Pillowcase with Piping – Tip for Beginners

I grew up with my mother sewing lots of home items for the whole family and pillowcase was one of those. Plus the fact that I had a hard time finding a nice pillowcase for Nana’s toddler pillow I think it would be a great idea making my own pillowcase as part of my #MakeforLittleOne projects!

Envelop pillowcase are super easy to make and adding piping will make the pillowcase thousand times more elegant. It definitely takes a bit more time (I did mine over a few days but I think it adds up to less than 2 hours) making one but it would definitely worth it!! 

I don’t want to pretend I am the first one ever making a pillowcase with piping, there are numerous blog posts about how to make a pillowcase with piping and the tutorials that I found them great in details.

  • Hey, There Home – If you don’t want to make your own piping and/or you want to pick a colour that contrasts your pillow fabric, you can follow Corey’s tutorial to make a piping using existing bias taping; 
  • The Seasoned Homemaker – If you want to make a matching colour piping just like what I did, Leslie’s post has all the detail steps on how to make your own bias tapes from scratch.

But if you’re the first time making a piping pillowcase (or even a pillowcase) here are some tips (aka my failure experience lol) of how to make it right the first time.

  1. Pick a non-stretchy fabric, unless you really want to challenge yourself. Stretchy fabrics are SUPER tricky to sew and you might not want to demotivate yourself especially this is your first time sewing lol.
  2. Always pre-wash your fabric and accessories. If you’re going to make the pillowcase with brand new cut fabric and ribbons, ALWAYS pre-wash them before you start the project as you don’t want to see the dye running off or your fabric shrink after washing to ruin all the effort you made!!

  3. Sew the piping on the front side first. If you look into all tutorials they always attach the piping on the front side but not the back and this is my guess of why – unless you are really skilful or there’ll be a fairly high chance your stitch lines will not perfectly overlap with each other and can be seen from the back of the pillow.
  4. Measure. Measure. Measure. Yes, every pillow is marked with size but some of them don’t account for the thickness of the pillow, Nana’s pillow also came with an additional replacement case which added some thickness to the pillow. An easy trick that I used to check the size of the pillowcase is to wrap the pillow with the fabric and pin where the edge of the pillowcase should be. 
  5. Try it on midway through the project, especially you chose to make the pillowcase fit snugly;
  6. Zipper foot for the sewing machine is a MUST have. Zipper foot allows the sew lines to stay close to the piping, many of the sewing machines would include zipper foot in the sewing kit, just refer to the user manual if you’re not sure which one is zipper foot;
  7. Invest in a Rotary Cutter and Quilt Ruler, it gonna make measuring and cutting a thousand times easier!! 
Sewing piping with my zipper foot

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