Updated at: 12-05-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

Isn’t there a pillow sham at the heart of every excellent throw pillow arrangement? To be on the safe side, you should have at least two shams for each set of sheets you own. It’s a shame not to make your own flanged pillow shams because they’re so easy to sew and so traditional. I prefer pillows with back openings shaped like envelopes so they can be easily inserted and removed for washing.

I’ll show you how to sew a flanged pillow sham, which is a must-have for any home’s bedroom design.

What You’ll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • rotary cutting tools or scissors
  • Pins with straight ends
  • Stitching apparatus
  • An ironing board and an iron


  • Fabric of your choice: 1 yard
  • a thread that matches

Cut Your Fabric

Use the table below to determine the dimensions of your pillow and the fabric needed to make a pillow sham. Using the straight grain of the fabric, trim the length of the sham to the desired length. Make sure your cuts are right angles.

To ensure that your edges are straight, use rotary cutters. A squared corner of cardboard or a carpenter’s square can help you produce perfect corners when you don’t have access to rotary cutting tools.

Hem, Mark, and Fold

Each narrow end of the fabric should have a hem folded under 1/4 inch, then 1/4 inch again to the wrong side of the fabric. Sew the hems to the pants.

Then, as shown in the table below, take measurements inward from each hemmed edge. Fold the fabric in the direction indicated by the fold lines. Make sure that the raw edges are aligned, and that the cloth is exactly flat, by keeping the right sides together and overlapping the back. Place a pin in its location.

Using a 1/2-inch seam allowance, sew your edging seams. The flanged area will cover these seams, thus there is no need for a seam finish.

To press, flip the fabric over and press the right side out.

Sew the Flange

Sewing machine seam guides must be set at 3-inch intervals to ensure a 3-inch flanged edge on both sides.

Use a pin to secure the back overlap flaps in place. Keep the pins at least 3 inches away from the edge.

3 inches from the edge, topstitch. To make the turns, lower the needle.

Finally, push the stitches into place and insert your pillow into the sham, then relax.

Types Of Materials For Pillow Shams

It’s important to choose the ideal material when learning how to sew a flanged pillow sham. The fabric you use for your sham will be determined by the type of pillow you’re making. It’s important to choose throw pillows that complement your room’s decor.

While pillows should have soft, washable shams, the opposite is true for bed linens. Natural fibers and synthetic fabrics are the two most common materials. Cotton, wool, silk, and linen are examples of the former, whereas polyester and nylon are examples of the latter.

How much fabric do you need for a sham?

It’s critical that you plan out how much stuff you’ll need for your ruse. Knife-edge shams require 1 1/2 yards of fabric while Euro-shams require 2 yards of cloth. To get the extra yardage you’ll need for ruffled and corded pillows, you’ll need to buy two yards of fabric in addition to the quantity you’ll need if you want a knife-edged pillow.

How much fabric do I need for a pillow sham?

Allow for seams, fill depth, and a 4-inch hem when making a conventional pillowcase that measures 22.5 by 31.5 inches. For a normal case, one yard of 45-inch-wide cloth should suffice if the fabric is preshrunk

What kind of pillow goes in a sham?

Feather pillows make excellent sham fillers.

Where do you put a pillow sham?

In order to completely cover the pillow, insert the pillow into the opening at the end of the back, which normally has a fabric flange inside.

How much fabric do I need to make a king size pillow sham?

In order to cover the front and back of each standard king pillow, you’ll need around 1 1/4 yards of fabric, not including the sham.

How do you finish pillow edges?

Pin and stitch all around the pillow’s edges with the right sides together (if you’re using a zipper closure, leave it open at least half way). After sewing, trim the pillow’s back to match the front.

What is the edge of a pillow called?

It is the most basic sort of pillow seam; the two sides connect at this seam without any ornamentation, and there is a welt around the edge of this pillow that is constructed from the same fabric used in making the rest of the cushion.


The use of flanges on your bed pillows and throw pillows can provide a lot of character. You can try out different materials for your flanged cover when you know how to sew a pillow sham with flanges. A sewing machine may be preferable than sewing the flange by hand if you want to achieve the 3-inch flanged effect.

To begin, cut the fabric into the appropriate number of pieces for the desired cushion size. Finally, hem all of the edges, paying particular attention to the overlapping strips of back cloth. To complete the flange, stitch it in place using your favorite method.