Friday, March 8, 2013

Pillowcases to Cuddle

Gifting is the best excuse for crafting!  It legitimizes purchases of supplies that you love, but that aren't necessarily in a style or color that would fit with your own home decor.  Take this flannel fabric, for example.  So cute AND on sale, but not something that would fit my feminine apartment.  So, I turned to my favorite quick-and-easy fabric project, pillow cases!

My mother and I have started making pillow cases as gifts for friends and family who are experiencing life-changing events; things like undergoing surgery, moving to a new city, etc.  It is a gift that takes up very little space, is practical, and provides a bit of comfort and whimsy without it really mattering if it matches the rest of the decor or not.  The pillow case pattern is a common pattern because it is so simple and takes about 20 minutes from start to finish.

For the pillowcase, you will need 3/4 yards of a main body fabric, 1/3 yards of a coordinating pattern for the border, and then 1/8 yards of a coordinating solid color or tiny-print pattern for a strip between the two.  Trim the pieces to straight edges, then trim the selvage so that all three pieces are the same width.  The pieces will be stacked in such a way that one seam attaches all three pieces together.

To stack, lay your border piece right side up with the pattern facing away from you.  Then, take your middle strip, fold it in half with right sides out, and align with the upper edge of the border piece (which happens to be the bottom of the border piece's pattern).  Finally, take your main body piece and lay it out in front of you, right side up with the pattern facing you.  Roll up the fabric from the bottom, leaving a little bit of the top un-rolled.  Then, pick up the roll and align the top edge, right sides together, with the top of the other two pieces.  Finally, fold the bottom of the border edge up and align it with the top, so that you have a taco of fabric.  

You should have a total of 5 layers at the edge if the stack is correct.  Pin, sew one straight seam along the edge, then pull the center through the end to flip the right side out.  You should have one wide rectangle of fabric with 3 horizontal stripes.

Fold the rectangle in half, right side out, so that it looks like a regular pillow case.  Sew one seam down the side and the bottom of the case.

Then, flip the pillow case inside-out and use an iron to flatten the seams.  You will want to sew another seam down the side and bottom.  This will hide the sewn edges and protect them from fraying.

That is all there is to it!  Flip the pillow case back to the right side facing out and you have a completed pillow case.  This particular pillow case was sewn for James.  Tomorrow I head to the UK on business for three weeks, and I wanted to leave him with something to keep me on his mind!

xo Allison

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