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Journal Entry: March 14, 2014

This project came about because my grandson Evan wanted a pillowcase to match his Double-Decker Bus quilt.

Evan’s London Travel Quilt

I’ve wanted a reason to try making a pillowcase similar to those I discovered when we first moved to England. There is an additional fabric flap attached to the inside of the open end of the case that folds over the pillow. Perhaps we have these pillowcases available to us in the U.S., although I haven’t seen them. In addition to the pillows we sleep with, I usually have a decorative pillow covered with a sham to make up a more attractive bed. I have these “extra” pillows because it’s inevitable that an ugly used pillow cover is sticking out at the end of my pillowcases. The “English” pillowcases are nice because they eliminate the extra decorative pillows, which have to be removed at night and replaced in the morning if I want to see a well-kept bed all day, and the pillow stays nicely in place inside the pillowcase. 

Inside the English Pillowcase Folded Edge

Making the English Pillowcase

Directions for creating an American standard size pillowcase with an inside flap cover:

1. Prepare the fabric.

  • Cut two pieces of fabric. For the back of the pillowcase, create one piece of fabric measuring 20 1/2″ wide x 34″ long. The second piece of fabric is for the front of the pillowcase, measuring 20 1/2″ x 41″ (which includes the flap).

2. Prepare the back of the pillowcase. 

  • Using the fabric cut for the back of the pillowcase, at one of the short-sided ends (20 1/2” inch side), and with wrong sides of the fabric facing, fold down one side of the short end 2”. Then fold again to make a 2” double fold. Stitch the folded section down to the inside of the back fabric.
Steps 1 and 2: Prepare the back of the pillowcase.

3. Prepare the front of the pillowcase. 

  • Make a pocket at one end of the fabric cut for the front of the pillowcase. At one of the short-sided ends (20 1/2” inch side), and with right sides of the fabric facing, fold down one side of the short end 11”.  Fold up this end 1”, wrong sides of the fabric facing, to make a 1/2” double fold. Stitch this edge.
Step 3: Prepare the front of the pillowcase.

4. Join the back and front of the pillowcase.

  • Line up the back and front sections, right sides together, along the fold line of the now 10″ folded edge. Lay the 10″ flap over the back section.
Step 4a: Join the front and back of the pillowcase.
  • Using a 1/4″ seam allowance, stitch the unfinished sides and bottom edges of the case. Clip the edges to get a nice flat turned corner. Reinforce the stitching around the case with another line of stitching and zigzag stitch the edges, or use a serger to stitch and reinforce the inside seam edges of the case.
Step 4b: Stitch around the outside edges of the sides and bottoms of the pillowcase..

5. Turn the case right-side out and iron the seam edges flat. Stuff a pillow inside the case, placing the flap over the end of the pillow.

Step 5. Place the pillow inside the pillowcase.
Finished Pillow

 Your quick and easy American-made British pillowcase is ready to use!