How to Sew a Pillowcase with Piping

Santa pillowcase with piping

Santa pillowcase

Did you ever wonder how to sew a fancy cushion cover with piping?
You want a professional-looking pillowcase with piping on the edges?
Here is a super easy step step by step tutorial.

Since ’tis is the season’ I will use my happy Santa Head quilt block for this tutorial.

materials for Santa pillowcase

Materials for Santa pillowcase

 Materials needed: (for a pillowcase aprox. 15.5″x 15.5″ finished)
– quilt block 12″x 12″ plus 28 2 1/2 ” squares around the quilt block
or a 16″x 16″ quilt block
(or of course a 16″x 16″ piece of fabric if you don’t want to use a quilt block as pillowcase front)
– for the back 2 pieces of fabric 16″x 13″
– 70″ piping – either store bought piping or you can make your own piping.
– square shaped cushion insert. Either you purchase a new insert or reuse one of your existing pillow inserts.
– Sewing machine, acrylic ruler, scissors, pins or clips.

Instructions:
1. Sew your quilt block , or cut your fabric for the pillowcase front accordingly.
2. Attach the 2 1/2″ squares to your quilt block ( if you’re making a pillowcase like the one
I am using here. You will find a full tutorial on a pillowcase with fussy cut squares like this one here and I also made a little quick video)

backing of envelope pillowcase

backing of envelope pillowcase
 3: Preparing the back
Fold over one of the 16″ edge on each of the fabric pieces for the back.
Fold over 1/2 ” twice and clip in place.
​Then stitch along the edge with a small seam allowance.
If you have directional fabric, make sure the fabric pieces are both facing the same direction, and that you fold in the edges that face each other.
4. Stitch the hem in place with a small seam allowance.

overlap the hemmed edges for the envelope pillowcase backing

overlap the hemmed edges for the envelope pillowcase backing

5. Overlap the hemmed edges so that the back becomes the same hight as the front
( 16″ in this case here) and clip the overlapping edges in place and stitch with 1/8″ seam allowance to hold it in place.

Attaching the piping: 

Clip the piping in place

Clip the piping in place
6. Now you start pinning or clipping the piping in place, I definitely prefer clips.
I always hurt myself using pins. So clips it is.
Take the front of your pillowcase and start clipping the piping to the edge. I like starting a couple of inches from the corner roughly at the center of one side.
The stitching of the piping should be in line with your seam allowance.
​Since this will be the line that you will sew on.

Tweet this:
​Always sew on the same stitching line over and over again!

In my case it’s 1/4″ seam allowance. The seam allowance of my piping is also 1/4″ ( from the edge of the tape to the stitching) so align the raw edges of the pillowcase front and the piping.

Clip the edge of the piping for the corners

Clip the edge of the piping for the corners
7. Work the corners. In order to avoid wobbly crooked corners, carefully clip the edge of the binding to help it bend around the corner. Make sure you do not cut into the stitching line of the piping. You can see in the photo, that the inner piping wrinkles slightly, this will straighten once you turn your pillowcase inside out.

piping clipped in place around the pillowcase front

piping clipped in place
8. Clip the piping all the way around the pillowcase front until you get to where you started
there you overlap the ends of the piping for about 2″-3″ and leave it open.

attach the piping to the pillowcase front, stitch on the same stitch line

attach the piping to the pillowcase front, stitch on the same stitch line
9. Stitch the piping to the pillowcase front. Make sure you stitch on the same line as the stitch line of the piping. This ensures a perfect looking piping once you turn the pillowcase inside out. This way you won’t see the stitches of the piping on the outside of your pillow.
So I can not stress enough:
ALWAYS STITCH ON THE SAME STITCH LINE!
Leave the ends of the piping loose, meaning you don’t stitch these in place yet.
How to join the ends of the piping properly?
There are different ways to joining the ends, I personally like this one the best, and find it the easiest.

Picture

let the piping overlap for about 2 “
10. Leave the piping to overlap about a 2″-3″. Leave these ends loose.

remove the stitch of the piping on one end and expose the cord

remove the stitch of the piping on one end and expose the cord
11. Open the stitching of the piping on one of these ends (I will call them left and right end in this tutorial to make life easier, but it really doesn’t matter which end you take)
So again, open the stitching of the right piping and expose the cord.

cut the extra cord

cut the extra cord
12. Cut the extra piece of cord on the right, that you exposed. Your goal is to lay the left end of the piping inside the bias tape on the right and wrap it inside the bias tape.

Picture

Fold in the bias tape for about 1/4 “
13. Fold in the bias tape on the right about 1/4″.

cut the other end to where the cord ends

cut the other end to where the cord ends
14. Now cut the left end of the piping to where the cord ends. So that the two ends of the cord touch.

wrap one end of the bias tape around the other.

wrap one end of the bias tape around the other.
15. Wrap this end into the left bias tape and clip or pin in place.

stitch piping end in place

stitch piping end in place
16. To finish your piping, stitch the piping in place.
Again make sure you are stitching on the stitch line of the piping.
Perfect, now you stitched the piping in place.
All you need to do now, is attach the backing of the pillowcase and you’re all done.

17. Clip the backing to the pillowcase front. I like the opening of the back to be the top overlapping the bottom, but some people want the left overlapping the right, or the other way around. You decide for yourself, it’s a square so it doesn’t matter which way you place the backing to the front of the pillowcase size wise.
18. Stitch the backing to the front, and again…don’t laugh please, you will thank me later….
Stitch on the same stitching line again!
Then turn your pillowcase inside out… and YAYYY all finished!
What do you think? Doesn’t this look fabulous? And it’s super easy, right?
Just in case you are wondering, you will find the Santa Quilt block here.
​Happy sewing and Happy Holidays

Ingrid x

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