Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Magic Pillowcase

Yay... it feels so great to be sharing a sewing tutorial after a few weeks of knit and crochet! This tutorial first appeared on the fun home dec blog-- What's Ur Home Story! If you haven't visited-- I recommend checking it out!

When Vidya What's Ur Home Story from asked me to share an easy beginner sewing home dec project I was a bit stumped-- I normally recommend skirts as first sewing projects. But then this magic pillowcase popped into my head. This pillowcase is such a simple and satisfying project to make-- I might just change my recommendation for beginners!
The Magic Pillow Case Tutorial By Make It Handmade.

This pillowcase is sized to fit a standard pillow. This is a simple project with only straight line sewing. If you know how to thread your machine, you'll be able to make this pillow. In fact-- the hardest part of this project is the pinning and ironing. I'll give tips along the way for what to do if you make a mistake. I'm using fabric and a sheet leftover from a quilt I'm making. Once I'm finished, I'll have a matching set that is completely unique and handmade at no extra cost!
The Magic Pillow Case Tutorial By Make It Handmade.



Materials:

  • 1 rectangle of fabric 27" by 45" (pillow body)
  • 1 rectangle of fabric 9 " by 45" (pillow cuff)
  • 1 rectangle of fabric 2" by 45 (this is the optional accent piece)

In addition to the fabric, you will also need scissors, pins, sewing machine and access to a hot iron.

I recommend using quilting cotton and avoiding any slippery fabrics if you are a beginner. Another frugal option is to use a portion of a 'flat sheet' from any big box store for the body of the pillow, which is what I did here. You should easily be able to get two pillowcases (and perhaps even a curtain) from a flat sheet that will match your bedding perfectly.

Pillowcase Cuff and Accent:

Start by ironing both the cuff and the accent (if you have it) in half wrong sides together as shown. 
The Magic Pillow Case Tutorial By Make It Handmade.

Next, find a large space, and lay your fabrics down, taking care to match up the long, 45 inch raw edge as follows:

Note: You'll notice that I cut my cuff and accent piece slightly larger than my pillow body to better show how to layer the fabric. All of your fabric layers will be the same length (45"). 

Cuff fabric, right (pretty) side up
Pillow body fabric, right side up
Accent fabric, right side up



Now here is the fun part! Roll up the pillow body...
The Magic Pillow Case Tutorial By Make It Handmade.The Magic Pillow Case Tutorial By Make It Handmade.
Until you can see the cuff piece and flip it up to the top.
The Magic Pillow Case Tutorial By Make It Handmade.
Making sure all the raw edges are together and lined up pin along the edge. Then sew with with a .5 inch seam allowance removing pins as you go.
The Magic Pillow Case Tutorial By Make It Handmade.
Now you should have a long tube with the pillowcase body and accent piece tucked inside. Pull on the pillowcase body until everything is turned out.
The Magic Pillow Case Tutorial By Make It Handmade.
Tada! Once you've pulled your pillowcase out, you'll see that all the seams for the accent, cuff and pillowcase body are magically hidden inside the cuff. Iron your pillow, taking care to make sure the cuff is flat and even.  If the side and bottom seams don't match up perfectly, you can give them a small trim at this point.

French Seams

Now all we have to do is sew up the sides and bottom of the pillow! Although you can do this with a regular seam, we are going to do a french seam, which is a simple way of hiding all the raw edges.

First, fold the pillowcase so the wrong sides together, pin and sew along the bottom and side using a very small seam allowance (around 1/4 of an inch.) An easy way to get a small seam allowance is to move your needle to the furthest right position.
The Magic Pillow Case Tutorial By Make It Handmade.

Turn the pillowcase inside out and iron the bottom and side seams very well. Move your needle over to the left and sew with a large seam allowance (5/8 of an inch or larger) down the bottom and side seams again. This will 'trap' the raw edges between the two seams.

Now your pillowcase is ready to use and enjoy! For bonus points, send me a picture-- I'd love to see it! Here's mine on the matching quilt.
The Magic Pillow Case Tutorial By Make It Handmade.

I'm going to start doing more home dec sewing. It's wonderful to make something I know is going to fit and will be enjoyed by my family for years to come.