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Pillowcase Pattern

Pillowcase With Contrast Cuff


pattern for pillowcase with contrast hem

Nicely Constructed Pillowcase

With A Contrast Cuff (hem area)

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

Also see: Pajama Series

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Pillowcase With Attached Cuff (contrast hem)

I will teach you how to make a pillowcase & cuff correctly. 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. This is a fabulous method for attaching a cuff.

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. Don't miss 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"

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.

Stitch Pillowcase Side & End

Fold the main pillowcase fabric right sides together, lenghwise. Pin along the long side and one short end. Stitch, using a 1/4" seam allowance.

The photo on the right shows my pillowcase after stitching. I enhanced the stitch lines for clarity.

stitch pillowcase seams

Create Cuff (contrast hem area)

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.

check pillowcase cuff

Press Hem Of Cuff

Turn under one edge of the cuff 1/4". Press.

press hem of cuff

Stitch Cuff To Pillowcase

The pillowcase is still right side out. Turn the cuff right side out and place it inside the pillowcase, aligning the seam of the cuff with the seam of the pillowcase. Pin into place. Stitch all the way around, using 1/4" seam allowance.

Pull the cuff to the outside. Press the seam allowance toward the cuff. The main pillowcase is right side out, but the cuff is inside out and the seam is on the outside of the case.

attached cuff

Finish Cuff

Fold the cuff up over the seam allowance, covering the seam allowance. Pin in place all the way around the pillowcase. The edge of the cuff should just cover the seam allowance. Stitch the edge of the cuff to the pillowcase, stitching close to the edge of the cuff. Use a topstitch (topstitch is slightly longer than a regular stitch).

finish cuff

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

Right: I made myself a pair of comfy pajamas that are color coordinated with my new pillowcase. I used the same method for attaching the cuff to the pants as I used for this pillowcase project. Try it! 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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