Togetherness Crafts: Making a Unique Pillowcase

boysewing3.jpg

I wanted to go to the fabric store. This meant I needed to convince my boys that they wanted to go too. I’ve taken them several times before and while it’s not their favorite, they usually manage to be tolerable. To make it pleasant I promised they could each choose fabric for their own pillowcase.

Surprisingly they got really excited about it, and very quickly each boy picked out the prints of his choice. They were mighty pleased with themselves at the cutting counter, showing the ladies what they’d chosen. We got 3/4 of a yard of the main print, and 1/4 of a yard of the complementary accent color.

I washed and ironed the fabrics. There’s not a lot of cutting or sewing required for this project, but if you take the time to trim your pieces square the end product is much nicer.

rotary cutter

This. Is a rotary cutter. It is VERY. SHARP. I do not let my children use it. I’ve seen far too many adults get cut with it, and with the number of exciting distractions present in my home I’m not ready to have the boys use it yet. When will they be ready? Perhaps when they’re 25. I’m not sure.

Hey Internets, did I mention that the rotary cutter was very sharp? Because it is. Sharp. Not for children.

fabric being cut with rotary cutter

If YOU want to use the rotary cutter, be careful! It is very sharp. It’s best used on a special self-healing cutting mat. All you do is lay your rotary cutting ruler on top of the fabric lined up where you want it, and run the cutter (which is very sharp!!) along the edge of the ruler.

I trimmed both of the cut edges of my fabric and “squared up” the piece. Basically this means that the piece is a rectangle, about 28 inches long and 42 inches wide. If your piece isn’t exactly those measurements don’t sweat it.

Lay the smaller fabric piece on the table, right side (printed side) up. Spread it out nice and flat. This is going to be the “cuff” of the pillowcase. Take the larger piece, and lay it right side down on top of the first piece, lining up the edges. This will be the body of the case.

fabric folded

Here you can see that the two fabrics are right sides together on the table. I folded back the corner temporarily to demonstrate the difference between right and wrong sides of the fabric.

Roll up the body (top) fabric until you have a nice “snake” lying the length of the cuff piece. Like this:

rolled fabric

If the selvage edges don’t line up on both sides, no problem. Follow through with the steps and we’ll address that little issue later. Just line up one side and the top.

Take the bottom edge of the cuff piece and fold it up over the rolled fabric and pin.

boy putting pins in fabric

You want the single edge of the body piece and both edges of the cuff piece to line up. It’s important to be sure that none of the rolled fabric is up near the edges. (I’ve temporarily promoted myself to hand model only to demonstrate the roll of fabric inside the folded cuff. I’ll demote me again shortly for obvious reasons. Thank you.)

fabric being pinned

Sew your fabric along the raw pinned edges, pulling the pins out as you go.

Once you’ve gone the length of the fabric you’ll need to turn the tube inside out pulling the body print out as you go. It’ll look like this:

fabric being pulled inside out

I like to run the iron over the cuff at this point. It’s easier to line up the edges and get a nice straight line on the finished product.

Remember those uneven pieces? Now’s the time to go back to the cutting board and trim off the longer piece to match the shorter one.

folded pillowcase, ready to be sewn

Fold the pillowcase in half, lining up the edges and pinning to hold in place.

Starting at the cuff, sew along the raw edge. Backstitch at the beginning and end of your line. Turn the corner and sew along the bottom of the pillowcase, backstitching at the beginning and end of the line again. Remove all pins.

Turn the pillowcase right side out and iron. Voila! One yard of fabric, two seams, and about half an hour of your time and you’ve got a beautiful homemade pillowcase. Enjoy!

handmade pillow case

Earnest Parenting: help for moms who want to go to the fabric store.

The editor-in-chief of Earnest Parenting, Amy is the mother of two sets of twin boys. Yes, they drive her crazy, but they also make her laugh occasionally. Amy enjoys writing, quilting, reading, and working on her burgeoning cyber empire.

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  • nan November 14, 2008, 6:36 pm

    thank you for so much detail in your instructions – and photos – that makes this actually seem doable. I’m going to plan this with my kids over the holidays.
    Nan

    Reply
  • Amy November 15, 2008, 3:00 am

    Nan, you’re most welcome. I actually have more photos, lol. The boys are getting used to me taking photos of everything we do. I just have to get better at posting them.

    Do let us know how the project works out, won’t you?

    Reply
  • Travel Brochure November 15, 2008, 4:43 am

    Interesting job for kids. The steps with the photos are really useful. Eager to try it out.

    Reply
  • Mary November 15, 2008, 8:50 am

    hmmmm would you be interested in teaching a homeschool class on sewing?????????? LOL I’m going to start trying to teach Nathan. He wants to sew and I HATE it! argggggggh!

    Reply
  • Sandra Foyt November 15, 2008, 4:46 pm

    This is a great project for my homeschooled son, and may be a nifty holiday gift idea. Thanks!

    Reply
  • Amy November 17, 2008, 12:57 am

    Mary, yes I would! It might be fun to do something like that in the winter when we’re all bored to tears.

    Sandra if your son makes some we want to see pictures!! I’ve also been toying with the idea that a really fine fleece would be soft and wonderful as a pillowcase.

    Reply
  • Air Jordans November 18, 2008, 1:12 pm

    Clever way to get the boys interested before they go to school and (depending on the peer attitude) are told sewing is feminine. Relate stories of the high school girls who are on football teams as you sew.

    Way to go.

    Reply
  • Reith November 19, 2008, 5:08 am

    If that child can do that, i can do that too, LOL, it seems to be fun. might as well try it out, it looks to be easy because of the step b step photos.

    Reply
  • Amy November 19, 2008, 1:35 pm

    Air Jordans, thanks! Some of the people who make the most money in the quilting industry are men. The boys saw a girl or two on football teams when they played this fall, lol. I’m sure I’ll miss a detail here and there, but I’m trying to make sure they know that people aren’t limited by gender.

    Reith, it is really easy! The first time I made one it took a little longer but once you’ve been through it once it’s a snap. It’s fun to have a custom pillowcase for a few bucks’ worth of fabric rather than having to pay $10 or more at the store for one.

    Reply
  • Cheap Cars November 20, 2008, 5:55 am

    Very clever boy he is making pillowcase very perfectly like a tailor. Best of luck wonder boy.

    ==> http://www.rzcars.com/browse_car.php

    Reply
  • Amy November 22, 2008, 11:16 pm

    Cheap Cars, thanks for the compliment. I’ll pass it on to the boys!

    Reply
  • Ferienwohnung Leutasch December 9, 2008, 1:58 am

    Wonderful information.. Thank you a lot for the informations and tips..

    Reply
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    Reply