How To Sew a Pillowcase With a Flap – Imagine the Impossibilities Challenge

I have officially completed the Imagine the Impossibilities Challenge! For this challenge, I took on my first sewing project. I learned how to sew a pillowcase with a flap, also known as an envelope pillowcase. Now I’m 4 pillows richer, or is it poorer since I bought supplies to make them? Oh well, the point is they are done and they look awesome! I seriously don’t know why I was so afraid of sewing because this was a blast! Woohoo!

For those of you out there that also have a sewing phobia I’ll give you a quick tutorial on how to sew pillowcases with a flap. For my small pillows (which at 12’x12′) I bought $2 18’x21′ fabric quarters and they worked perfectly!

How to Sew a Pillowcase With a Flap

First, measure and cut a square 1 inch larger than the size of your pillow. My pillow is 12 in. so I made my first square 13’x13′.

For the back panels, I measured 13′ wide, but only made them 9′ tall. This will create enough overlap
for a nice flap so the pillowcase can be removed.

Sew what will be the inside edges of the flaps so it is a nice clean line. I used a zig-zag stitch for all of my pillows. (I also used a Brother sewing machine, so the zig-zag was setting 2 for me).

Sew the first flap on. Make sure you sew the pillow inside out so the messy part will be on the inside.

How To Sew a Pillowcase With a Flap

Now sew the second flap on. Remember part of the second flap will overlap the first.

Turn your pillowcase right side out and put it on a pillow!

How To Sew a Pillowcase With a Flap
How To Sew a Pillowcase With a Flap

For the bigger pillow, since my fabric was larger (almost 3 yards at a great deal), I cut the width 17′ (it’s a 16×16 pillow) and doubled it (34′)
so the fabric would wrap around to make the pocket and flaps on the back. Then I sewed up the sides just like with
the first 2 pillows.

How To Sew a Pillowcase With a Flap

This was a fail. The length of the fabric actually needed to be more than twice the length to create the proper-sized flap. Boo! Later this week I may add some extra fabric to this messed-up pillow so the flap will at least stay close. I’ll keep you posted.

For bigger pillow #2 I just stuck to my original strategy and it worked really well. (Ignore the stained carpet, we are counting down until we can move out of this rental.)

How To Sew a Pillowcase With a Flap

And here are all the pretty pillows together!

How To Sew a Pillowcase With a Flap

I don’t know what I was so scared of! It was not hard to learn how to sew a pillowcase with a flap! The pillows look pretty good (if I do say so myself) and they add a lot more personality to the futon. I can’t wait until I can decorate the whole man cave!

Learn to make a pillow cover using cloth napkins! It’s also an easy sewing project for a beginner!


  1. Looking good! It is amazing how intimidating something like pillows can be until you actually make them. They are such great accessories. Cheers!

  2. WOOO HOOOO!!! You did it. I say you’re definitely 4 pillows RICHER! And great tutorial, I love the little stagger stitch on that cute fabric!! Looking forward to seeing you all linked up tomorrow!!

  3. They turned out great! Well done!

  4. High five for conquering your sewing phobia! Now you can become a little sewing wizard and sew a million pillows for EVERY piece of furniture that you own ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Amy@BuffaloRoam

    YAY ASHLEY!!! These turned out so great! I can’t believe you’re a first-timer. They look flawless! Great job!!

  6. nicely done! ๐Ÿ™‚ i felt craft-accomplished this weekend, too! aaron hung up our wedding canvases in the bedroom (and i added other things to make a more complete collage) AND i finished making a 24×36 canvas piece for above our bed! photos of all of it will hit my new blog (which is set to launch tomorrow!) in the near future. BUT. all of that to say. yay us, yay for weekends, and yay for crafty projects being completed! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Awesome job Ashley!

  8. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO awesome!!!! you did it!!!!! the pillows LOOK FABULOUS!!!!! so happy for you! three CHEERS!!!!!! hugs…remember to link up with us tomorrow — grab your button!!! : )

  9. Whitney @ Drab to Fab Design

    They look so good!! I have to admit, I’ve had a sewing phobia for awhile now, but I’m beginning to think I need to learn! I think the stripes would look good as an accent on your curtains; what color did you decide on for the curtains?!

  10. Krystle @ Color Transformed Family

    Way to go! You did great. My challenge really did become impossible. I lost all track of time and wasn’t even able to buy the supplies. Oh, well! I am looking forward to y’all moving into your new house. It will be fun to see what you do with the place.

  11. I love the zig-zag pattern! At first (last week) I thought it was hemstitch but after checking again I realized it wasn’t. I was thinking of trying a hemstitch pattern for the tablecloths and napkins, but now I’m considering doing a zig-zag pattern using a thread in a contrasting color. Thanks for the inspiration!

  12. Diana @ Boy + Girl

    They look so great! You must be so happy! I agree sewing is pretty fun!

  13. So fun to see these again Ashley. Thank you so much for linking up to the challenge!

  14. Great job Ashley!! I’m so jealous of your sewing abilities :).

  15. Kelly @ Corner of Main

    Nicely done! I like the zig zag stitch you did….I have never attempted that!

  16. Kristen @ Popcorn on the Stove

    The pillows turned out awesome!

  17. Great job! They look awesome! I think you’re going have to attempt more projects now! I like the white fabric.

  18. Always Nesting

    Great tutorial. I love having the overlapping flaps in the back instead of trying to add a zipper to the cover.

  19. Ashley,

    You are a rockstar! Those pillows turned out perfectly! I knew you could do it! Congratulations! You have conquered your “impossible.” Thanks for linking up to the party!


  20. Great job. I just recently sewed my fist (well second if you count the one I made in grade school) pillow and it’s such a fun feeling to look at it and think “wow I made that”!

  21. Awesome job on your pillows! They look great! I’m about to order some fabric to make curtains for our living/dining room and I’m so nervous! Your post helped to give me some confidence! ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Wow – I can’t sew a button so I am very impressed. Love the fabric choices – a great mix! Thanks so much for joining our Impossibilities Challenge. Can’t wait to see what you’ve got in store for the man cave!

  23. Excellent job overcoming your sewing phobia!

    Thanks so much for joining our Impossibilities challenge!


  24. Iโ€™m sorry Iโ€™ve not visited your Impossibility Challenge post before now โ€“ this working lark does get in the way of real life !!! Those cushions are really great. I wish I could sew like that (not having a sewing machine is a bit of a handicap!!)
    Congratulations on making your impossibility possible!

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