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Pillow Case Tutorial with French Seams

Posted on: February 28th, 2014 by Lorna McMahon

I have been having sew much fun!
Playing with scraps, my Aunt Elna and I have been sewing up doll quilts and matching pillows.


It has been a really long winter…. Again.
Don’t these bright, happy colours remind you of spring?
Scrappy Medallion doll quilt and matching Pillow Case
This is actually the first Medallion quilt I ever made!


Don’t you love the texture created by this fun zig zag quilting?
I was inspired by this tutorial by Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts.
She calls it Honeycomb quilting!


On Wednesday, I shared twin quilts made from my Kate Spain Sunnyside scraps.
There were a few of you who expressed an interest in a tutorial for the little pillows.
So I made one more quilt and matching pillow.
This pillow case was made a little bigger and fits nicer.
The quilts are all 18″ wide by 20″ long and will fit any 18″ doll,
such as American Girl or her Canadian counterpart, Maplelea Girl.
The pillows are approximately 9″ long and 4″ wide.

For the pillow, you will need one piece of fabric 8.5″ x 8.5″

Fold this in half with right sides together.
Using a 1/4″ seam, stitch around the raw edges, leaving an opening for stuffing.

Trim the corners to reduce bulk.
Turn right side out, through the opening.
Use a blunt ended instrument to carefully poke the corners into nice sharp points.
Stuff the pillow with polyester batting.

Fold in the raw edges of the opening.
Pin the seam closed.

Top stitch the opening closed and backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam.

For the pillow case, you will need a 10.5″ x 7″ piece for the main portion of the case, a 10.5″ x 6″ piece for the cuff, and a 10.5″ x 1.5″ piece for the trim.

Press the trim fabric in half lengthwise, with wrong sides together, as you would for making binding.
Lay the cuff fabric, face up.
Then place the main fabric face up.
Place the trim fabric on top, with all the raw edges alined at the top.
Sew a scant 1/4″ seam.

Trim the side edges even.

Roll up the main fabric, as shown.

Fold up the edge of the cuff fabric and line up the raw edge with the edge you just sewed.
Pin in place.
Sew a 1/4″ seam.

Carefully pull the rolled up main fabric out of the tube and turn the whole thing with right sides out.

Press the cuff flat.

Fold with wrong sides together.
Carefully line up the top of the cuff and the trim to match.
Pin in place.

Sew a scant 1/4″ seam along the raw edges, backstitching at each end.
Trim the raw edges to 1/8″ and trim the corners to reduce bulk.

Turn the pillowcase inside out.
Press the seamed sides.
Sew a 1/4″ seam backstitching at both ends.

Turn the pillow case back right side out.
Press the seams.

Place the pillow into the case.
This photo shows the seam, made using this french seam method, and all raw edges are enclosed.
No stray threads!

Hope you enjoy playing with some scraps and make some cute little pillows, too!


All of these little quilts and pillows are now for sale in my Etsy shop.
If you have an Etsy shop, leave me a link in the comments.
I would love to come browse around!


Keep On Quilting On!


37 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi! These are so cute and 'springish'! I love the colours and the quilting is Super! Thanks for the tutorial for the french seam! I have 2 etsy Shops: and Welcome! x Teje

  2. Mokki says:

    Your pillow cases and quilts are just the sweetest little things! A little girl would love them! Thanks for the tutorial.

  3. Kelly Vetch says:

    Very, very cute. If only I didn't keep producing BOYS! UGH. lol

  4. Paula says:

    Super cute. I really love the effect that zig zag quilting gives.

  5. RobotMomSews says:

    Super cute! I love the quilting on that doll quilt. And I had no idea how to make these pillow cases! Thanks for the tutorial!

  6. Beautiful work Lorna! Love the doll accessories and the honeycomb tutorial is fantastic – so pretty.

  7. That is a really good explanation of how to do it. I too have looked at crazy mum quilts, zig zag quilting. It looks amazing on this. She uses it on big quilts but it is so intensely stitched I think I would run out of steam half way through. I should try it on a cushion cover maybe

  8. Great tutorial on the hot dog style pillow case. You getting fancy schmancy with the french seams. Used to to that with seams when making clothes. The doll quilt is so cute too. Do you quilt using a decorative stitch. Love it!

  9. Anonymous says:

    I love the idea of having a pillowcase to go with a doll quilt – thank you for the great tutorial! I do love the zig-zag quilting. Looks fantastic!

  10. I adore your zigzag…..great idea. And the pillowcase as well.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Fabulous job Lorna! I love the quilting it is fabulous!!! Thank you for the inspiration. Have a great weekend. Marie xxx (

  12. I use french seams on all the tote bags in my Etsy shop, too. Love them to death! A finished seam just makes me smile. 🙂 I'd love to have you visit my little shop! Keep up the great work blogging. I really enjoy all your posts!

  13. Thank you for the tutorial, I didn't have a clue how to do this. I will be making some. The matching quilt is a must.

  14. Cindy says:

    Thank you for the tutorial. This is going to make the perfect weekend project for my daughter. Your mini quilt turned out wonderful. I need to try a zigzag on my next quilt. I love the colors in it and it reminds me of spring.

  15. That is one amazing tiny quilt. I would have never thought to zigzag quilt it like that it looks so amazing.Richard and Tanya QuiltsRichard and Tanya Quilts Patterns on Craftsy

  16. Great use of scraps! I love how bright it is, and the quilting is very effective. Thanks for linking up!

  17. Vera says:

    Thanks for sharing. I like the quilting especially 🙂

  18. Aha! That looks easy. Maybe I'll redo the cases I made on my doll sets to give this a try : )

  19. sherry says:

    nice zigzag quilting on that doll quilt…love the colours also

  20. Vicki says:

    This is so totally adorable! Great tut. I just discovered the zig-zag quilting with my Ellie. Thanks!!

  21. These dolls quilts are so very adorable!! I love the zig-zag quilting. Thank you so much for the tutorial :)-Soma

  22. Cheryl says:

    Wonderful tutorial! I am going to make my daughter one.

  23. Lea says:

    That is so sweet! Fabulous colors and a great tutorial.

  24. Georgi says:

    How cute is this?! I LOVE the zigzag quilting – have to keep that in mind for a future project. 🙂

  25. Well this is just super sweet! Thanks so much!

  26. I really like the quilting you've done on the quilt above. The zig-zags make a beautiful back pattern.

  27. Kim says:

    Such a colourful quilt!! If that doesn't bring the warmth of Spring to your li'l corner of the world, I don't know what will!! Love the quilting pattern!!

  28. what a wonderful colourful little quilt. Great little tutorial, too

  29. Lorette says:

    OH WHAT FUN!! This is sooo cute! Thank you for sharing the tutorial! It's great!

  30. elle says:

    Lovely colours and very cute!

  31. How cute Lorna and the texture is so neat! My granddaughter is hoping for an American doll….thanks for the tutorials too! Thanks for sharing.Freemotion by the River Linky Party Tuesday

  32. Jo Ferguson says:

    The doll quilt is absolutely gorgeous. Thanks for providing such a clear and informative tutorial.

  33. cute little pillow, and great instructions Lorna! and yes, I love the texture that quilting gives!Thanks so much for sharing at Needle and Thread Thursday!:) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

  34. Mary Huey says:

    Love the quilting on your doll quilt and the little matching pillow and case is a great touch!

  35. This is so darn cute – and the quilting on it is divine!

  36. Jan says:

    Very pretty. My grand daughter would love this.