Housewife Pillow Cases

Image of a finished pillow casePlain pillow cases, known as housewife pillow cases, are very easy to make. They are cut in one piece from across the width of the fabric, although plain fabrics and those with nondescript patterns can be railroaded (turned through 90 degrees) if they are not wide enough.
The fabric is hemmed at each side, folded and stitched with an overlapping flap at the back to hold the pillow in place.

This simple style gives a crisp look on any bed.

Team it up with a Plain Duvet Cover to complete the bed set.

Colour code key for diagrams


  • Suitable fabric.
  • Matching thread.

Making a Housewife Pillow Case:

  • Cut one piece of fabric measuring 71" (180 cms) wide by 21" (53 cms) long.
  • Turn under a double 0.5" (12 mm) hem at one end of the fabric. Stitch and press.
  • At the opposite end turn under a double 2" (5 cms) hem. Stitch and press.
  • Image refers to steps 5 and 6 of making a pillow casePlace the fabric on a flat surface, right side up, and mark a line with pins 6" (15 cms) from the end with the small hem.
  • Fold the end with the large hem to this mark, and pin the side seams 0.5" (12 mm) in from the raw edge.
  • Fold the end with the small hem over the top at the line of pins.
  • Pin the side seams 0.5" (12 mm) in from the raw edges.
  • Stitch both side seams through all thicknesses.
  • Turn right side out and press.
  • Place the pillow inside the pillow case and tuck it under the flap to secure.

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