Pillowcase Tutorial – Pay It Forward

The last of my Pay It Forward packages went out in the post today, so it’s time to tell!

The first package went to a lovely young lady here in Texas. Unfortunately, I only remembered to take pictures of what I made AFTER the package was mailed. I made Miss E. a pearl bracelet…a real pearl bracelet that she can wear every day. Every young lady should have an extravagant piece of real jewelry that she wears as casually as plastic pony beads. (She should also wear plastic pony beads with the same style and grace as, well, real pearls!)

Because Miss E. is learning how to sew, I also put together a pilowcase project for her to tackle on the sewing machine, which her mother had just taught her how to use. I cut all the pieces, laid them out and folded them neatly. All Miss E. had to do was sew them together on the machine with straight seams, a perfect project for a young seamstress.

Now with Christmas just around the corner, I’ve begun to think that extravagant pillowcases would make marvelous gifts. Since each case only takes about a yard of fabric total, you can indulge in designer cotton prints (think Amy Butler!), luxurious silks, or even some super soft flannel. These instructions were written for a young person who is learning how to sew, so don’t be offended if the instructions seem overly simplistic!

Pillowcase Tutorial

¾ yard main fabric – Fabric A Green Flowered in Photos
¼ yard coordinating fabric for the edge – B Striped in Photos
1/8 yard contrast fabric for the trim – C Brown in Photos
coordinating thread

1. Unfold and iron all fabric pieces so that they are smooth and wrinkle free. This will make your sewing easier. Because this is a very simple construction, you do not need to wash the fabric before sewing. If you were making an article of clothing, you would certainly wash the fabric before doing any cutting and sewing, so that your finished clothes don’t shrink and look wonky the first time you wash them!

2. Take the ¼ yard of coordinating Fabric B, and fold over ½” on one long side, wrong sides together. Press the crease with your iron.


3. Fold the 1/8 yard of contrast Fabric C in half the long way, wrong sides together. Press the crease with your iron.


4. Open up your main piece of Fabric A and lay it flat, with the right side facing up. Lay the folded strip of contrast Fabric C on top of the main fabric, matching the raw edges.


5. Lay the strip of coordinating Fabric B on top of the contrast Fabric C with the wrong side facing up, matching the raw edges. Do not line up the folded edge! Pin the raw edges all together, then sew them with a ½” seam.


6. Fold up the coordinating Fabric B, and press open. Fold the entire piece of fabric in half, right sides together, matching the selvedges and raw edges. Pin, then sew the long side of your pillowcase with a ½” seam. Do the same for the bottom of the pillowcase, the side opposite where you sewed the strips of trim and edge fabrics.


7. Fold over your coordinating (edge) fabric, and line up the fold over the stitches of the first seam you sewed. It will cover up the raw seam edges, leaving a neat finish. Press the edge, pin, and then whipstitch or blind stitch the edge in place.


8. Turn the pillowcase right side out, and you’re done!

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