TUTORIAL: How to make a Pillowcase – Quick & Easy Burrito Method

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TUTORIAL: How to make a Pillowcase Using the Quick & Easy Burrito Method & French Seams (no serger required!)

Pillowcases are fun to make to customize your home decor, for kids and they are a great gift idea too.

When my son was little, not only did he love themed sheets based on his interests of the year but he also loved to chose fabric for unique pillowcases. We also made holiday pillowcases for Christmas, Halloween and more.

how to sew a pillowcase by Tara Reed

If you have a lot of kids to give gifts to for the holidays this is a project that moves quickly when you get into the groove. Choose fabrics based on each person’s interests and taste and you will be appreciated for your effort and thoughtfulness!

I spent two days with my 11 year old niece teaching her the basics – this was one of her favorite projects. With only straight cuts and straight seams it was perfect for practicing and building her confidence.

We talked about being safe around the iron, using a rotary cutter and she even mastered French Seams. She gives it two thumbs up!

We kept her pillowcase simple and just use two fabrics – the pinecone main print and a solid cuff – choosing not to add an accent piece. Since she was just learning we decided the fewer pieces that needed to be lined up the better our chances of success!

teaching kids to sew

How to make a Pillowcase - Quick & Easy Burrito Method

I used fabrics from my Send Me to the Woods collection for this tutorial.

  • ¾ yard main fabric
  • ¼ yard cuff fabric
  • OPTIONAL: 2″ strip WOF accent fabric OR 44″ piping

  • PRESS Cuff fabric in half, wrong sides together, lengthwise. (figure 1)
  • If you are adding an accent fabric, PRESS in half, wrong sides together, lengthwise. (figure 2)
  • OPEN Cuff fabric and place RIGHT SIDE UP on your table.
  • If using an accent fabric or piping, place on top of the cuff fabric, lining up raw edges.
  • PLACE main fabric, RIGHT SIDE DOWN, on top of the cuff and optional accent. (figure 3)
  • PIN or CLIP layers in place.
How to make a Pillowcase - Quick & Easy Burrito Method
figure 1
How to make a Pillowcase - Quick & Easy Burrito Method
figure 2
How to make a Pillowcase - Quick & Easy Burrito Method
figure 3
  • ROLL the main fabric like a burrito until it is in the middle of the open cuff fabric. (figure 4)
  • FOLD cuff fabric over the rolled main fabric and line the raw edge with the previously pinned or clipped layers of fabric / raw edges.
  • ADD the second side of the cuff to the rest, pinning all raw edges together. (figure 5)
  • SEW with ¼″ seam allowance. (figure 6)
How to make a Pillowcase - Quick & Easy Burrito Method
figure 4
How to make a Pillowcase - Quick & Easy Burrito Method
figure 5
How to make a Pillowcase - Quick & Easy Burrito Method
figure 6
  • TURN right side out. (figure 7)
  • You will see that all of the raw edges are now encased in the pillowcase cuff.
  • PRESS the cuff and optional accent fabric flat. (figure 8)
  • SQUARE sides if they aren’t even from your initial fabric cuts.
  • OPTIONAL: Topstitch on the edge of the cuff near the main fabric or accent fabric and/or topstitch the loose end of the accent fabric if desired. (figure 9)
  • I like to topstitch so the accent fabric doesn’t get wrinkled when the pillowcase is washed. (While I don’t mind ironing when sewing, I’m not a fan of ironing pillowcases on a regular basis!)
How to make a Pillowcase - Quick & Easy Burrito Method
figure 7
How to make a Pillowcase - Quick & Easy Burrito Method
figure 8
How to make a Pillowcase - Quick & Easy Burrito Method
figure 9

French seams aren’t as hard as many imagine and they are a great way to enclose raw edges and prevent fraying. If you have a serger you can simply serge the side and bottom and you will be done. If not, follow these simple steps.

  • FOLD fabric in half, wrong sides together.
    • If there are threads fraying from the raw edges, trim them now so they don’t show outside of your finished seams and need to be cut later.
  • PIN or CLIP the bottom and sides together then  (figure 10) SEW with an ⅛″ seam. (figure 11)
  • TURN right side out and push out corners.
    PRESS seam – pulling seam out tightly.
How to make a Pillowcase - Quick & Easy Burrito Method
figure 10
How to make a Pillowcase - Quick & Easy Burrito Method
figure 11
  • SEW along the side and bottom again, this time using a ¼ – ⅜″ seam, making sure you sew beyond the first ⅛″ seam so your raw edges are enclosed in the second stitching or french seam. (figure 12)
  • TURN right side out, push out corners and press.
  • As the French would say… VOILA! FINI! (you are done!) (figure 13)
How to make a Pillowcase - Quick & Easy Burrito Method
figure 12
How to make a Pillowcase - Quick & Easy Burrito Method
figure 13

— LOVE THIS IDEA? —

Be sure to save it to Pinterest and follow me for more ideas and resources for sewing, crafting and creative living.

If you make this or other projects and post on Instagram, be sure to tag me (@artisttarareed). Follow my YouTube channel for new sewing projects and tips every week.

🛌 Tara Reed

P.S. Is there a sewing tutorial you’d love to see? Leave me a comment and I’ll add it to my idea list!

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