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).
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!
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.
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.
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!
Supplies for making a pillowcase with pocket and French seams (this pattern makes a standard-sized pillowcase):
- Kathy’s free pillowcase pocket pattern (PDF)
- 3/4 yards of fabric for pillowcase body
- 10″ x 42″ (just over 1/4 yard) of fabric for pillowcase hem
- 1/4 yards of fabric for pillowcase accent, pocket lining and facing
- Disappearing fabric ink pen
- Rotary fabric cutter, clear ruler and self-healing mat
- Good fabric scissors
- Good iron and ironing board
- Sewing machine
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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)
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.
Cut out the semi-circle from the left bottom side of the hem.
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.
With right sides together, place the pocket lining with the semi-circle onto the hem, lining up semi-circles.
Pin and sew a 1/4″ seam.
Flip the pocket lining to the wrong side of the pillowcase hem.
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.
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.
Next sew the pocket facing to the lining. With right sides together, pin the facing to the lining along the outer edge.
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.
Sew along the outer edge of the pillowcase pocket too using a straight stitch first.
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.
And there’s your pocket! Well almost. Let’s keep sewing…
Attach hem and accent piece
Take accent piece, fold wrong sides together and press.
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.
Layer the pillowcase accent piece next matching up raw edges on the bottom of the hem.
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.
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.
Sew 1/4″ seam.
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.
Iron the pillowcase all nice and crlsp.
You can optionally add a decorative topstitch to the pillowcase hem like I did.
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.
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.
Sew it straight down 1/4″ all around the edge.
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.
Turn the pillowcase inside out and iron.
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.
Turn the pillowcase right side out and stuff.
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.