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Pillowcase Pattern

With Contrast Cuff & Piping

pillowcase with cuff and trim pattern

Nicely Constructed Pillowcase

With A Contrast Cuff & Piping

Learn how to easily attach a contrast cuff and piping to a pillowcase.

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Pillowcase With Attached Cuff (contrast hem) & Piping

pillowcase pattern I will teach you how to make a pillowcase & cuff correctly, plus add piping. This means the attached hem (cuff) is nicely finished - inside too. Poorly made cases have seam allowances that can be seen inside the pillowcase, on the hem.

If you are not familiar with pillowcase sizes, refer to: Basic Pillowcase Pattern. I provide dimensions for standard, queen and king.

For this project, I refer to the contrast hem piece as a cuff. That's basically what it is. This is the same method that I use when attaching a contrast cuff to a pajama pant leg, except that when I made the pajamas, I placed the cuff inside the pant leg, with pant leg right side out. Either way works, as long as the cuff ends up wrong side up on the right side of the pillowcase or pant leg. Refer to my Pajama Series.

Finished Pillowcase Sizes

Standard Case: 21" x 32"
Queen case: 21" x 36"
King Case: 21" x 42"

These will cover pillows nicely, with plenty of room. We are assuming the following pillow measurements:
Standard: 20" x 26"; Queen: 20" x 30"; King: 20" x 36"

Pillowcase Size vs Pillow Size

Refer to: Basic Pillowcase Pattern for my information on pillow size vs. pillowcase dimensions.

Supplies Required

The following amounts are needed for ONE STANDARD PILLOWCASE. Adjust the amounts for queen and king. For example, for a standard case, I know that the finished length will be 32". My finished cuff will be 3". Therefore, the length of my main piece must be 29" (29 + 3 = 32). Allowing for seam allowance, I add 1/2" to the length of the main piece, and to the width of the cuff. Follow this example for queen and king cases.
Standard Pillowcase
Main Piece: 29.5" x 42.5"
Contrast Piece: 6.5" x 42.5" (I used solid black in the pillowcase shown above)
Piping: One strip 1.25" x 42.5" (I used red in the pillowcase shown above, & yellow print in examples below)

BUY EXTRA & PREWASH FABRIC: You will need the full amounts, so buy a bit extra fabirc. Wash and dry the fabric before use.

Thread (to match background)
Sewing Supplies: scissors, quilting pins, large sewing ruler, fabric marking pencils, seam ripper
hint: quilting pins are easier to use than regular pins; a tupperware box works well as a supply box.
Note: all seams are 1/4 inch. Always iron between steps.

NOTE: If you do not have wide enough fabric to fold into a pillowcase, you can use two pieces of fabric. Each piece should be 21.5" wide.

Create Piping

1.  Fold trim piece in half, wrong sides together. Press.


Create Cuff (contrast hem area)

2.  Lay the piping piece (ours is yellow ) on the RIGHT side of the contrast end piece (in this photo, the pillowcase fabric is black and the piping is yellow), aligning the raw edges of the trim to one 43" side of the contrast end piece. Stitch 1/4" from edge. Use a quilting foot if possible (it stitches 1/4" from edge). The trim piece (yellow) is now attached to the right side of the cuff piece (black). The "folded edge" arrow in the photo at right refers to the folded edge of the piping.

stitch trim

Turn Under Hem Of Cuff

3.  Turn under the raw edge to the cuff, creating a hem on the cuff. The piping (yellow) will overhang the finished edge of the cuff (black). Press. The photo below shows the wrong side of the pillowcase. The piping piece seam allowance is pressed toward the main pillowcase.

pressed trim

stitched trim

Stitch Main Pillowcase Piece

4.  Fold main pillowcase piece in half (floral fabric in our sample), lengthwise, right sides together. Stitch across one short end and along the long side opposite the fold. Press. Turn right side out. The photo on the right shows the stitching, enhanced. The photo is from a different project, but shows a main pillowcase.

stitch pillowcase seams

Create Cuff (contrast hem area)

5.  Turn the pillowcase right side out. Press. Lay the cuff out right side up. Fold the left side over the right side. Lay the folded cuff next to the open end of the pillowcase. Place a pin where the seam of the cuff needs to be, so the width of the cuff matches the width of the pillowcase. If you have stitched and cut the pieces accurately, the cuff and main case should be the same width, but I double check before I stitch the cuff. Stitch the two short ends of the cuff together, right sides together. Press. Again, I am showing a different project, but the method is the same.

check pillowcase cuff

Stitch Cuff To Pillowcase

6.  TURN MAIN PIECE WRONG SIDE OUT. TURN CUFF PIECE WRONG SIDE OUT. Pin unfinished edge of the cuff to the unfinished edge of the main pillowcase piece so that the RIGHT SIDE of the cuff is against the WRONG SIDE of the main pillowcase piece, aligning raw edges. Stitch all the way around, using 1/4" seam allowance.

stitch contrast piece to main piece

press seams of pillowcase The following photo shows the case being pressed. The pillowcase has been turned right side out. Note that the cuff part of the pillowcase is wrong side out. Both the seam allowance from the trim and the allowance from the cuff are pressed toward the cuff.

Finish Cuff

7.  Turn pillowcase right side out. You will notice that the inside is nicely finished, but there is a seam showing on the right side of the pillowcase (the seam that attaches the contrast piece to the main piece).

hem on outside Fold the contrast end piece to the right side of the pillowcase, creating a hem on the outside of the case. Turn it up far enough so that the hem edge completely covers the raw seam. Topstitch into place, stitching close to the piping trim.

Benefit Of Sewing

poorly finished pillowcase One of the benefits of sewing is quality. I find many improperly constructed pillowcases on the market today. They look alright at first glance, from the outside, but if you look inside the hem area you will see a seam allowance that runs all the way to the outer edge of the hem. The reason is that it is much quicker to construct that way. Time is money in the retail business. Good quality pillowcases are contructed properly, but they are much more expensive. Check out pillowcases you have purchased. Are they constructed properly? The photo on the right shows an incorrectly constructed pillowcase. The seam allowance shows when you peek inside the pillowcase at the hem. The seam allowance should be hidden INSIDE the hem.

Enjoy Your New Pillowcase

The nice thing about this pattern is you can use scrap pieces of fabric. It is quite easy to do, and dresses up a pillowcase.

finished pillowcase with contrast cuff and piping

Right: I made myself a pair of comfy pajamas that are color coordinated with a new pillowcase (see our basic pillowcase pattern). I used the same method for attaching the cuff to the pants as I used for this pillowcase project (except that I stitched the cuff to the outside of inside out pants). Try it! Choose the method you like best. Don't miss our pajama pants series! Learn how to draft a pattern that fits, sew the pajamas, and add a cuff.

Pajama Pants Series

cuffed pajama pants pattern

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