Flanges are decorative borders that surround the edges of a pillow. Flange pillows can be small or large, square or rectangular, or even round. You can find pillow forms in a variety of shapes and sizes at many fabric stores or buy inexpensive pillows at discount stores or clearance sales. You can cover the pillow with home decor fabric, plain cotton or a whimsical print.
Make a Flange Pillow
Cut one piece of fabric for the front of the pillow cover that is 7 inches larger than the height and width of the pillow. For example, if you have a 12-inch square pillow, cut a 19-inch square piece of fabric.
Cut a second piece of fabric 2 inches taller than the first (for example, 19 inches wide by 21 inches tall). Cut this piece of fabric in half across the width (in this example, the two pieces would be 19 inches by 10 1/2 inches). These pieces will cover the back of the pillow.
Fold one long edge of each piece of back fabric over 1/4 inch toward the wrong side of the fabric and press the fold flat. Fold over the edge again 1/4 inch and press it flat. Stitch along each fold with matching thread.
Place the two back pieces and the front piece right sides together and line up along the edges. The hemmed edges of the back pieces should overlap.
Pin the pieces of fabric together, then stitch together along all four sides using 1/4-inch seam allowance. Turn the pillowcase right side out.
Insert a row of pins 3 inches from the edge of each side of the pillowcase, forming a border, to make the flanges.
Stitch along each line of pins, removing the pins as you sew. If you wish, you can sew a piece of ribbon or trim on top of the stitching for an extra decorative touch. Make sure to use thread that matches the ribbon or trim.
Insert the pillow or pillow form through the opening in the back of the pillowcase.
If you want to make the flanges of the pillow from contrasting fabric, cut the main pillow fabric just 1 inch larger than the height and width of the pillow and sew strips of contrasting fabric, each about 3 inches wide, to each outer edge of each piece of pillow fabric. Sew the pillow together following the directions above.
Use caution when working with scissors, pins, irons and sewing machines.