Get dreamy, designer inspired pillowcases that will look amazing in your bedroom! This DIY sewing tutorial takes just a yard and a half of fabric per pillowcase and works great with cotton, linen, satin, or another light to medium weight fabric.
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If you like to keep your sleeping pillows on your bed (like I do), this is a great way to make them pretty enough to blend in with your throw pillows, but there are no embellishments to make them uncomfortable to sleep on or difficult to throw in the washing machine.
There are ties on the inside which help to both hold the pillow in place, and make a pretty contoured shape to enhance the look of the ruffles. Don’t skip this step – you’ll be so glad you made the ties!
How to Sew Pretty Ruffled Pillowcases
Tip: This pillowcase will fit a standard 20” x 25” pillow. You can easily adjust this tutorial to fit any size pillow. Simply cut pillowcase rectangles that are 1” larger than the pillow you have on both sides (for example, if your pillow is 20” x 30”, cut pillowcase rectangles that are 21” x 31”. Adjust the ruffle too if you would like it to be longer than 11” or if the opening of your pillow varies from mine by more than 2-3 inches.
To make 1 pillowcase, you will need:
1 1/2 yards of fabric (based on fabric that is 42” wide)
From your fabric, cut:
2 pillowcase rectangles 21” x 26”
2 ruffle strips 12” x 42”
2 strips 2” x 42” (for the ties and binding)
1/2” seam allowance allowed.
1. Place the two pillowcase rectangles right sides together and sew around the two long edges and one short edge. Clip the corners. Finish the seams with a serger or a zig zag stitch.
2. Place the two ruffle strips right sides together and sew the short edges. Finish the seams with a serger or a zig zag stitch.
3. Turn one long edge of the ruffle to the inside twice and sew a narrow hem.
Tips: I used the rolled hem foot for my sewing machine to make quick work of this step. I trimmed the seams very close to the stitching for about 1/4” to so they would move easily through the rolled hem foot. See my tutorial on how to use a rolled hem foot.
4. Next, gather the opposite long edge of the ruffle. I switched to my gathering foot and sewed on some scrap fabric strips with different settings until I was gathering the fabric to make the strips 1/2 the length that they started out as. For example, my 10” strip gathered to 5”. FYI: my desired settings were a stitch length of 5 and tension of 8. Yours might be different depending on the fabric you are using and your sewing machine.
If you don’t have a gathering foot or you don’t want to experiment until the settings are correct, simply sew 2 rows of long gathering stitches. Carefully pull the bobbin thread to gather the edge until it fits the pillowcase opening.
5. Turn the pillowcase right side out and place the ruffle over the opening with the right sides together. Adjust the gathers to fit the opening of the pillowcase and pin in place.
6. Sew the ruffle to the pillowcase.
Make the Ties:
1. Fold one of the 2” x 42” strips in half lengthwise and press. Open and fold the raw edges to the center, press. Then fold in half again and press. Topstitch along both long edges 1/8” from the edge. Tip: a walking foot makes this step so much easier.
2. Cut the strip into 4 equal pieces. On each piece, fold one end over twice and stitch close to the fold.
Tip: if your sewing machine doesn’t want to sew the fold down neatly, try sewing it from the other side.
3. Pin the ties over the ruffle with the raw edges of the ties aligned with the raw edges of the ruffle and pillowcase opening.
There should be 2 ties on each side, and the ties should each be about 6” away from the side edges.
Stitch the ties in place at the top, 1/2” away from the edge.
Bind the Raw Edge:
1. Fold one short end of the remaining 2” x 42” strip over 1/2” to the wrong side. Pin the strip to the inside of the pillow, aligned with the raw edges at the opening.
2. Sew the binding to the pillowcase with a 1/2” seam allowance. Make sure the straps stay flat on the other side and the ends don’t get caught in this seam.
3. Continue sewing until the binding strip overlaps the starting (folded over) edge by about 2”. Trim away the extra binding.
4. Fold the binding around to the ruffle side, tucking the raw edge under. Stitch the binding down close to the fold.
5. Turn the binding toward the inside of the pillowcase. On the outside, topstitch the pillowcase to the binding underneath about 3/8” away from the ruffle.
Stuff a pillow inside and enjoy your pretty new ruffled pillowcase!
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