How much fabric for a pillowcase?
If you're planning on making some gorgeous new bedlinen and need some advice on how much fabric you need, you're in the right place! A new set of sheets, duvet cover and pillowcases can instantly lift a room, giving your decor a refreshing new feel.
It's the easiest way to revamp your bedroom without the hassle of redecorating.
Bedlinen is a great sewing project for the beginner crafter as it uses straightforward patterns. If you're more experienced with a sewing machine you can even use an existing pillowcase as a template and not use a pattern at all.
In this post we'll help you work out the measurements and calculate how much fabric you need to make pillowcases.
What kind of fabric to make a DIY pillowcase?
As huge fans of linen bedlinen we know how comfortable it is. We love how it keeps us cool in summer and warm in winter. And how kind it is to all the family's skin.
Another popular natural bedlinen material is cotton. This will also help regulate your body temperature but isn't as sustainable a material as linen.
Silk is a super luxurious fabric for bedding, adding a glamorous feel to your bedroom. It tends to be pretty expensive, however, so may not be for all budgets.
Synthetic fabrics are often less suited for bedlinen. They can feel sticky against the skin and cause overheating. So, if you're making your own pillowcases for your bed we strongly recommend using natural or natural-mix fabrics.
What size pillowcase are you making?
The amount of fabric needed to make a pillowcase depends on the size of your pillows. Pillowcases come in Standard, Queen, King and Body sizes.
A Standard size pillow measures 20 inches wide x 26 inches long.
A Queen size pillow measures 20 inches x 30 inches.
A King size pillow measures 20 x 36 inches.
And a Body size pillow is 20" x 54".
Before you start sewing a pillowcase you need to measure your pillow to get the correct dimensions.
How to measure how much fabric to make a pillowcase
Whichever fabric you choose, here's how to work out the amount of fabric to get when making pillowcases. On average 1 yard of fabric will make one Standard size pillowcase. If you're making two pillowcases go for 2 yards, and keep increasing by one yard if making more.
This will depend a bit on the width of the fabric. With a very wide piece of fabric you may be able to get away with fewer yards. One yard of 46" wide fabric (the most common width) is enough for one Standard size pillowcase.
If you're not sure whether you have a King size or Queen size pillow, lie it flat on the bed. Measure the width, from the top seam to the bottom. If there are no seams on your current pillowcase, take your measuring tape the whole way around the pillow to find the width, then divide this number by two.
It's crucial to include a seam allowance in your measurements, so make sure you've included that when buying your main fabric. Add 1/2" seam allowance for the width and 4-5" for the length depending on whether you're making an envelope pillowcase.
If your fabric isn't prewashed there's a chance it could shrink after you first wash it. To prevent this, wash your fabric before cutting to make sure you get enough.
Once you've got the right yardage, cut two rectangular pieces. One will be longer due to the envelope flap. Use these measurements:
Standard & Queen pillowcase
Front - 21 2/8" x 37 6/8"
Back - 21 2/8" x 31"
King size pillowcase
Front - 21 2/8" x 48"
Back - 21 2/8" x 41 2/8"
You can choose the same colour and pattern, or have contrasting front and back fabrics.
Then you're ready to get sewing!
Simple DIY pillowcase sewing tips
It only takes a few minutes to create a great-looking pillowcase - even if you're a beginner. Most pillowcases have envelope flaps, so we'll use this as our basis here. We'll also show you how to create French seams so there are no raw edges. For different style pillowcases you'll need to look for specialist instructions.
Here's what to do:
- Place your two pieces of fabric right sides facing. There will be one longer piece for the envelope flap.
- Fold over the short side hem (folding from the wrong side) of the longer piece by 2/8" and then again by 3/8".
- Iron and pin in place.
- Repeat for the short hem of the smaller piece.
- Sew the folded edges to create your seam.
- Put the two pieces on top of each other, right sides facing again.
- Fold in the overhanging envelope flap so it sits under the other piece of fabric.
- Pin around all three edges, leaving the flap side folded in.
- Sew these together, leaving a 2/8" seam allowance. DON'T sew up the flap side!
- Trim off the excess seam, leaving a 1/8" hem.
- Turn inside out.
- Unfold the flap to the other side.
- Iron and pin all three sides, leaving the flap side unsewn.
- Stitch with a 3/8" hem.
- Turn right side out.
- Voila! You're ready to insert your pillow!