How to Make a Classic Pillowcase


Here's how to make a classic pillowcase for a standard pillow sizes. This is a great project using a rotary cutter.

Recommended fabric is all cotton or mostly cotton in a firm weave, no thicker than you would want in a shirt.

Pillow Type:

Shaped Foam


Super Standard



Any Size

Pillow Size:

14.5" x 23.5"

20" x 26"

20" x 28"

20" x 30"

20" x 36"

W x L

Fabric Length:






L plus 10"

Fabric Width:






twice W plus 1/2"


Zigzag the ends of the fabric and throw in the washer and dryer. If the fabric comes out wrinkled, steam press the fabric to smooth it.


If the fabric is more than the desired width, cut to the desired width by trimming both selvage edges.


Cut off the ends of the fabric so they are at perfect right angles to the sides. One of these ends will be the "hem end." On the hem end, turn 1/2-inch to the wrong side and press well.


Fold the entire fabric piece lengthwise, right sides together, matching the side edges and ends. Insert a pin on each side, three inches from the hem end.


Hold both layers of the hem end together and fold that end down at the pins.

Pin through all layers of fabric at raw edges along the side and across the bottom.


Stitch a 1/4-inch seam, where pinned - through the hem, down the side, and across the bottom.

An optional step is to stitch a more-than-90-degree angle into the corner, using short stitches:


Trim the corners and serge or zigzag the cut edges next to the stitching line (contrast thread is shown for illustration purposes). Press the seams and the folded hem with steam.

Turn the top layer of the hem to the other side of the seam. This will form the hem and enclose the top of the side seam. Press the hem in place all around. The hem has a crease where it should be folded.


With the pillowcase still on the ironing board, pin the hem at regular intervals. Do not pin into the ironing board.

Stitch all around through the three-layer area of the hem.

Press the pillowcase flat. Turn it right side out and press again.



For an eye-popping detail, use decorative stitching with contrasting thread when stitching down the hem.