At some point last year I felt an urge to make some pillowcases.  It was all part of the grand ‘Princess and the Pea’ type approach to bedding, where all the quilts were made by me, and I thought I shouldn’t just sleep under handmade, but rest my head on it too (In case you’re wondering, no, I have no intention of making sheets.  Ever.)

I felt that I deserved something particularly tactile, so I decided to go for a cotton and voile combo, using some of the Pretty Potent range by AMH:

And turned them into 3 of these (obviously in a range of colourways!):

Someone asked me at the time how I made them, so I saved it up for you.

To fit a standard UK sized pillow, you will need:

  • 1 yard cotton for non directional fabric, 1 1/4 yards for directional (note that I was happy to have sideways flowers on the back!)
  • 1/2 yard voile for non directional fabric, 3/4 yard for directional

Cut as follows:

  • 21″ x 21″ cotton for front
  • 21″ x 38″ cotton for back
  • 11″ x 21″ voile

To assemble:

1.  Take the back cotton piece and fold the right hand short edge over by 1/2″, and press, then another 1/2″ and press.  Top stitch 1/8″ from the edge:

2. Repeat step 1 with the right hand long edge of the voile.

3. Line up the left hand long edge of the voile, with the right hand edge of the cotton front panel, wrong sides together, and pin in place.  Whilst I don’t often pin with cotton, it’s essential with voile, and I use a dressmaker’s trick of pinning at at 90 degree angle to the seam so that it doesn’t warp the seam I’m trying to sew.

Stitch with a 1/4″ seam, then trim to 1/8″

4. Fold along the line you just stitched, so that the fabrics are right sides together, and press.

Using a 1/4″ seam allowance, stitch along the fold to enclose the seam from step 3.

5. Open out again and press the enclosed seam towards the voile.

6. With the fabric face up, top stitch on the voile side of the seam 1/8″ from the stitching to hold the seam in place.


7. Take the back piece, and fold the right hand edge over by 6 1/2″, wrong sides together and press.  Baste in place 1/8″ from the edge.

8. Place the front and back pieces wrong sides together, so that the voile is on top of the fold over from step 7.

Using a 1/4″ seam allowance, sew all the way around the raw edges, leaving the right hand end where the voile is, open.

9. Trim the seam allowances to 1/8″, and clip the corners as per the photo below:

10.  Turn the pillowcase inside out and press the seams, then using a 1/4″ seam sew all the way around to encase the raw edges.

11. Turn the pillowcase the right way out, and you’re ready to use it.  By tucking the pillow in the pocket, the pillowcase should stay on the pillow without it trying to escape the voile!

Sweet dreams :o)