How to Make a Pillowcase – Sewing with Kids – featuring the Future Quilter and Ponies

I am constantly making things with my daughter. It is a combination of her seeing me constantly being creative and wanting to be like mom, and my belief that creativity helps kids thrive by teaching them new ways to think and solve problems.

So we are going to be doing a new occasional series at Quilt Addicts Anonymous about sewing and crafting with kids. My daughter just turned four, so we are going to be doing age-appropriate crafts and I’ll talk about how you can adapt them for different aged kids, either giving them more or less responsibility depending on their age.

Use them to inspire you and your kids or grandkids to make something fabulous that they can use and constantly remind them that they are capable of doing fabulous things.

Today’s video was inspired by fabric. I always bring my daughter a present when I have to travel for work. And at the beginning of this month I was at a quilt show and the booth next to me had this fabulous unicorn print and coordinates that I knew my daughter would love. So I picked up enough for a pair of pillowcases and we made them when I got home.

Here’s what you need for a pair of pillowcases:

  • 1 1/2 yards focus fabric for the pillow body
  • 1/2 yard fabric for the sleeve
  • 1/4 yard fabric for the flange
  • Cutting mat
  • 6×24-inch ruler
  • Rotary Cutter
  • Thread
  • Pins
  • Iron
  • Pressing surface/ironing board

You can get everything you need for this project at

Watch the video above for step by step instructions on how to line your fabric up so everything is facing the right direction, all your seams are enclosed in a French seam (which sounds way fancier than it actually is) and create a fabulous pair of pillowcases on your home sewing machine.

I pre-cut everything before I started to minimize the number of times I would need to use a sharp object around a 4-year-old and because her attention span is limited. I also pressed my flange in half, again to minimize the number of times I had to use a potentially dangerous object around a toddler and to make everything go faster.

I also took one extra step in this tutorial than when I normally make pillows. When you get to the part where you make the fabric hot dog tube, I sewed a basting stitch to secure the body of the pillow, flange and sleeve together before rolling it all up and pinning to create the enclosed seam.

I did that extra step for two reasons. First, you can make sure all the directional fabrics are facing the right way, and second, that is a lot of edges to keep straight when you pin and sew. If you are working with an older child who can do more of the sewing and pinning themselves, it may be difficult to catch all the seams, and that would mean the pillowcase would fray with use and washing.

This project is a bit challenging for a four-year-old. I did most of the sewing with my daughter “helping.” But she still felt accomplished at the end and has slept with these pillowcases every night since making them. So I know she enjoyed the experience.

If you make pillowcases for you, or with your kids or grandkids, please share it on Instagram with the hashtag #quiltaddictsanonymous. I would love to see what you make!

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