Sunday, September 9, 2012

I Interrupt this Dress with Pillowcases!

Yes, I needed a change of pace - a quic-ker pick-er up-per.

I had already bought these fabrics just for making pillowcases - except for the fabric left over from my dress (upper left fabric):

So far, I have finished the white pillowcase liners, shown underneath at the right, and the red print pillowcases.  Since this fabric has printing along one edge, I sewed the pillowcases with the printing at the opposite end from the hem so I could cut off the words:

This is my quick version of pillowcases.  I use the full width of the fabric, preferably in the 42- to 45-inch range.  I always buy more than I need and prewash (washer and dryer) three times before cutting it out.  I cut across one end to even the fabric.The liner fabric is shown here with the big ruler ready for the cut:

First I measure 21" from the trimmed edge:

Then I roll up the fabric, skootch it across the cutting mat, and cut another 20" beyond that, for a total length of 41".  Here are all my printed fabrics on the ironing board, ready for the next step:

I was able to use a selvedge for the hems of the printed fabrics, but the white fabric had two unfinished selvedges.  I serge finished one edge of the liners for the hem.

The fabrics were folded crossways, which folded each selvedge in half.  A pin was placed three inches from the selvedge at the cut edge ...

... and at the folded edge:

I used the pins to fold the hem down:

I pinned all along the cut edge:

Here is a pile of pillowcases ready to be stitched:

I stitched them together on the serger, which makes it a really quick project.  I started at the hem, leaving a thread tail:

I stitched down the length of the pillowcase, angled in a bit at the end, and stitched off the fabric.  I then stitched across the end of the pillowcase, crossing the previous stitching at the side, and tapering in at both ends of that stitching.  This tapers in the corners just a little bit.  This is when the printed selvedges were cut off:

I used a double-eyed needle to tuck in the thread tails.  At the hem, I weave the needle between the hem and the pillowcase, pointing it towards the fold of the hem, and then out:

Once the needle is in place, I thread the tails into the needle and pull it back out.

When the thread tails are too long, I trim them.

Next, I steam press all the stitching, then I pin and press the three-inch hem in place:

I stitched the hems in place along the selvedge edges using my sewing machine:

Here is the end result:


  1. What a lovely way to freshen up a room- those look great!

    1. Yeah, they are "different!" It could have been a dress, but I already have enough red in my wardrobe - trying to balance it now with the blue side of the color wheel!

  2. I love your pillowslips! Where do you find a double-eye needle? I tie my thread ends back in all the time at the end of pockets and topstitching, but it takes more time with only one eye!

    1. I probably bought the double-eyed needle at Nancy's Notions. I just looked, and she still sells them.


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