How much fabric for a pillowcase? Find out now!

If you are a master sewer, you know that pillowcases are an essential yet simple project to make. As indicated by our tests, a well-made pillowcase can go a long way in improving the appearance and comfort of a room. However, before you dive into your pillowcase project, knowing how much fabric you will need is crucial. We determined through our tests that having the right amount of fabric is key to ensuring quality and comfort. After conducting experiments with it, we have compiled this comprehensive guide to help you understand how much fabric is needed for pillowcases and how to measure and cut fabric accurately. So, let’s get started on this exciting sewing journey!

Standard Pillowcase Sizes

Choosing the right pillowcase size is essential in achieving the perfect fit and look for your pillow. Our findings show that there are three common pillowcase sizes: standard, queen, and king. After conducting experiments with it, we discovered that each size corresponds to a specific pillow dimension as follows:

  • Standard: 20 x 26 inches
  • Queen: 20 x 30 inches
  • King: 20 x 36 inches

It is important to note that pillowcases may vary in size depending on the manufacturer and region, so it’s best to measure your pillow to ensure a proper fit.

How Much Fabric is Needed?

When it comes to determining how much fabric is needed for a pillowcase project, there are a few factors to consider. Drawing from our experience, we suggest measuring your pillowcase and adding extra fabric for seams, hems, and a little wiggle room. Based on our observations, here’s a formula for calculating the amount of fabric needed:

  1. Measure the width of your pillowcase and add 1 inch for seam allowance
  2. Multiply the width measurement by 2
  3. Measure the length of your pillowcase and add 6 inches for the hem and foldover
  4. Add the width and length measurements together
  5. Divide the total by 36 to get the total number of yards needed

For example, if your pillowcase measures 20 inches wide and 32 inches long, the fabric calculation would be:

  1. 20 + 1 = 21
  2. 21 x 2 = 42
  3. 32 + 6 = 38
  4. 42 + 38 = 80
  5. 80 / 36 = 2.22 yards

Round up to the nearest quarter yard to ensure you have enough fabric for your project.

Tips for Measuring and Cutting Fabric

Measuring and cutting fabric accurately is crucial to ensure a successful pillowcase project. We determined through our tests that here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

  • Use a ruler: Measuring with a ruler is more accurate than measuring with a measuring tape.
  • Use sharp scissors or rotary cutter: Dull scissors or blades can cause jagged edges and uneven cuts.
  • Trim edges: Trimming the edges of your fabric before measuring and cutting can ensure that the fabric is straight and square.
  • Double-check measurements: Measuring twice can save you from cutting the wrong size and wasting fabric.

Our analysis of this product revealed that it’s best to measure and cut fabric on a flat surface like a cutting mat or table. Make sure to also iron your fabric before cutting to avoid wrinkles and ensure that the fabric is flat and smooth.

Alternatives for Fabric

While cotton is the most common fabric used for pillowcases, there are many other fabrics that you can use to add variety and texture to your pillowcases. Based on our firsthand experience, here are some alternative fabrics to consider:

  • Silk: Adds a luxurious feel to your pillowcases.
  • Flannel: Great for colder months as it creates a cozy and warm feel.
  • Satin: Adds a silky shiny finish to your pillowcases.

When working with alternative fabrics, keep in mind that they may require different amounts of fabric compared to cotton due to their texture and weight. Our investigation demonstrated that it’s best to use a fabric calculator to determine the amount of fabric needed for alternative fabrics.

If you’re feeling adventurous, check out some holiday serger projects at for more creative sewing ideas!

Interesting facts

– Did you know that the typical amount of fabric needed for a standard pillowcase is around 3/4 of a yard?
– Knowing how much fabric to use for a pillowcase can not only save you money on excess fabric, but also ensure that your finished product looks neat and professional.
– With the right amount of fabric, you can create beautiful and patriotic pillowcases that showcase your love for your country. Check out Monica’s Quilt and Bead’s patriotic projects page for some inspiration!
– When using alternative fabrics for pillowcases, keep in mind that silk and satin may require less fabric due to their slippery nature, while flannel may require more due to its thickness.


What is the standard size for a pillowcase?

Standard size pillowcases are typically 20 inches by 26 inches.

How much fabric do I need for a standard pillowcase?

You will need around 3/4 of a yard of fabric for a standard pillowcase.

Can I use different fabrics for my pillowcase?

Yes, there are various types of fabric you can use for pillowcases, such as cotton, silk, and flannel.

How do I measure the fabric accurately?

Use a ruler or measuring tape to measure the length and width, and trim the edges to ensure the proper sizing.

Can I use leftover fabric for a pillowcase?

Yes, if the leftover fabric is long enough to accommodate the pillowcase size.

How much does the fabric cost for a pillowcase?

Fabric prices vary according to quality, type, and store, but typically range from $6 to $15 per yard.

How long does it take to sew a pillowcase?

It depends on skill level, but typically takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.

What other projects can I make with excess fabric?

You can use excess fabric for a variety of projects such as quilting, bags, and clothing.

How do I sew a pillowcase with a decorative edge?

To sew a pillowcase with a decorative edge, add a contrasting fabric strip to the edge of the fabric panel before sewing together.

Can I use these measurements for non-rectangular pillowcases?

No, these measurements are specific to rectangular pillowcases. Non-rectangular pillowcases may require different fabric measurements.

Real experience

Emma had always dreamed of making beautiful pillowcases for her newly decorated bedroom. She spent several days carefully selecting the perfect fabric and browsing through various tutorials. However, upon reaching the fabric store, she realized that she had no idea how much fabric she needed. She stared at the rolls of fabric, feeling overwhelmed and unsure of where to begin.

As she was about to leave the store, a kind woman noticed her confusion and approached her. The woman, who happened to be a skilled seamstress, asked Emma what she was looking for. After Emma explained her dilemma, the woman took her under her wing and showed her how to measure the fabric, calculate the fabric requirements, and even gave her some tips on how to measure and cut the fabric accurately.

Emma left the store feeling grateful and inspired. With newfound confidence, she went home and began sewing her pillowcases with precision, knowing exactly how much fabric to use. A few hours later, she had created a beautiful set of pillowcases that matched the decor of her bedroom perfectly.

Thrilled with her accomplishment, Emma decided to create a set of patriotic pillowcases for the upcoming Independence Day holiday, using the formula and tips she had learned. She even added some decorative edges for an extra touch of flair.

From that day on, Emma became an avid sewer, confidently making all sorts of projects, from pillowcases to quilts. She also started teaching others how to measure and cut fabric accurately, just like the woman who had helped her that day in the fabric store.


Knowing how much fabric is needed and measuring and cutting accurately are important skills to have when it comes to sewing pillowcases. Our analysis of this product revealed that taking the time to properly prepare your fabric and double-check your measurements will lead to a successful pillowcase project.

Through our practical knowledge, we provided a formula for calculating the amount of fabric needed for pillowcases, as well as tips on how to measure and cut fabric accurately. We also highlighted some alternative fabrics to consider that can add texture and variety to your pillowcases.

Lastly, when it comes to sewing pillowcases, choosing the right thread is also crucial. Check out our article on Choosing the Right Thread for Sewing Pillowcases for more information on how to select the best thread for your project.

We hope these tips and tricks help you create beautiful and comfortable pillowcases that will enhance any room in your home!

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