We’ve had so many requests for this quick and easy project, we decided it was time to do a video! The method is not tricky. We don’t know who thought of it but they are a genius. We call it the hot dog method; other people call it the burrito method.
You’ll need three fabrics:
. Main pillowcase body 26-1/2” x WOF (width of fabric)
. Cuff 10” x WOF
. Accent/divider strip 2-1/2” x WOF
Here is the demonstration video, with wording below as well. We are using “chapters” in our videos. If you hover your mouse over the slider, you will see little breaks in the black line and wording to describe what the section is about. That way, you can skip to the section you need to look at again! The chapter headings are also listed at the bottom of this post, with the start times of where they are in the video.
Okay let’s get started! Press then trim all 3 fabrics to 40-1/2”. If you want a larger/king size pillowcase, just adjust the measurements by a few inches.
Put the cuff and the divider right sides together and sew along the long edge, using a ¼” seam allowance.
Press the seam to relax the threads. Finger press the piece then press with the iron. For a sharp crisp press, use a spritz of Best Press.
Now you’re going to put the “hot dog” together. This is the key to this pillowcase.
Drape the cuff/divider piece, face up, over an ironing board, cutting table, or counter.
Lay the pillowcase body fabric, face down, on top of the cuff/divider fabric.
Take the bottom edge of the body fabric and fold it, accordion style, to create the “hot dog”. The cuff/divider fabric should now be hanging longer than the body fabric.
Do not align the bottom edge of the body fabric along the top because you do not want that edge sewn into the seam.
Now take the bottom edge of the cuff/divider and pull it to match the top edges.
Pin along this top edge which consists of 3 (not 4) layers of fabric, and along the bottom edge.
Head over to your sewing machine. I like to put the “hot dog” of fabric over my shoulder when I start sewing, to reduce the drag.
If you have a needle down feature on your sewing machine, this would be a good time to use it. Sew along the pinned edges, using a ¼” seam allowance. Remember: don’t sew over your pins as hitting one of them can harm your machine (and you!) Once done, remove the pins.
Now comes my favourite part! First, trim any thread bits then carefully pull the hot dog out. Be patient, don’t yank just do it nice and slow, it’s like pulling a rabbit out of the hat! I think it’s just the coolest technique ever.
You may now what to say “okay well I can just sew the sides together to make the pillowcase”. Yes but wait for it: look, your cuff seam is not on the outside There is no outside seam, not even a little bit. All your seam is inside!
So next, you want to give it all a little bit of a press, a lot of a press, actually we’re going to press the crap out of it! Put your hand inside and pull up a bit because you want it pulled up from the back, where the cuff and divider meet. Don’t press the top crease yet. Keep pulling along underneath the bottom and give this a little press. You want to make sure you’re keeping it lying flat but you are pulling up from the back in order to keep that seam from wrinkling. Now press the top crease. There’s your cuff, looking all beautiful. If the edge(s) of the cuff stick out, carefully trim.
Back to the sewing machine to do some topstitching on the cuff. Use the edge of your foot to follow the seam and start at the cuff edge. This makes it much nicer when it comes out of the laundry because you don’t have this loose cuff and it also protects those seams that little bit more because it’s sewing them down to each other as opposed to even leaving them open on the inside of this cuff. Sew down one side and then the other side. This adds two seams to your sewing time. You won’t find it in most patterns but you want that professional finished look.
You now have a big squarish thing and you’re going to do an uncomfortable thing; you’re going to put wrong sides together. Then it’s time to pin again.
Starting with the long side, start pinning at the top and match up the cuff/divider seams, front and back. Pin thoroughly.
Back to the sewing machine. Using a ¼” seam allowance, start at the cuff edge and sew down the long side then across the bottom edge.
Turn the pillowcase inside out. Grab your Point Turner and carefully poke out the corners. Using the point turner, run it along the seam (not the fabric), pushing it out. You want that seam to lie flat. Finger press then slowly run your iron along it, making sure that you’re running along the seam, not just along the fabric. Sometimes you have to adjust only press small amounts at a time. Repeat along the second seamed side.
Your fabric is now right sides together and you think “but it’s already sewn together!”. Yes but if you open the pillowcase up, you’ll notice that seam is open on the right side of your fabric. Well, nobody wants that! This is actually the outside of your pillowcase and it has an open seam which you want to enclose. This is the start of the French seam.
You don’t have to pin again but you DO need to switch to a 1/2” seam allowance (NOT a ¼”) so that the first seam is fully enclosed. If you don’t do a full half inch, you’ll have lots of little threads sticking out that need to be trimmed. A handy tool is the Measuring Gauge, a great way to figure out where your ¼” or ½” or other size of seam allowance needs to be.
Again, start at the cuff edge and do a few backstitches to ensure this spot is well anchored. You don’t want it popping over when the pillowcase is used. Sew the long side and then the bottom.
Almost done! Just a final press needed. Using the point turner, make sure the corners are pushed out flat.Do a quick finger press and then repeat the process of running the point turner along the seam while you press the edge. A nice sprtiz of Best Press makes the pillowcase nice and crisp.
There you go – one pillowcase ready to use!
02:53 Sewing cuff and divider
04.10 Pressing technique for the cuff/divider
05.54 Making the hot dog
10.32 Sewing tips for the hot dog 1
11.51 Pulling out the hot dog
13:07 Pressing technique for the seamed cuff
16:40 Topstitching the cuff
19:03 Sewing the pillowcase the first time
22:04 Pressing technique for the pillowcase
26:55 French seam
31:00 Final pressing