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Visions of Sugarplums Christmas Pillowcases

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Do you have family and friends staying at your home for the holidays? Yes! Do you have time and money to make all new holiday bed linens for your guest room? No! Then just change up the pillowcases. It's a super fast, easy and inexpensive way to add a little holiday cheer. Our instructions show you how to make two standard size pillowcases (for standard 20" x 26" pillows) using just 1½ yards of main fabric and ½ yard of contrasting trim fabric.

If you have larger or smaller pillows you'd like to make cases for, simply adjust our measurements to accommodate your pillow size. For example, king pillows are normally 20" x 36" so the width remains the same but you need an additional 10" in finished length (20" in cut length). This means rather than cutting the fabric for the body of the pillowcase 21" x 53", you should cut it 21" x 73". However, two yards of fabric equals 72". This is where the 'fudge factor' comes in. Can you 'fudge' a little to save some money? I'd say, 'yes.'You can totally get away with this slightly shorter length to avoid buying more than a standard two yard cut. Your trim piece won't extend quite as far over the edge of the pillow, but will still cover it nicely.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

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Fabric amounts shown are for TWO pillowcases.

  • Fabric for body of pillowcase: 1½ yards of 45" wide fabric, we used: Mary Engelbreit's The Caroler in Snowflake Winter Garden
  • Fabric for pillowcase trim: ½ yard of 45" wide fabric, we used: Mary Engelbreit's The Caroler in Gold Stocking Stripe
    NOTE: We made a second set of pillowcases using Mary Engelbreit's The Caroler in Pine Needle Garden for the body of the pillowcase and The Caroler in Gold Stocking Stripe for the trim.
  • 2 standard 20" x 26" bed pillows
  • All purpose thread
  • Contrasting color thread for topstitching
  • See-through ruler
  • Fabric pencil
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Straight pins

Getting Started

  1. From the fabric for the body of the pillowcase, cut two rectangles, 21" x 53".
  2. From the fabric for the pillowcase trim, cut two rectangles, 9" x 41".

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Pillowcase body

  1. Fold one pillowcase body rectangle in half, right sides together, so it is now: 21" x 26½".
  2. Pin the two 26½" sides together. Stitch both sides, using a ½" seam allowance.
  3. Clip corners and turn pillowcase right side out. Push out the trimmed corners from the inside to make nice, square corners on the outside. Use your finger or a blunt edge tool, like a large knitting needle. Press.
  4. Repeat for second pillowcase body.

Pillowcase trim

  1. Press a double-fold hem along one raw edge of the pillowcase trim piece. Turn up the edge ½" and press, then turn up another 4" and press again
  2. Unfold the pressed hem. Your fold lines will remain. 
  3. Fold the 9" x 41" trim piece in half, right sides together, so it is now: 9" x 20½".
  4. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch the along the 9" raw edge. Press seam open.
  5. You now have a 9" x 40" circle of trim.
  6. Repeat for second pillowcase trim piece.

Finish pillowcase

  1. Slip your ‘trim circle" over the open bottom end of your pillowcase body, right sides together, matching raw edges and aligning the trim's seam with one of the pillowcase body's side seams. You are matching the raw edge of the pillowcase opening with the ‘non-folded" raw edge of your trim piece. Pin all around.
  2. Using a ½" seam, stitch all around the pillowcase opening. Press the seam towards the trim.
  3. ‘Re-fold' the raw edge of your trim, following the pre-pressed trim lines. Fold ½" and then 4".
  4. Bring the folded edge of the trim around to the inside of the pillowcase. The folded edge of the trim should just overlap the inside pillowcase/trim seam. Pin in place from the front.
  5. As you look at your pillowcase from the front, you should have 4" of trim showing from seam to folded edge.
  6. Topstitch ¼" in from the seam to secure trim. We used a contrasting color thread for a decorative touch. Press.
  7. Repeat to finish second pillowcase.

Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Aimee McGaffey



Comments (5)

Mama Martin said:
Mama Martin's picture
I often make French seams in pillowcases - nothing to fray and two seams to withstand the pillowfights (no, I know that never happens in your house but it does in mine!).
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
I think you'll be okay. Did the edges appear to be raveling a lot already? You could go back and pink the inside seam edges with pinking shears if you have them. A product like a Fray Check could work as well. For future pillowcases, a simple pinked edge or zig-zagged edge would be fine. They won't be subjected to daily washings. Here's more info about simple seam finishes:
coupons572 said:
coupons572's picture
I just made a pillow. But the raw edges inside have me worried when I wash it. Could I apply a no-fray glue to them? In the future should I hem every edge before I sew them together?

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