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.

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!

how to sew a pillowcase by Tara Reed

Pillowcases are also a great project if you are teaching kids to sew.

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!

How to make a Pillowcase - Quick & Easy Burrito Method

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

MATERIALS NEEDED:

  • 3/4 yard main fabric
  • 1/4 yard cuff fabric
  • OPTIONAL: 2″ strip WOF accent fabric OR 44″ piping

CUT:

  • Main Fabric – 27″ x WOF
  • Cuff Fabric – 9″ x WOF
  • OPTIONAL: 2″ strip WOF accent fabric OR 44″ piping

Remove selvedges and make sure all pieces are the same width. (You can adjust after sewing the cuff and optional accent strip to the main fabric if it isn't perfect.)

Sewing the Pillowcase

(If you like video tutorials there is one at the end of the post and on my YouTube channel – are you a subscriber yet?)

How to make a Pillowcase - Quick & Easy Burrito Method

PRESS Cuff fabric in half, wrong sides together, lengthwise.

How to make a Pillowcase - Quick & Easy Burrito Method
How to make a Pillowcase - Quick & Easy Burrito Method

If you are adding an accent fabric, PRESS in half, wrong sides together, lengthwise.

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.

PIN or CLIP layers in place.

How to make a Pillowcase - Quick & Easy Burrito Method

ROLL the main fabric like a burrito until it is in the middle of the open cuff fabric.

How to make a Pillowcase - Quick & Easy Burrito Method

SEW with 1/4″ seam allowance.

How to make a Pillowcase - Quick & Easy Burrito Method

You will see that all of the raw edges are now encased in the pillowcase cuff.

PRESS the cuff and optional accent fabric flat.

SQUARE sides if they aren't even from your initial fabric cuts.

How to make a Pillowcase - Quick & Easy Burrito Method

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.

How to make a Pillowcase - Quick & Easy Burrito Method

TURN right side out.

How to make a Pillowcase - Quick & Easy Burrito Method

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.

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!)

Finish with French Seams

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.

How to make a Pillowcase - Quick & Easy Burrito Method

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 SEW with an 1/8″ seam.

How to make a Pillowcase - Quick & Easy Burrito Method

SEW along the side and bottom again, this time using a 1/4 – 3/8″ seam, making sure you sew beyond the first 1/8″ seam so your raw edges are enclosed in the second stitching or french seam.

TURN right side out, push out corners and press.

How to make a Pillowcase - Quick & Easy Burrito Method

SEW with an 1/8″ seam.

TURN right side out and push out corners.
PRESS seam – pulling seam out tightly.

How to make a Pillowcase - Quick & Easy Burrito Method

As the French would say… VOILA! FINI! (you are done!)

If you make any, I'd love to see!

– Tara Reed

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P.S. Want to see more free projects using my  Send Me to the Woods Fabric? CLICK HERE >