A Tutorial–Travel Pillowcase

Just a few notes on making a Travel Pillow Pillowcase.  There are a lot of both written instructions and videos on the Internet that give the steps to making Pillowcases.  I do make them for family & friends and hospitals.  They whip up fairly quickly.

Here is a You-Tube Video.  I do mine a bit different, but it is a good Tutorial.

Easy Tube Pillow Case Tutorial

See All People Quilt’s 1-Million Pillowcase Challenge for lots of different variations of Pillowcases.

I sometimes make matching Pillowcases for the Quilts I make as something to put the quilt in to give it or to store it.  I will also make a case for a Travel-size Pillow – 12” x 16” – which is a nice size to have in the car when traveling.

So, here are my notes on making a Pillowcase for a smaller pillow.


1 piece of fabric for the Main Pillowcase Body – 15” x 25”*

1 piece of fabric for the Border – 8” x 25”*

Optional – 1 piece of contrasting fabric for the trim (between the Border and Main Body) – 2” x 25”*  I usually use a solid or tone-on-tone for this piece.

*25” makes a tight fitting Pillowcase when used with a new Pillow Form.  I like it tight especially since the pillow form, with use, becomes compressed.  If you want it a bit looser, add 1” to 2” to each piece, making them 26 to 27” long.


If using the Optional Trim fabric, iron wrong-sides together longwise.  You will now have a folded piece 1” x 25”

SmallPillowcase-Dallas1-LayerBorder-Body-TrimLayer your Fabric, aligning raw edges

1.  Border Fabric Right Side Up

2.  Body Fabric  Right Side Up

3.   Folded Trim Fabric (I usually add a few pins at this point to keep edges straight)SmallPillowcase-Dallas1-RollBody

4.  Roll the bottom edge of the Body Fabric almost up to the raw edges


5.  SmallPillowcase-Dallas1-FoldupBorderFold the Bottom edge of the Border Fabric up & over the rolled Body fabric, and align with the rest of the raw edges.  The wrong side of the Border Fabric will now be on top.

Pin the Raw Edges together.  You will have 5 layers of fabric (Border-Body-Folded Trim-Border).



Stitch a 1/4” Seam along the long Raw Edges.  If you have a Walking Foot/Even Feed Foot, it would be useful to sew this seam to prevent the fabric from shifting.


SmallPillowcase-Dallas1-TurnBorderNext, gently pull the rolled up Body Fabric out of the Tube, which will turn the Border right-side out.

Gently smooth out the Border Fabric and iron it flat on both the Right Side & Wrong Side of the Main Body Fabric, flattening the seam & creating a crease on the top edge.

SmallPillowcase-Dallas1-BorderSeamNOTE;  You will notice that there is not a raw-edge seam to ravel!

For the next step, I do a French Seam.  This will create the Pillowcase with no exposed/raw seams – a very nice finish!

Fold the Pillowcase with the Wrong-Sides together – the Right-Side will be on the outside.  SmallPillowcase-Dallas1-FrenchSeam-Pt1aAt this point I usually check to make sure all edges are straight & square, and trim if necessary.

I start at the top of the Border, and stitch less than 1/4” seam down the side and across the bottom. Carefully trim the corners for a sharper turn.

SmallPillowcase-Dallas1-FrenchSeam-Pt2Turn the Pillowcase inside-out, and carefully poke the corners out to a sharp point (I use a crochet hook or chop stick).  Some people will skip this next step, but being the “Recovering Perfectionist” that I am, I will iron the seam flat, making sure it lays straight and even.

For the last step, again starting at the Top of the Border, stitch more than 1/4” (but less than 1/2”) seam down the side and across the bottom, backstitching/locking your stitches at the beginning and end.  This will enclose the raw edge and you will have a beautiful finished seam!

Turn your Pillowcase Right-Side-Out.  I then give it a good sharp pressing. (If making for Charity, I recommend washing the pillowcase, iron it once it is dry and store in a plastic quart-size storage bag.)SmallPillowcase-Dallas1SmallPillowcase-Dallas2

Add a pillow form which you can purchase at Joann’s Fabrics. Hancock Fabrics, Wal-Mart, Target & other places.  I pick them up when on sale or if I have a coupon!


FYI – for making standard size pillowcases, follow the same steps, but use the following measurements –

  • Main Body Fabric – 27” x WOF (Width of Fabric)
  • Border Fabric – 10” x WOF
  • Optional Trim Fabric – 3” x WOF

It is not necessary to make adjustments for Directional Fabric UNLESS you want the pattern to be displayed vertical vs. horizontal.

Honestly it took way more time to take pictures and write this Blog Post than it did to make the two small Pillowcases.  You can support ConKerr Cancer Pillowcases by making a few & donating them.  See details at their website for information about their program & where you can donate in your local area!

About Quiltmouse

I am retired. I love to quilt. I make charity quilts as well as quilts for my friends & family.
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9 Responses to A Tutorial–Travel Pillowcase

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  7. Camelia Elliott says:


    You are so handy! You can read my comment on your blog.


    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for sharing this technique. I already have my fabric and heard about this easy method, but was not sure of the steps. Go Dallas Cowboys!


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