How to Make a Magic Pillowcase | with Jennifer Bosworth of Shabby Fabrics

How to Make a Magic Pillowcase | with Jennifer Bosworth of Shabby Fabrics

Hi! I’m Jennifer from Shabby Fabrics, and
today I have an extra special tutorial to share with you: how to make the
coolest pillowcase ever. A friend of mine showed me this technique and I
absolutely love it. The coolest part is you don’t see any
seams. Let’s look at the pillow behind me. Just three fabrics, and it takes
almost no fabric, and you have the neatest gift. Now, I know we all love to
make quilts, but wouldn’t that be great to give not only a quilt but also a
coordinating pillowcase? Such a special gift, and so easy. So I want to show you
how we make this amazing pillow. Now, I did not come up with this technique, I
don’t know where it actually has come from. But it’s been around for years
apparently, but I only learned about it just a couple days ago and I’m like ‘I
have to share this with you.’ So, three fabrics—you want to get an inspiration
piece, and for me, on the pillow back here— of course I love pink, so I grabbed my
cute little pink rose print, and had a nice little accent. That’s kind of your
‘zinger’, we call that the trim piece, and then the cuff. So we’ll refer to these as
the main fabric, or the ‘body’ of the pillow; you’ll have your trim piece; and
then this will be referred to as the cuff. So I did one in kind of ‘shabby chic’
colors, and now today let’s do one in some Christmas-y colors, because that’s
another great gift, and what child wouldn’t love to have a special
pillowcase that they got from their grandmother, or a friend, or an aunt, so?
And not just kids—everybody loves custom-made pillowcases. So let’s get
started. Inspiration piece, for me, was this cute
little gingerbread piece. And then I wanted to pull out some of the other
colors that were in there, and of course these are all in there, so that makes a
great combination. Now I want you to remember these three numbers: 3, 9, 27. Three times nine is twenty-seven. So what does that mean? Of the main main fabric, your inspiration
piece, you’ll cut 27 inches times the width of the fabric. And I’ve cut those
ahead of time so we could save some time so you don’t have to watch me cut fabric.
Then for your accent piece—that’s this little piece here—we’ll be cutting a
3-inch strip all the way across the width of the fabric. And then for the
cuff you’ll be cutting the 9 inch piece. So 3, 9, 27. So now that we’ve got those
selected and cut here’s how you lay this out. We will lay the main fabric out
first, and I’m lining that up with one of the lines on my ruler, and everything
will be laid on top of that. Okay. And you want to keep the fold on the
left and your selvage is on the right. You can’t mix and match that, so make
sure that your folds are all on this side and your selvages are over on this
side. What we’re doing right now is we’ll lay each fabric out and then we need to
trim so that everything is the same width. Now, you would think that fabric
manufacturers would have one standard of width. They don’t, as you can see right
here. This fabric is longer than this fabric, and this one’s yet a little bit
longer. That’s just because the base cloth that all fabric is printed on does
vary. So step one after you cut all your fabrics out is lay them on top of each
other, and then cut everything to be the same. We don’t want to cut off too much
fabric, or our pillowcase will be a little bit too snug, but we want to cut—
we want to make sure they’re all the same length or the project won’t work. So
it looks like that’s about right, and I’m going to visualize. If you’ve got the
24 inch ruler like I do, your fabric will extend just a little bit beyond that.
So what I do is I line it up as well as I can. Here I get a visual look at that
same mark on my mat, and I start my cut,
and then without shifting the fabric I move up, grab that line, and continue my
cut. Now that step is done the cuff and the main portion can be put
aside. And for the accent piece we’ll need to go over to the iron and we will
press this in half with the wrong sides together. So I will go do that step now,
and then we can go on putting our pillow together. Now that we have the
accent piece pressed in half, now we begin to lay out the three pieces and
create this amazing pillow. So we start with the actual cuff, and that will be
right side up, and I’m lining it up along one of the horizontal lines on my mat.
This does take quite a bit of space. If you don’t have a mat—and most people
wouldn’t have a mat this big in their home or their sewing room—you don’t have
to line this up on on a mat. You could line this up on a table.
The main thing will be that the top edge of all three pieces meets exactly the
same. I might—because this piece is bigger—might just fold the bottom up a
little bit so I can see it a little more readily. I’m short so I don’t have the
longest of arms. Now I’m bringing our edges right together—now you can see why
it was important that everything is the same length. These will be stacked right
on top of each other. Now my accent piece— the raw edges will go away from me, so
all the raw edges are together. Now this is the—one of the many cool
parts. Okay. With the main fabric I begin to roll it up—try not to disturb that
top row because we want everything to stay together—so I will roll it until
it’s about at my accent piece. I’m going to bring this whole thing a little
closer to me so I can see better. Now the cuff will come up and over and meet all
of the other raw edges, and we will begin to pin. And when you’re pinning you want
all three fabrics—all of those raw edges need to be together, so you want to take
your time on this. Don’t rush this, because if you have one of the fabrics
dip down below it won’t be caught in in this transition right here the way that
it needs to be. So don’t rush this step you have to check ‘Is everything lined up?’
and take your time. So I will continue pinning, and then when I have that all
pinned we’ll come back together and we’ll take that to the sewing machine, and
we’ll sew that seam all the way down the long side. Now that the three pieces are
pinned together, we’ll take that to the sewing machine and sew a quarter inch
seam allowance. I like to secure that edge really really
well because you will be pulling all the fabric out through this tube. So I do
like to secure the stitch at the very end on both sides of the tube. Sew all the way to the end and then
at the very end of this the magic will happen. I can’t wait to show
you. Now that the tube has been sewn, we’ll just clip and trim off those
threads. These scissors, by the way are one of our newest items, are called Snip
In Style. They are so cute, a little bling on the handle. And we’ve got pink and
purple—I think we’ve got aqua, blue, clear, and green. Beautiful, fun, they’re just
cute little scissors to snip threads like I just did. Certainly not for
cutting out, you know, fabric in any kind of quantity. It’s just for snipping
threads. But just fun. Fun to add to your sewing tools. Now this is where—this is
my favorite part. You literally reach inside it—either end,
you could go through either end—and you will begin to pull out the main body
of the pillow, and it will reveal itself here shortly. It’s like a surprise: it
reminds me of when I was a kid and I would fold up the paper and make
snowflakes, and you really didn’t know what you were going to get until you
unfolded it. This is kind of like that. Maybe a little less mysterious, but
nonetheless it’s exciting to see how this works and I’ll be honest with you
whoever came out with this is a genius. And so there is our pillow so far. And
let me show you the coolest part: there are no seams. It’s kind of like ‘look ma,
no hands!’ ‘look mom, no seams!’ I mean that’s the most amazing part is it’s all
encased inside. So we’ve got the main body, our accent, and then our cuff. So now
we’ll go over to the ironing board, and I just want to press everything out and
then we’ll go to the next step. Now that everything’s pressed, now we need to
enclose the pillow. You have two choices here. I prefer French seams because the
seams are hidden. Again, like this—where everything’s tucked inside. Let me
show you the quick method if you don’t want to do French seams or let’s say you
have a serger. If you have a serger, you might want to just bring right
sides together, like this, and you would simply sew around here, turn your pillow
right side out. I don’t have a serger and I don’t want those raw edges to fray,
because pillowcases get washed over and over again. So I will teach you today the
French seams. So in that case now we go wrong sides together, like this, and of
course it’s very important that these— the cuff and the trim meet exactly. So I
pin. I know some people don’t like pinning, but sometimes you should and
this is one of those times. Because you do want that intersection to come
together just as perfectly as you can. So I will pin all the way around my pillow—
and I’m sure you don’t need to watch me pin—I just come in like
you’re making a quilt, just the same way. So I’ll get this all pinned and
then we’ll come back and we’ll sew all the way around, and then I’ll show you
how to make the French seam after that. So now that my pillowcase has been
pinned, I will take this back to the sewing machine and, as we did before,
sew a quarter inch all the way around here and down this side. of course
there’s no reason to sew on this side because that’s the fold. So let’s go do
that now—and I always secure my stitches when I sew really
anything, but especially something like this that will again be turned right
side out and wrong side out and keep flipping it. So let me get started sewing
that. So once I get that sewn all the way around those two sides, we’ll come back
and we’ll go to the next step. Now that I’ve sewn around the two sides, I will
come back with my rotary cutter and my ruler and I want to trim the quarter
inch seam that I just sewed down to about an eighth of an inch. That will help make
the French seam actually possible which is coming up in the next
step. So you might be wondering, ‘Why didn’t you just have me sew an eighth of
an inch?’ It’s hard to sew an eighth of an inch. There is no mark on your machine,
and you’re used to sewing a quarter inch because you’re a quilter, probably, and
that’s a very standard measurement. So now we’ll go in and we’re going to trim—
that doesn’t have to be exact an eighth of an inch, just trim off some of that
bulk to make the French seam work. Another great recipient of a pillowcase
like this may be a shelter in your own community.
There may be a shelter for women and children, and you know when someone’s
hurting emotionally, just the slightest gesture can mean the difference between that person having another lousy day and
having hope that the future can be better. And so, please don’t ever underestimate the power of when you give a gift—something as simple as a pillowcase
can make a difference in someone’s life and so there are so many opportunities
to volunteer and to give that really do make a difference for people. So now that
we’ve trimmed down to our eighth of an inch, we will go back and turn our pillow
now wrong side out. French seams take just—this is the
extra step that a French seam is because now what we’ll do is actually go where we
just— there’s our seam. Can you see that right
there? That we will kind of—you have to kind of work your way out, and you have
to kind of work it out with your fingers, and then I pin again. I’m a pinner when
it comes to projects like this. I don’t pin as much in quilting,
especially when I’m just piecing, but when I need something to come together
just right: take the time to do the pinning. So we’ll work this out. Just when
we kinda—I kind of just roll it and then when I feel like I have that out, and I
can also go inside and kind of push it out with my fingers, I will pin it. So I
will do that all the way around again just the two sides where the seams are,
then we’ll come back. So a quarter inch again, along where our pin line is, turn
the pillow right-side out and we’ll be done. So I will be back with you
momentarily, and I’ll get everything pinned and we’ll take it to the sewing
machine one more time. Now that my pillowcase is pinned around the two
sides, we’ll come back to the sewing machine one last time and sew a quarter
inch seam allowance and then our pillow will be ready to be turned right side
out. So I’ll finish sewing around the two
sides and then I’ll be back to show you what the finished pillowcase looks like.
Now that I’ve sewn my last seam along the two sides, I get to turn the pillow
to the right side and see what we have. This is so exciting. And there it is—oh
my gosh so cute, so cute! Who doesn’t love gingerbread cookies and
oh, hot cocoa and all these cute little things that are on this fabric? There you
have it. And you can get in those little corners. Sometimes if I have a little
corner that’s resistant to come out I’ll just get a little pin and maybe pull it
out and there’s a lot of tools on the market that have little points, that you
can get in the corners and kind of poke those out. So there you have it! So simple
and didn’t take very much fabric at all, So just to recap: 27 inches for your main
fabric—that’s the body of your pillow. For your cuff you’ll be using a 9 inch
piece, and for your accent 3. Three times nine is twenty-seven. It’s very easy to remember. Now I know
that there’ll be many of ladies and gentlemen that might even want to make a
pillowcase for someone special, and so for that reason we’ll be putting
together some kits. And the kits will be constantly changing so that you have a
nice variety of kits to choose from on the website. Inside the kits there will
be no instructions. You will need to come and watch this video in order to be able
to assemble the fabrics that are in your kit. So I hope you enjoyed watching this
tutorial on making this amazing pillow that has all of the seams hidden,
and I hope that you’ll subscribe to our YouTube channel so you can enjoy more
free tutorials from Shabby Fabrics.

100 thoughts on “How to Make a Magic Pillowcase | with Jennifer Bosworth of Shabby Fabrics

  1. Love your Tutorial. Excellent. My question. What if the pattern was running the length and when your pillowcase is done, it doesn't show the pattern length wise as the pillow is laying on the bed, but is running the other way? Would you cut your pillowcase pieces out differently?

  2. Nice tutorial for the enclosed seam technique, but how do you fasten the pillowslip so that it doesn't fall off the pillow??

  3. Hi, you can look in the internet : one million pillowcases challenge. That is the place where I saw this technique πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘. You do a great tutorial.πŸ€—

  4. Hi. You can look in internet : one million pillowcases challenge. That is the place where I saw this technique. You do a great tutorial. Congratulations. πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘πŸ’–

  5. I like to make lots of these too, except I make the 'piping' piece about half that width & hold it in place with wash-away tape (& pin). I think it looks more store-bought since they are always super thin. It's just a little trickier to sew. πŸ™‚

  6. On the first cut when you're making the fabric the same lengths, you can fold the main fabric DOWN from the top so you have 4 layers and that will make it short enough that you don't have to move your ruler.

  7. Love ❀️ it. Got to try it. Do you have a tutorial on the big pin cushion as well? I love ❀️ that as well. TFS.

  8. When turning the fr the second stitching of the French seam, try finger pressing that 1st seam to one side first to help find that perfect turning.

  9. I just found you on you tube and loved it. My question is, I am in love with the fabric you used (gingerbread) on the pillow case. Will you be getting that fabric in again?

  10. I got the length measurements – 3, 9, 27 or 36, but what should the width be? I live in Mexico and fabric is another of the same only different items.

  11. Can I get that fabric from you?
    I really real want it, and if you have more of that line I so e of that too. My bed needs more pillow cases. Thanks 8/15/2019

  12. I have a question – actually an age old question… I am concerned about the cotton shrinking in the wash and not fitting the pillow as well afterwards. Would you recommend pre-washing the fabric? It would not be as easy to work with lining it up. Quilters conundrum…

  13. Just a very novice sewer here, but I don't get the 27" x width of the fabric? 27" x 45" means what? Excuse my dumb-bunny self.


  15. Thanks, Jennifer. I learned to make this pillowcase in my Home Economics class in the 8th grade. I’m 71 so you knows that’s over 50 years ago! That was my favorite class so I took it again in 9th grade at a different school. I owe a debt of gratitude to those teachers. Those wonderful days are gone. No more gender specific classes any longer.

  16. I so need this simple trick to make pillowcases. Oddly where we live, they just don't sell pillowcases separately. Thank you so much.

  17. just stumbled across your tutuorial and I do consider myself a gentlman lol, I can wait to make one of these for each of my grand children this year, they are just getting to the age where they are growing bored with the endless money cards, cash and game store cards. Something grampa made just for them, oh wow, and the bonus is my son and his wife are appreciative that this old guy has taken the time to create an hierloom form them, a bit of a suprise as I often feel like an after thought to them, not looking or pitty if you get what I mean, it's just the state of our society. So anything I can to do instil a sense of charity, love and kindness, I all on board. I also knit and crochet for the charity," " in Virginia and honestly, I found that charitable works has made my silver years a realy pleasure. Thanks for you help along the way.

  18. I just made the first of a pair to go with a pair of quilts for the guest room twin beds. Perfectly smooth and easy to follow. Snap! Next I’ll try a couple in flannel for hubby. Thank you so much.

  19. Love to make these. Been making them for 20 years. Do them for birthday's and holiday's and just for the fun of it. Thank's

  20. These Pillowcases just got me to subscribe to your channel! I also shared to my Facebook page! Thank you for sharing such a great project, and for saying how important it is to Pin, even when you feel you may not need too. Thank you also for not rushing through the video. I'm glad I found you and your channel. Linda

  21. Don't forget, a nice piece of sturdy lace as the accent piece, or along with it, for the grandma in your life. A little frill never hurts a ladies feelings I am going to find some fabric for each of my kids that will bring up a good memory from their past,you know music, hunting, ect. And then write a note about the memory. They already have everything they need, except a memory with a personal pillowcase thrown in.

  22. Thanks for your great Tutoria. I will try it and give you feedback.
    Kindly, state the measurement in writing:
    1. what is the full length and width of the main pillow body?
    2. what is the full length and width of the Calf piece?
    3. what is the full length and width of the Accent strip piece?

    For Example, Standard Pillow
    1. Pillow Body: Length is 27 inches, Width is
    = inches
    2. Accent strip piece: Length is = inches , Width is = ……. inches
    3. the Accent strip piece: Length is …….. inches, Width = ……. inches

    King size Pillow

    1. Pillow Body: Length is 36 inches, Width is …… inches

    2. Accent strip piece: Length is = inches , Width is = ……. inches

    3. the Accent strip piece: Length is …….. inches, Width = ……. inches

    Thank you.

  23. Thank you for this great tutorial and your calm, kind voice.
    The part where you spoke about women needing just a small spark of happiness meant so much to me.

  24. I especially like your idea of doing the French seams to finish. I have a serger but I think that the French seams are much more finished looking. Can’t wait to try this. Thank you so much🌸

  25. SASKIA I loved the tutorial on the pillowcase. But what I loved the most was THE LOOK ON YOUR FACE WHEN YOU CAME TO THE END. It was priceless. Thank you

  26. This is the best video by far on making this pillowcase I watched others that was confusing to me, but you made it so much easier putting all the pieces together thank you God bless you for your passion… and preciseness

  27. I love the way that you ensure that everything you make is so neatly finished with no raw edges showing. I also loved that you reminded people of shelters to take the pillow covers. Such a lovely idea …. AND the pillowslips could also be made in fabric for children …so that toys, PJ's, or even warm dressing gowns could be made for a Christmas gift … women, children & men. So many people living in refuges that something like this could be that one thing that could put a smile on their faces every time they go to bed. I love the traditional colours for boys & girls, but I recently bought a bright yellow floor mat for my bathroom … and every time I walk in & see it, I smile! It just gives me something to smile about … enough so that I bought a second one! Perhaps a little lite-weight plastic spray bottle with water, a few drops of alcohol to help the oil to mix up with the oil & water (I used Vodka because it was the cheapest clear alcohol & I don't drink it so it doesn't have to be a high quality) & a couple of drops of Essential Oil scent would be lovely to slip into the pillowslip … Perhaps an oil that matches in with the pillowslip …Rose, Lavender, Orange, Lemon, Cinnamon, Peppermint, or even Frankincense & Myrrh and oh so many more that one relates certain colours with certain flowers, herbs & spices. You could even add a small Christmas decoration, etc. an unbreakable bauble, tinsel, rosemary, etc. There are so many people out there doing it tough, especially those with children. .. and this happens in all countries. We think that it's only hard in third world countries, but in fact, it's happening every country and neighbourhood … All it would take to put a smile on the face of one child, or even adults who are living watching in their own homes where they are supposed to be cared for, or being abused.

  28. Will it magically shampoo and set my hair? Is so, I don't want it cause I'm a guy. I would hate to wake up with pin curls or finger waves.

  29. I have limited data where I live so rarely watch videos, but it's cold and I wantted to watch something inspirational….Thank you for the creative pillow case instructions AND for your sweet manner of explaining each step and about making a difference. You inspired me to be more generous and compassionate to people around me who may be hurting. Thank you~

  30. Thank you so much – I have a few people I was thinking of what to give – this is perfect, as who doesn'T use pillow cases? Clear and concise explanations – super!

  31. I just discovered your tutorial and I really love it! I have a question, though. What measurements would you need if you wanted to make a queen sized pillowcase? Thank you!

  32. Jennifer I have a question , if your fabric has cats or whatever, what do you do if they will be sideways if I go by the salvage edge method?

  33. WOW….I can't wait to make these..what would be the size of the material for a queen & king , I read somewhere in the comments that the accent piece & cuff measurements stay the same, but if you where to make different sizes??? even like for a small travel pillow….now that cuff & accent piece size would be different…

  34. So where is the flap which holds the pillow inside in place? Great idea, though we were taught this means in school in the 1970s, but it was shown as the way to make a decorative pillow sham used as a decoration when placed over the normal pillowcase.

  35. I love this idea! I want to make some for my grandsons, but their pillows are smaller and I will need to figure out what measurements I will need.

  36. You could also do a flat felled seam all done on the outside too if you wanted too for a nice, professional look. But the enclosed French seam works well too. And for this project, it makes total sense.

  37. couldn't you sew a scant and then sew your quarter at the end so you don't lose any fabric not that its that much to beginning?

  38. Neat project….but the 'seamstress' needs a barrette for her hair. js Always PRESS seams before turning….as in the french seam. Less 'finessing' needed. js

  39. Enjoyed your video so much. Your details in making the pillowcase was excellent and really appreciate your thoughts on caring for others.

  40. How could anyone rate this tutorial with a thumbs down? I have made many pillowcases using this tutorial and I LOVE it! Big thumbs UP! πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»

  41. Loved this tutorial! One suggestion though…I couldn't decide which piece I wanted for the cuff or accent so I purchased 9 inches of each. I'm so glad I did as the gentleman who cut it didn't cut very straight. I had enough extra to trim down to 3 inches and the other piece was ok. Turned out awesome! I'll never buy a pillowcase again! Thank you for the great tutorial.

  42. The Strip Stick can be used to press the seam before turning and the second step of the French seam would be a breeze.
    www, Available in 4 lengths.

  43. This is a fantastic way to sew a pillow case, but the only problem with it, is it doesn’t have a tuck!! I make my cases with a deep folded tuck so that the pillow inside doesn’t show or fall out.

  44. first thing I thought of was those cute little pillow slip dresses that women make for orphans abroad!!! this is GENIUS!!!! thanks!

  45. Jennifer, you are an outstanding teacher. Thank you for making and sharing these free tutorials. I made four pillowcases for my great grandchildren. You sure made me look good and I took all the credit!! Well, almost all. πŸ˜‚I finally did show them your video so they could see no matter how old we are, new skills can be a fun learning experience.
    I am so happy I found Shabby Fabrics. Just received my first order, table runner kit, today. Looking forward to continue learning from your talented and easy to follow tutorials.

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