Free Pillow Sham Pattern

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I’ve blinked and suddenly it’s time to send my second “baby” off to college already. I’m not sure how it happened so quickly. But here we are. My baby found a comforter that she liked but couldn’t find a pillow sham to coordinate with the comforter. No problem. I told her I’d make a one for her. She and I went shopping together so that she could find a fabric that she loved.  I created a this free pillow sham pattern that’s easy to make with just beginner level sewing skills. 

White with black women's fashion silhouettes fabric pillow sham on pink blanket

Trust me when I tell you I am not a seamstress. For those of you who are, please forgive my elementary explanations. But if I’m able to create this gorgeous pillow sham with my limited sewing skills, then anyone can, no matter what your sewing skills are. Really. 


white fabric with women's fashion silhouettes laying on top of new pillow in bab

I started with a pillow and fabric that my baby fell in love with at first sight. My baby enjoys fashion and retro fashion at that, so this fabric is perfect for her. You’ll need a piece that is 24 x 65 1/2 inches. If you purchase fabric with a pattern that needs to be lined up and has a right-side-up (the women need to be upright), then plan for that and purchase enough fabric to accommodate the pattern. 

pillow sham pattern in blue with black text and red arrows

Cut your fabric so that you have a piece that is 24 inches tall and 65 1/2 inches long. 

ruler on edge of fabric with red pins

Start by sewing a seam on the two short sides of the fabric. Turn 1/2 inch under and then fold it over again. Sew this seam down. 

back side of white and black fabric laying on wood table

Fold the fabric over. You will need to leave an opening on the the back of the sham to insert the pillow. The short side of the opening should be 8 3/4 inches long. The entire pillow sham should be 31 inches wide. 

Because of the pattern on my fabric, I had a seam that I had to plan to accommodate. I used a pillow sham that I already have as a guide, so I laid it out to plan for my seam to be on the back of the pillow sham.

red pillow sham laying next to white and black fabric inside out with red arrow pointing to a seam

Pin and then sew the long sides together with a 1/4 inch seam.

black and white fabric pinned together with red arrows pointing at the pins

Turn the pillow sham right side out. Straighten all the seams and pin around the edges. Sew a seam 1 3/4 inches from the edge to create the pillow flange. 

close up of black ribbon embellishment on corner of black and white pillow

My baby immediately realized that the pillow sham needed a bit more embellishment. We added a black ribbon. I hand-sewed the ribbon onto the pillow sham. 

Close up side view of black and white pillow sham with fashion silhouettes

Adding the ribbon embellishment really took this fashionable pillow sham to a classy level, don’t you agree?

black and white pillow sham on pink blanket

Now each night when my baby is away at college and heads to bed, she’ll see a concrete reminder of how much I love her and miss her. Who do you know that would appreciate a personalized pillow sham that you can make from this free pillow sham pattern?

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  1. How fun is that! What a great way to personalize her dorm room. She will think of you every time she sees that pillow…and everything else you have made for her. She is one lucky “baby” to have you!!!!

  2. I love this pillow sham. I am so in love with the fabric. I bet this sham reminds your baby of you overtime she sees it. Such great instructions too.

  3. I have actually been needing to make a sham for a pillow in my son’s room – adding this to this week’s to-do list. Thanks so much for the free pattern!

  4. Hang on! I did it, too. Then I blinked again. And now he’s 43 years old, married, and raising a teenager!
    Thanks for the tutorial. I’m making shams for my new quilt my sister-in-law made me.

    1. Yes, I think so, Barbara. We added it after we’d finished the sham and felt like it was too plain. If you plan ahead, you should just be able to machine sew it before you assemble the front and back of the sham. I’d love to see a photo of your finished one!!!

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