Make Your Own Linen Pillowcases

Updated on October 10, 2017
Dolores Monet profile image

A long time crafter Dolores has created sewing projects for private clients, including pillow covers, linen pillow cases, and sink skirts.

Linen pillowcases
Linen pillowcases | Source

Linen pillowcases are luxurious and expensive and way beyond the budget of most of us. But with minimal sewing skills, you can make your own linen pillowcases for a reasonable cost.

Linen has been around for thousands of years. It is strong, durable, and becomes softer with use and laundering. Linen keeps your skin cool and dries quickly. Studies have shown that sleeping on linen can reduce depression and anxiety. The fabric of the Pharaohs is antimicrobial and antifungal. It can also be expensive. Linen pillowcases show up in high-end catalogs for $80.00 - $120.00 a pair. And you can see what is called Belgian or Irish linen on a product made in China. Belgian or Irish linen may just mean that the flax was grown in Europe.

I have made linen pillowcases from material purchased at a fabric store and out of used skirts and dresses picked up at thrift stores. This is a simple project that requires minimal sewing skills. I will show you how to make these cases out of both. Just make sure that the fabric is 100% linen.

Linen Pillowcase Made Out of a Skirt

You can see that the skirt's hem is already so pretty and makes a nice edge for the pillowcase.
You can see that the skirt's hem is already so pretty and makes a nice edge for the pillowcase. | Source

Make it Easy to Sew

Washed and dryer dried linen can be very soft, especially if it is an older piece you bought at a thrift store. The softness may be nice to sleep on but it can be difficult to work with. After washing and before cutting, starch the linen.

You can make your own spray starch by adding one tablespoon of cornstarch to a cup of water and mix. Pour into a clean and empty spray bottle. Shake often and spray the fabric. When you iron it, the fabric will become very stiff and easy to work with. After sewing the pillowcase simply wash to remove the stiffening.

Make a Linen Pillowcase Out of an Old Skirt or Dress

Making a pillowcase out of an old skirt or dress is easy and inexpensive. I have used garments that I purchased for as little as $5.50 from a thrift store. Check the label to make sure that the garment is 100% linen. A full-length maxi skirt or dress in a large size provides ample material.

Measure the width. It should be at least 21 inches wide on each side, and 30 inches long. The garment is already hemmed. If you don't have a tape measure, just fetch a pillowcase from the bed linens section of the store and use that to measure. Of course, you must allow an inch extra width for seams.

Look for decorative elements on the garment. A pretty embellishment along the hemline works well for this project and will give you an attractive edging. However, embroidery, extra seams, or other decorations on the main body of the garment will just get in the way of a comfortable sleep. Who wants to lay their head down on lumpy fabric even if it is pretty?

Use a pillow case that you have on hand as a template.

  • Darts can be opened quite easily with a ripper or just a good jerk of the fabric.
  • Wash and dry the skirt. Use your dryer.
  • Steam iron on hot setting.
  • Look inside the garment. If the seams are neat and finished and it's a straight skirt, you're good to go. If it's an A-line or part of the skirt is too wide, cut up the sides of the skirt and sew seams as instructed below, as you would with fabric off the bolt.
  • Trim off the waistline. Sew that end closed, first on the outside. Then turn the case inside out and sew over the first seam. This will give you nice, enclosed seams with no ragged edges. Linen can fray and this makes your project neat and tidy.
  • You may not have to bother hemming the case as it has already been hemmed. If the skirt hem is decorated, so much the better!

Use an old pillowcase as a pattern or template for cutting the skirt to the right size.
Use an old pillowcase as a pattern or template for cutting the skirt to the right size. | Source

French Seams or Enclosed Seams

For this project, I made French seams or enclosed seams. This creates a fine finished look. There are no rough edges or loose threads. Take a look at the video below and see how simple this is.

The Inside Seam Is Closed, Nice and Neat

Here is  the inside of a double seam. See how neat it is!
Here is the inside of a double seam. See how neat it is! | Source

Making a Linen Pillowcase

Shop for linen by keeping an eye on sales and coupons. While $18.00 a yard may sound pricey, a 50% off sale or coupon will give you a $9.00 linen pillowcase.

Check the label to ensure the fabric is 100% linen. Many fabrics resemble linen or have a similar weave. Fabric stores like Joanne's have labels printed on the end of the bolt. Decorator fabrics are usually labeled just inside the cardboard tube. Do not take anyone's opinion for granted. Check those labels.

  • Buy one yard for each standard pillowcase.
  • Wash and dry the linen in the dryer.
  • Trim off ragged edges.
  • Iron on hot setting using steam.
  • Cut 2 pieces for 1 pillowcase; 4 pieces for 2 pillowcases. I don't really measure but use an old pillowcase as a template. Cut the fabric 1 1/2 inches wider than the pillowcase for seam allowance.
  • If the fabric is printed, sew the first seam with the outside facing out. That's right, it sounds odd but this will create a nice double seam. Most linen fabric has no outside or inside but looks the same on both sides.
  • Sew a small 1/4" seam on 3 sides. (If you cut out the fabric on the fold, you will only need to sew 2 sides. Iron.
  • Trim the fabric as close to the stitching as possible.
  • Turn the case inside out. Sew another seam, enclosing the original seam. The second seam should be 1/2 inch wide. This creates a nice piece with no ragged edges. Linen can really fray.
  • Iron again.
  • Hem the pillowcase. Fold a tiny 1/4 to 1/2 inch hem and press with a hot steam iron.
  • Then fold a larger 3 or 4-inch hem and press again. Sew.

If you wish to add embroidery do that before the final hem. That way, the backside of the embroidery will be hidden. You can add a row of lacy edging, or create tiny pleats along the hem for a decorative element. Many people love the simple purity of linen so a very plain pillowcase is just perfect.

Source

Make Gifts!

This project makes for an excellent gift. This past Christmas, I made several and wrapped them in handmade paper that was made from flax (the same plant material that is used to create linen). Instead of ribbon, I used string. I love the authentic look of this simple package.

Linen Pillowcase Giftwrapped in Handmade Paper

Though you can see through this thin, handmade paper, I think it makes for a pretty gift.
Though you can see through this thin, handmade paper, I think it makes for a pretty gift. | Source

Questions & Answers

    © 2015 Dolores Monet

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • profile image

        Jean 

        22 months ago

        I have been saving all my "light" colored dryer lint for some time now.

        :-) ps. we are both on the east coast. :-)

      • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

        Dolores Monet 

        22 months ago from East Coast, United States

        Jean - for paper making I recall that we used a lot of plant materials as well as lint from the dryer. You have to soak the plant material and it gets quite stinky, just like when you soak the flax for the linen! Stinky fiber messes - so much fun!

      • profile image

        Jean 

        23 months ago

        Yes, it is quite a process.

        Yes, I grew the linen kind of flax (plant)

        but planted too late. (had to wait for seed to come)

        Flax needs "springtime" moisture.

        I have looked into making paper so many times now that I cant

        remember if I actually tried it myself or not! That sounds funny...

        I remember doing it, but, I dont remember when and where I did it!

        Save your white and natural threads scraps for paper making!

      • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

        Dolores Monet 

        23 months ago from East Coast, United States

        Jean - looking around the web, I found several blogs and articles that showed how people grew small patches of flax with hopes of weaving small pieces of linen. Though it sounds complicated, it also seems like a lot of fun. But first you have to go through all the steps prepare the fiber, including spinning it.

        There are different types of flax grown for either seed production or for fiber making.

        Love the old linen! And as for paper, the last time I made it, it was nowhere near as fine as the one pictured here. Good luck with your projects!

      • profile image

        Jean 

        23 months ago

        I grew flax this year... but, got it in the ground too late in the year. It was also a dry year. Needless to say... it did not do very well. I am thinking of letting itself reseed. Definitely shows that the soil is more depleted then I had thought.

        Was going to go to a flax workshop this summer but had to cancel.

        (I was very disappointed not being able to go!)

        I am hoping to teach a very young lady to sew. Hoping to start with making pillowcases. I have a vintage pair of linen pillowcases and it looks almost like the seams were french seams that were sewn down.

        Need a powerful magnifying glass to see up close. They could be felled seams, I am not sure at this point.

        re: paper: go for it!

      • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

        Dolores Monet 

        23 months ago from East Coast, United States

        Hi Jean - I did not make the paper, someone else did. I do not know what they made the paper out of. But wowie wow is that a good idea! I have made paper in the past but it sure didn't look like what is pictured here! I have some flax drying out back - maybe I'll try to make paper out of it!

      • profile image

        Jean 

        23 months ago

        Hi Dolores,

        Thank you for sharing.

        What part of the linen plant did you use to make the paper with?

        The actual plant or parts of the plant left over from the process of

        making flax into linen? Thank you, Jean

      • Dolores Monet profile imageAUTHOR

        Dolores Monet 

        3 years ago from East Coast, United States

        Susanne Day - Hi Suzanne, look for fabric sales. A local chain store (joanne's) sometimes offers coupons for 50% off. That can make a big difference! I also make mismatched cases out of used skirts I find at thrift stores. If it feels like linen, check the inner tag that tells you the fabric contents.

      • Suzanne Day profile image

        Suzanne Day 

        3 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

        As a pillowcase bra bag maker, I am fascinated by this! Do you have any tips about where to find linen? I certainly would love to save some money and have the finest pillowcases to sleep on! Voted interesting and up!

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, feltmagnet.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://feltmagnet.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)