Fabric and Supplies
Purchase fabric and supplies. For a standard-size pillow, buy 1 yard of cotton fabric. Buy 2 yards for a pair of pillowcases. Choose a plain color, even white, for pillowcases that will have embroidery on them or trims and lace. If it is a gift, consider the person. Perhaps a wild geometric or floral print is in order. Make sure the fabric is soft to the touch, such as a cotton or cotton blend. Purchase matching thread.
Wash and dry the fabric in a medium heat to allow for shrinkage, before you begin your project.
Cut the fabric. Standard pillowcases measure 20 inches wide and 26 inches long. With the fabric folded in half, measure 21 inches wide and 30¼ inches long. This will allow for seam allowance and hemming. Mark the fabric with a ruler and cut. This will yield two rectangles.
Turn the fabric so the right sides are facing. Pin both sides and the bottom of the pillowcase with straight pins. Sew over the pins, backstitching at the top of both side seams.
Fold under ¼ inch at the top of the pillowcase and press with an iron. Fold under another 4 inches and press. Pin the hem in place with straight pins. Sew a straight stitch, slightly wider than normal, over the pins at the inside edge. Turn the pillowcase right-side out.
Adorn your pillowcase with trim, lace or embroidery, as desired. Embroidering initials onto pillowcases make a nice gift.