How to Mend Pillow Cases

How to Mend Pillow CasesIt’s a mystery to me why I’m not sleeping very well these days.  I’m too hot at night so we left our down comforter in its storage bag this winter and didn’t even put it on our bed.  Our upstairs, where all of our bedrooms are located, is already very cold because we don’t heat it.  Next, I tried switching which side of the bed I sleep on and have shared with my husband for almost 22 years.  Perhaps a change of scenery would be helpful.  My husband, who has no idea what could be interrupting my sleep pattern, graciously agreed to switch sides but it lasted only 5 minutes.  It felt too weird, so we switched back.  It was really a mystery to me – mid 40s, suddenly hot while sleeping, wide awake, and did I mention going to the bathroom more often?  Then I figured our what it was:

Ratty tatty pillow cases that needed to be mended.
Yes, indeed, when you’ve been using the same pillow cases for nearly 22-years of marriage, your pillow cases get ratty and tatty on the edges and that’s what was keeping me from sleeping.  At least, that’s what I’m telling myself!  Here’s how to mend pillow cases.

How to Mend Pillow Cases

Trim the ends that are torn and thread bare.  Then, carefully fold seam over twice and pin.

How to Mend Pillow Cases

Sew around the top of your pillow case.  Remove pins before you sew over them.  When you come to a thick seam, use a folded up piece of cardboard to raise your sewing machine foot up in the back so that you can sew up and over the large seam.  Be careful not to sew the cardboard but ease it along as you stitch.

How to Mend Pillow Cases

Press your seams after sewing with a very hot iron.  Next, I replaced the buttons that were missing on the pillow cases.  First, I added a little scrap of fabric underneath the button, to reinforce where I was attaching the button.  The fabric was very thin and this will help extend its life.  I don’t even know when those buttons disappeared!

How to Mend Pillow CasesThat’s it.  My pillow cases are looking much better now.

How to Mend Pillow CasesHow to Mend Pillow Cases

Make your pillow cases last as long as mine have by only drying them in the dryer for 10 minutes and then hang them to dry.

So, another life mystery solved.  My sleep pattern has nothing to do with age or any changes my body may be going through.  Nope.  It has to do with ratty tatty pillow cases.  Case closed.  Well, buttoned at least.

How to Mend Pillow Cases

This folded up piece of cardboard helps keep my sewing foot at different heights.  It’s especially helpful when sewing jeans or other projects that have thick seams.

How are you sleeping these days?  Are ratty tatty pillow cases keeping you awake at night?

Related posts:
How to make jeans smaller
Goodbye bathroom

10 thoughts on “How to Mend Pillow Cases

    1. Steal away!! It’s kept me from breaking more sewing machine needles when trying to sew over a big seam. It’s adjustable, too. Just fold or unfold to keep the foot as level as possible. Let me know how it works for you, Kristen.


  1. I’m confused by the “scrap of fabric underneath the button”. Is that red fabric on the inside of the pillowcase where it is not seen? Are you sewing two buttons together (one inside, with the fabric reinforcement, connected to another on the outside without reinforcement)? Does the red fabric get trimmed, or does it stay like in the photo?


    1. Hi Liana! That scrap of red fabric is underneath the button, inside the pillow case and not seen. I did not sew two buttons together (although I have done that on other projects) and the red fabric did not get trimmed. In the “after” picture, you can see the button (all buttoned up) but you can’t see the red fabric. You could use another color fabric and not red fabric but that little scrap was in my garbage can and so I used it.


      1. Ah, I get it! Once the button is buttoned, you can’t see the red fabric anymore!
        I do like the idea of red fabric (or other bright color), especially if it were on a duvet cover because it would help you find all the buttons.


  2. Yes! I’m in my mid 40’s and on occasion don’t sleep terribly well. I thought it may have been my hormones, then I blamed it on my daily glass of good French wine ( my one little vice:-), now I KNOW what the problem is: my ratty tatty pillowcase-lol! Loved this post and thank you so much for linking it to Seasonal Celebration Sunday. I’m honoured you choose to link up with us! It goes live again tomorrow- in the meantime have a great weekend! Rebecca x


    1. Hi Zena Sue! Well, the buttons were there when I bought them 20+ years ago. I used to work for Ralph Lauren and buttons were on lots of pillow cases during that time. I like how they add interest to the pillow case and have added buttons to my pillow covers because they look so sweet. They’re not really necessary but are an extra special addition 🙂 Thanks for leaving a comment! So glad you found my site.


      1. Thanks for the reply/explanation. I was beginning to think there was a buttonhole on the other side and you buttoned the two sides together to keep the pillowcase from coming off the pillow, LOL!

        So glad I found your site too.


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