Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Magic Pillowcases: A How-to

So fast and easy they're.....MAGIC!
This is a really fun, fast, and super-easy sewing project. I enjoyed making them and I'm sure you will, too, if you give it a try.

Standard size pillow case:
Main fabric: 3/4 yard
Trim: 2 inch strip, width of fabric (I made it with these dimensions--I think I prefer a wider strip for next time)
Cuff: 1/3 yard

1. Fold the two inch strip in half and iron with wrong sides together. (It helps to have all your fabrics nicely ironed)

2. Lay the cuff fabric on a table right side up. Place the trim fabric along the top edge of the cuff, matching raw edges. Place the main fabric on top of the trim fabric with the right side down, wrong side up. Pin layers together along top edge.

3. Roll up the main fabric so that a few inches of the cuff fabric shows along the bottom.

4. Bring the cuff fabric up over the roll of main fabric. Match up all the raw edges and re-pin. You should now have a long roll of fabric with all the layers encased in the cuff fabric.

5. Sew a straight 1/2 inch seam along the raw edge of your fabric roll.

6. Turn the pillowcase right side out by pulling the main fabric out from inside the cuff.

7. Press your trim and cuff fabrics. Looks good, doesn't it?

8. To finish the pillowcase, you will be making a french seam along the two unfinished edges. Place the raw edges together with right sides out using a 1/4 inch seam. Sew along the side and bottom of case.

9. Turn pillow case inside out and sew the seams again, using a 1/2 inch seam. Turn right side out, press, and enjoy.

See, that was easy, wasn't it? Here are some things I learned making my first one that helped my second one to be better:

Even if you read the directions in my blog and they seem confusing, I promise that if you get your fabric and try it step-by-step with the pieces in front of you, it will make sense. Pinky-swear.

Taking your time and keeping your raw edges nice and even will make your pillowcase look better when it's finished. My first trim fabric waved around a little because it wasn't pinned quite evenly.

Even though you're using the whole width of the fabric, bolts may vary slightly in size, so be prepared to trim some of your edges to match. A rotary cutter (which I don't have yet, but intend to get) works great for this.

I found that ironing my french seam before sewing the final seam made it go a little better. Also, make sure your loose threads are trimmed off those edges of fabric or they will poke out of your nice, neat seam.

I finished these two pillowcases in under an hour, and that was with stopping to photograph each step. They're lots of fun and can be used for birthday, wedding, house warming, or just-because gifts.

Go crazy with your creativity!

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