sewing: #everything body pillow case tutorial

This post is written by Alli of B.Yazoo.

hashtag everything body pillow case tutorial

I’m a bit of an old fogey when it comes to instagram and twitter — I didn’t get a smartphone til recently, so it was hard for me to follow people. But my friend was always super excited when she got new followers on instagram, so I started by following her on my ipod. :D Since I wasn’t used to how things worked, I thought it was hilarious how she’d post a picture and then caption it with a veritable wall of hashtags; I teased that she ought to just write #everything to cover her bases. Some time later, I needed to make her a new body pillow cover… I found this neato herringbone canvas and fun novelty print, and so I present to you a #everything body pillow case tutorial!
herringbone fabric


Background fabric (home dec):

  • (1) 36″ w x 36″ h
  • (1) 7.75″ w x 36″ h

Focus fabric (quilting cotton):

  • (2) 12.25″ w x 18.5″ h directional focus fabric – OR –
  • (1) 12.25″ w x 36″ h non-directional focus fabric


  • (2) 12.25″ w x 18.5″ h interfacing (for directional focus fabric) – OR –
  • (1) 12.25″ w x 36″ h interfacing (for non-directional focus fabric)


  • hashtageverything applique template
  • solid fabric for raw-edge applique (approximately 10″ x 22″)
  • extra solid fabric for backing raw-edge applique (approximately 10″ x 22″) (optional)
  • paper-backed fusible web (e.g., Heat n Bond)
  • 22″ invisible zipper
  • glue stick (optional)

fabric supplies


All seam allowances are 1/2″.

Apply interfacing

Apply interfacing to your focus fabric(s).

Assemble directional focus fabric strip

If your focus fabric is directional, lay your two strips right sides together and oriented in the same direction (tops to tops, bottoms to bottoms). Sew along the top (short) edge. Finish the edge by serging, zig zagging, or pinking.
focus fabric - sew together
Press the seam allowance to one side (the side you like less). Topstitch over the seam allowance for strength. The side with the stitching is now the back.
focus fabric - topstitch

Assemble the pillowcase fabric

Sew together the narrow background strip (7.75″ w x 36″ h) and the focus fabric. (For directional focus fabric, lay the focus fabric face up with the back-facing side on the right and the background fabric face down and aligned with the top edge.) Finish the edge, press seam allowance towards darker fabric, and topstitch over the seam allowance.
assembly - focus fabric plus background strip
Sew together the square background fabric (36″ w x 36″ h) and the focus fabric. Finish the edge, press seam allowance towards darker fabric, and topstitch over the seam allowance.
assembly - focus fabric plus background square
Finish the remaining raw edges. You’ll have a rectangle that’s about 54″ w x 36″ h.
fabric assembly done

Cut out the applique

Using the template, trace #everything on to paper-backed fusible web. Be sure that you’re writing on the paper side.
applique - trace on fusible web
Following your fusible’s instructions, apply the fusible web to the solid fabric.
applique - apply to fabric
Cut out the applique. If your background print shows through the text, fuse the applique to a scrap of fabric that’s dark enough to make the text opaque. Cut away the extra backing fabric.
applique - make double layer for see through fabric

Attach the applique

Place the applique on the pillowcase fabric so that the text’s baseline is 7″ up from the bottom edge and the G is 7″ to the left of the right edge.
applique - attach
If you fused the applique to separate fabric (because the background print showed through), use a glue stick to tack the applique on to the background. Otherwise, fuse the applique with an iron, as usual. Free-motion stitch around the letters.
applique - stitching

Attach the invisible zipper

Note: I don’t own an invisible zipper foot, but I do have a machine that allows me to move the needle left and right. I also don’t iron invisible zippers open because then I tend to sew too closely to the zipper teeth. If this isn’t really your situation, Sew Serendipity has a great tutorial with a regular zipper foot and ironing the zipper, and Cake patterns has a nice set of video tutorials for people with invisible zipper feet.

Place the zipper and larger background right sides together so that the top of the zipper is lined up with the focus fabric and the outer edge of zipper tape is against the finished edge of the fabric.
zipper - line up with focus fabric
The flat side (right side) of the zipper should be face down and you should be able to see the zipper teeth.
zipper - placement close up
Starting at the top of the zipper with a normal zipper foot, the needle in the normal (center) position, and a long stitch length, baste one side of the zipper to the background fabric.
zipper - baste
Completely unzip the zipper. Go back to the top of the zipper and move your needle as close to the zipper teeth as possible. Backtacking at both ends, sew from the zip stop til you can’t sew anymore (just before the zipper pull) — you don’t need to sew all the way to the end.
zipper - sew end
Fold the fabric right sides together and repeat to baste and sew the other half of the zipper.
zipper - other side
Each side of your zipper now has two lines of stitching.
zipper - two lines of stitching
If any basting stitches extend past your backtacking stitches, unpick them.
zipper - stitching tidied up

Finish the pillowcase

Make sure the zipper is mostly (but not completely) unzipped. Fold the pillowcase in half, right sides together. Pin so that the free zipper ends are up and out of the way.
final assembly - pin
Using a triple/reinforced stitch (or sewing twice), sew from the fabric fold to the zipper end. Sew a little bit past the zipper stitches to strengthen the opening. Repeat for the other side of the pillowcase.
final - sew up to zipper

Turn right side out, poke out the corners, apply to your pillow, and you’re done! :)
hashtag everything body pillow case


I do crafts and other things in a generally haphazard and dilatory manner. :)

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5 Responses to sewing: #everything body pillow case tutorial

  1. Katy April 24, 2014 at 6:55 pm #

    Bwahaha, love it!

  2. Anne April 24, 2014 at 10:41 pm #

    hahaha! That’s awesome!! I’ve got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for tomorrow morning that links to your tutorial:

  3. Confused April 20, 2016 at 2:07 pm #

    What was the size of the body pillow and how do you account for the thickness of the pillow? My pillow measures 17 x 45 x 3. Thanks for any help.

    • Alli April 22, 2016 at 1:07 am #

      My pillow was 18″ x 54″, so the same dimensions as the unfinished pillowcase rectangle. I made the pillowcase an inch smaller than my pillow’s dimensions so that it would look nice and full when the pillow was inside. :)

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