Nancy Zieman Sew an Easy PillowcaseIf you’ve been thinking about teaching one of your favorite kids to sew, this pillowcase sewing project is truly for beginners—ideal for a summer sewing project. Working in tandem, it’s a project that can be finished in an afternoon or evening.

Fabric—make it fun!

Novelty fabric prints are ideal for pillowcases. Have your young sewing buddy choose his or her fabric.

Buy and cut the fabric:

Listed below are the three fabric pieces and sizes you’ll need to make one pillowcase. This cutting step is the big person’s job!

  • 3/4 yd. main fabric—Cut main fabric into a 27″ x 41″ rectangle.
  • 1/4 yd. cuff fabric—Cut the cuff fabric into a 9″ x 41″ rectangle.
  • 2″ x 41″ crosswise strip of trim fabric

Sewing with Kids, Sew an easy pillowcase

Kid Friendly Sewing Instructions:

  • Fold the 2″ strip of trim fabric in half, wrong sides together, aligning lengthwise edges; press. Again, you might consider prepressing the strip. Little fingers and big irons don’t always mesh!

Sewing with Kids, Sew an easy pillowcase

  • Pin trim to right side of cuff fabric rectangle, aligning raw edges with one long edge. Machine baste in place. Kids like to pin; they can begin the sewing process with this step.

Sewing with Kids, Sew an easy pillowcase

  • Fold the cuff in half, meeting short edges and right sides. Stitch a 1/2″ seam.

Note from Nancy: I suggest using a 1/2″ seam allowance. But, it really doesn’t matter as long as you’re consistent and use the same seam allowances throughout the projectFor a first sewing project, use the edge of the presser foot as a guide or consider adding a seam guide to your machine. 

Sewing with Kids, Sew an easy pillowcase
  • Turn the cuff right side out; press the seam.

Sewing with Kids, Sew an easy pillowcase

  • Align the long edges of the cuff, wrongs sides together. Baste the edges.

Sewing with Kids, Sew an easy pillowcase

  • Fold main fabric rectangle in half, right sides together, aligning the 27″ edges. Stitch or serge across the 20-1/2″ end, using a 1/2″ seam.

Sewing With Kids, Sew A Pillowcase

  • Wrap the corner by folding the seam toward the pillowcase along the stitching line and stitch or serge the side seam.

Sewing With Kids, Sew A Pillowcase


Note from Nancy: You’ll have perfect corners when following my three-step corner process:
  1. Stitch along the horizontal seam.
  2. Fold along the seamline.
  3. Stitch the vertical seam.
  • Turn the main portion of the pillowcase right side out; press.
  • Pin cuff fabric over the main pillowcase, meeting cut edges and right sides. Stitch or serge layers together. Zigzag or serge the edges. Turn the pillowcase right side out.

Sewing with Kids, Sew an easy pillowcase


  • Topstitch trim to the main pillowcase if desired. (That might be a big person’s job!)

Sewing with Kids, Sew an easy pillowcase

  •  Ta-dah!

For more sewing basics, look for my book, The Absolute Easiest Way to Sew.


Watch the 3-part series of The Absolute Easiest Way to Sew on Sewing With Nancy online.

To watch Sewing With Nancy on your iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone, download the app.


What are your favorite projects to sew with kids?

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Bye for now,

Nancy Zieman The Blog

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