Once you flip the fabric right side out you have a perfectly encased seam! 

If this seems confusing, don’t worry. I have some great explanatory photos in the tutorial and you can see it in action with the video.

What Fabric is Recommended For A Pillowcase

For this tutorial, I recommend quilting cotton. I also suggest one that is at least 41 inches or more, wide.

How Much Material Do You Need To Make A Pillowcase?

This tutorial is for a standard size pillowcase and you will need 3/4 of a yard for the main fabric and 3/8 yard for the border fabric. If you use a directional fabric, you will need 1 1/4 yards for the main fabric. I don’t recommend using a directional fabric on the border as you will need 1 1/4 yards for that as well.

Directional Vs Non-Directional Fabric

A quick note on directional vs non-directional fabric. Directional fabrics have a print or design that is designed to go only one way. 

In the example below, you can see the kitty cat faces and cactus plants are designed to be used in one direction, but the 2 pink floral fabrics can be used in any direction.

how to cut directional fabric

And yes, we had totally intended to use the cactus fabric on our pillowcases, but I was not paying attention and cut it wrong, So we have another trip to Hobby Lobby in our future, lol.

You can still use directional fabric, you will just need a bit more and fold it differently before cutting. 

Are you ready to sew a pillowcase? Read on!

how to sew a standard pillowcase

pillowcase tutorial

This tutorial uses a 1/4 inch seam allowance. If you prefer a larger seam allowance, just add the extra amount to your cuts.

Materials Needed

  • Fabric
  • Ruler
  • Rotary cutter or scissors
  • Water-soluble pen
  • Straight pins
  • Basic sewing supplies (needle, thread, sewing machine, iron)
materials needed tp make a pillowcase

How to Make a Pillowcase

Step 1: Cut fabric

Main Fabric: If using non-directional fabric, fold the fabric so the selvages are together. On the fold, Use your ruler, pin, and rotary cutter/scissors and cut a piece of fabric that is 25.5 inches by 20 inches. (When you unfold the fabric, it will be 40 by 25.5.)

how much fabric is needed to make a pillowcase

If using directional fabric, you would need 1 1/4 yard of fabric and you would fold the fabric so the cut ends meet (instead of the selvages) and then cut out the same size piece of fabric.

Border  Fabric: Fold the fabric so the selvages meet and cut a piece of fabric that is 9.5 inches by 20 inches.

Sew A Pillowcase Burrito Style

Step 2: Line up the fabrics and make a “fabric burrito”.

Unfold the border fabric and lay it out right side up. Line the edge of the main fabric right side up on top of the border fabric.

how to make a pillowcase

To make the burrito pillowcase. roll up the end of the main fabric so will be inside the edge of the border fabric. Fold up the bottom edge of the border fabric.  Line up the edges of the 3 fabrics and pin them together. (see photos below.)

burrito pillowcase tutorial

Using a .25 inch seam allowance, sew a straight stitch along the fabric edge. No need to finish this seam as it will be increased inside the border fabric.

Sew A Pillowcase Burrito Style

Flip your fabric burrito right side out.

Sew A Pillowcase Burrito Style

Step 3: Sew the pillowcase edges together.

Press the pillowcase border.

Using a .25 inch seam allowance, sew along the edge of the pillowcase.

how to sew a pillowcase

Finish this seam.

Since the pillowcase will be frequently washed, is do not recommend to use pinking shears to finish the seams. Use a zig-zag stitch on your sewing machine or a serger.

Flip it right side out and you are done. You made a pillowcase!

how to sew a pillowcase pattern

Did you Make this Pillowcase pattern

Please leave a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or a review in the comments section below. If you share an image on Instagram, be sure to tag me and use #scatteredmompatterns! You can also share an image of your finished pillowcase to my private Facebook sewing group!

Don't miss any more posts!

Follow along on:

FeedlyBloglovin', your favorite feed reader, or signing up via email and have new posts delivered to your email box each week!
Yield: 1 pillowcase

How to Make a Pillowcase

pillowcase tutorial pattern

How to make a pillowcase: This easy step-by-step tutorial will show you how to make a quick and easy pillowcase using the “burrito method”.

Active Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Difficulty easy
Estimated Cost $8

Materials

  • Fabric
  • Ruler
  • Rotary cutter or scissors
  • Water-soluble pen
  • Straight pins

Tools

  • Basic sewing supplies (needle, thread, sewing machine, iron)

Instructions

Step 1: Cut fabric

  1. Main Fabric: If using non-directional fabric, fold the fabric so the selvages are together. On the fold, Use your ruler, pin, and rotary cutter/scissors and cut a piece of fabric that is 22.5 inches by 20 inches. (When you unfold the fabric, it will be 40 by 25.5.)
  2. If using directional fabric, you would need 1 1/4 yard of fabric and you would fold the fabric so the cut ends meet (instead of the selvages) and then cut out the same size piece of fabric.
  3. Border  Fabric: Fold the fabric so the selvages meet and cut a piece of fabric that is 9.5 inches by 20 inches.

Step 2: Line up the fabrics and make a "fabric burrito".

  1. Unfold the border fabric and lay it out right side up. Line the edge of the main fabric right side up on top of the border fabric.
  2. To make the burrito pillowcase. roll up the end of the main fabric so will be inside the edge of the border fabric. Fold up the bottom edge of the border fabric.  Line up the edges of the 3 fabrics and pin them together. (see photos below.)
  3. Using a .25 inch seam allowance, sew a straight stitch along the fabric edge. No need to finish this seam as it will be increased inside the border fabric.
  4. Flip your fabric burrito right side out.

Step 3: Sew the pillowcase edges together.

  1. Press the pillowcase border.
  2. Using a .25 inch seam allowance, sew along the edge of the pillowcase.
  3. Finish this seam.
  4. Since the pillowcase will be frequently washed, is do not recommend to use pinking shears to finish the seams. Use a zig-zag stitch on your sewing machine or a serger.
  5. Flip it right side out and you are done. You made a pillowcase!