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How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial

This free pillowcase pattern features a super cute little pocket for tucking in nighttime treasures. Kids can use the pillowcase pocket to store flashlights and bedtime friends. Adults can tuck in tissues, earplugs, or a mobile phone alarm clock (although I recommend putting your phone on airplane mode and turning off the wireless first).

How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial

I showed the finished pillowcase to Elise in the morning when she woke up and she immediately started to stash her Toy Story friends and flashlight in the pillowcase pocket. Yay!

How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial

Elise graduated to a Big Girl Pillow so I have been wanting to make her a cute pillowcase pattern to coordinate with her room. Luckily I found some leftover fabric from her floral drapes and pink gathered bed skirt.

How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial

I started with the basic “burrito” pillowcase pattern method that’s pretty much everywhere (including the ConKerr Cancer Society and the Million Pillowcase Challenge). I found this video to be particularly helpful. Then fiddled around and figured out how to add a cute little inset pocket hidden inside the pillowcase hem itself with a semi-circle pocket opening.

How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial

This pillowcase pattern is super easy to make and I love how the pocket is inside the pillowcase hem. And French seams means no fraying in the washing machine. That’s sweet dreams for us both!

How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial

WANNA MAKE IT? Free pillowcase sewing pattern, step-by-step tutorial and supply list for making a pocket pillowcase with French seams –>

How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial
How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial


Supplies for making a pillowcase with pocket and French seams (this pattern makes a standard-sized pillowcase):

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:: How to make a pillowcase with pocket and French seams ::

Cut your pillowcase pattern pieces – this pattern makes a standard sized pillowcase but you can increase the sizes as needed for a king sized pillowcase

Pillowcase body: one piece 27″ x 42″ (3/4 yard)
Pillowcase hem: one piece 10″ x 42″″
Pillowcase accent piece: one piece 1-1/2″ x 42″
Pocket facing: one 9″ x 5″ rectangle
Pocket lining: one 9″ x 5″ piece with semicircle (see Kathy’s free pocket pattern for the semicircle opening)

How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial

Print my free printable pocket lining template. Now align it on the bottom left side of the hem (with the right side up) and trace the pocket’s semi-circle opening onto the right side of the hem.

How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial

Cut out the semi-circle from the left bottom side of the hem.

How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial

Make the pillowcase pocket
You now have three pieces: the hem with cut semi-circle, the pocket lining with cut semi-circle, and the rectangle pocket facing.

How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial

With right sides together, place the pocket lining with the semi-circle onto the hem, lining up semi-circles.

How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial

Pin and sew a 1/4″ seam.

How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial

Flip the pocket lining to the wrong side of the pillowcase hem.

How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial

Iron it down. I didn’t have to clip my curve but if you want to clip it to make it lay more flat go for it.

How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial

Edgestitch the opening from the right side of the pillowcase pocket if you want to. I like how it looks stitched so I did it.

How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial

Next sew the pocket facing to the lining. With right sides together, pin the facing to the lining along the outer edge.

How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial

Notice that you’re not pinning or stitching onto the pillowcase hem at all – you’re just making a pocket so be sure to just pin the pocket, not the pillowcase hem.

How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial

Sew along the outer edge of the pillowcase pocket too using a straight stitch first.

How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial

Then zigzag over the long edge to finish the raw edges together as well as to reinforce the pocket – no need to sew the other pocket sides because they’ll be inside seams anyway.

How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial

And there’s your pocket! Well almost. Let’s keep sewing…

How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial

Attach hem and accent piece
Take accent piece, fold wrong sides together and press.

How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial

You’re going to need a wide table or floorspace for this step. Place pillowcase hem right side up on your table with the pocket on in the lower right – my photo below only shows the right side of the hem.

How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial

Layer the pillowcase accent piece next matching up raw edges on the bottom of the hem.

How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial

Layer the body of the case on next wrong side up (right sides of hem and case will be together), matching up raw edges on the bottom. Fan fold or bunch the body of the case so it’s in the middle of the hem like so.

How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial

Make a burrito by pinning the hem around the body, making sure to catch all your pieces — the pocket, the accent piece, the hem and one side of the body. Make sure the fan fold of the body isn’t caught with the seam.

How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial

Sew 1/4″ seam.

How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial

Turn the burrito all right side out. You should now have a folded hem with a nice accent piece and your pocket should be fully functional, ha.

How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial

Iron the pillowcase all nice and crlsp.

How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial

You can optionally add a decorative topstitch to the pillowcase hem like I did.

How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial

Square it all off by lining things up and making sure that you have a nice square from your hem all the way down your body.

How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial

Sew it all together using French seams:
French seams give your sewing projects a professional finish that tucks away all fraying raw seam edges without needing a serger. So they’re perfect for this pillowcase pattern because it will hold up a lot better in the washing machine. See my post about how to sew French seams for a whole lot more.

Put wrong sides together – that means your pocket will be on top facing you. Pin.

How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial

Sew it straight down 1/4″ all around the edge.

How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial

Now there’s going to be a little bit of bulk in the seam where the pocket meets the pillowcase hem. Trim out a little of the bulk in the seam using embroidery scissors.

How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial

Turn the pillowcase inside out and iron.

How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial

Then stitch 3/8″ down the pillowcase bottom and side around again. You’ve now made a French seam by enclosing the raw edges inside the seam. Neat trick, yes? No fraying in the washing machine.

How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial

Turn the pillowcase right side out and stuff.

How to make a pillowcase free pattern and tutorial

Did you make it? Please post a comment and let me know how this craft idea works for you. And share your own photos at the MerrimentDesign.com Facebook page, “I made it!” flickr photo gallery or tweet a picture to @merrimentdesign. Craft and pass it on!

COPYRIGHT NOTE: You’re more than welcome to use free pattern and how to step-by-step tutorial for your own personal use. Contact me for any commercial use – this includes etsy sellers.

 
 




15 Responses to “Free pillowcase pattern with pocket and French seams”


  1. Rodrick Says:

    Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely believe that this site needs a great deal more attention. I’ll probably be returning to
    read through more, thanks for the information!

  2. Kathy Beymer Says:

    Hey Liz, I’m so happy that it worked out! I like the color combo you picked. Am a sucker for pink so I bet it looks awesome :D

  3. Liz Says:

    All done! Beautiful, thanks again for the tutorial & for your help. I used white/pink polka dots on white/white polka dots on pink. Made 2 of them with different combos of those fabrics, for 56cm x 56cm French pillows. And I left out the pocket part, even though it’s an amazing idea, I wanted something more simple. I don’t have any tweeter/fb/flickr account though, lol.

  4. Kathy Beymer Says:

    I’m so glad! Can’t wait to see it.

  5. Liz Says:

    Thanks so much Kathy, it totally makes sense now. I will keep you posted!

  6. Kathy Beymer Says:

    Hi Liz, I made it for a 20×26″ standard US pillow size. Does that help? Yes, you end up folding it in half. I have a links in the post to a video of the burrito method. Watching it really helped me understand the folding and such for a basic pillowcase, then I added the inset pocket feature. Please keep me posted on how your European-sized pillows turn out!

  7. Liz Says:

    Really nice! I’m trying to adapt for my European-sized pillows. Could you give me the final dimensions so I can calculate the ratio?
    (in particular, I don’t understand how your fabric pieces start off at 42″: this ends up being folded, right? So 21″. And when I look up the “standard US pillow case size”, I get 21″ x 32″. The 21″ bother me, as it doesn’t take into account the seams/trimming.)
    THANKS!

  8. Kathy Beymer Says:

    Hi Fatima, the fabric is by Anna Maria Horner and is called Good Folks – Small Gathering in Azalea, and it comes in other colors too. It was from three years ago so I’d recommend trying etsy or ebay to get it. Thanks for taking a look at my pillowcase project!

  9. Kathy Beymer Says:

    Hi quillow, have you printed the page using your browser’s print? Sorry if that’s basic but that usually works for me. If not, send me your email address and I will email it to you. Can’t wait to see your pillowcase!

  10. quillow Says:

    I could not find where to download inst. to print to take to my sewing room. I don’t have a pers.comp. in my sewing room and need directions to look at to make as I go.

  11. Fatima Says:

    Very nice project, I love the fabric, they look beautiful in your drapery.
    What is it?
    Thanks

  12. Kathy Beymer Says:

    Thanks, Fiona! I’d really like to hear how the instructions work for you. Let me know if anything needs to be more clear. And I’d love to pass along any pics to my followers if you’d like to share your creation. Have fun!

  13. Fiona Says:

    Great idea. We have a preschool grandson coming to live with us- his bed is always covered with his toys and books but somehow he still manages to lose his torch. This will be a great pillowcase for him. Really looking forward to making this up – your instructions are so helpful for a newbie seamstress!

  14. Martha Says:

    Love the floral fabric! What is it?

  15. Lynnee Says:

    Love this!…especially with the treasure pocket. I just “pinned” it. Lynnee


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