Super easy do-it-yourself pillowcases….. Sure, if you are a professional seamstress, right? Nope! I am no professional, in fact, I am self-taught. Well, unless you count that half a semester back in middle school home economics class when I was supposed to sew a nightgown. Yeah, that didn’t end well!
Seriously folks, I didn’t start sewing till I was pushing 30. I bought a second hand machine and decided to just sit down and go for it. Recently my hubby bought me a new machine and what an amazing thing that is. It does stitches I don’t even know what I would use them for! I never buy patterns, I am more of a “wing it and see if it works” kind of girl.
But fear not, I have learned how to come up with my own patterns and simple ways to make things without all the technique jargon and know-how and so can you. If you can sew a semi-straight line, you can totally make these!
When I first started sewing pillowcases for the country kids, I made simple bags type cases for them. They were cute with the novelty prints I picked, but I knew I could do better. Don’t get me wrong, they loved them, but I wanted to up my game with a more finished edge.
For their Christmas pillowcases I decided I wanted to add an edge to the pillowcase to make them look more finished. I did some measuring and a little research and found that a standard size pillow will fit nicely in a 31 inch long by 22 inch wide pattern as most standard pillows are around 20″ x 26″. Most fabric comes in 44 or 45 inches wide, so I tailored my pattern to fit the width of a normal bolt of fabric, so these measurements fit nicely.
For this project you will need a piece of fabric 44 inches wide, which you will fold in half and 27 inches long. This will be the body of the pillowcase. For the edge you will need a coordinating fabric that is 44 inches in length and 8 inches wide. This piece will be folded over on itself to make a nicely finished 4 inch edge on the pillowcase.
I love using a roller cutter on my fabric as it makes cutting a breeze and leaves a nice straight edge to work with. If your fabric is wrinkled (like the edge of mine in the photo) it is a good idea to iron it before you start cutting. And a yard stick is awesome not only for measuring, but making those straight cuts quickly.
Once you have your pieces, it is important to pin it together before you start sewing. I never used to like to pin things, but I have found it makes everything match up a lot nicer than having to keep stopping and realigning my fabric as I fed it through the machine. A few seconds of pinning makes sewing so much faster. Start by folding your edge in half and pinning it to the body. Make sure your “good side” of the fabrics face each other so when you are done running a straight stitch to attach them together, they will open to a nicely finished looking seam.
Now simply fold your newly edged piece of fabric in half, inside out (nice part of fabric touching) and sew the case together. A simple straight stitch will do. You will only be making two runs, down the end and across. I try to line my fabric up so that my stitch is about an inch from the edge of the fabric. Once the fabric has been sewn together into a “bag” simply turn it right side out and slide in a pillow.
See, I told you is was super easy to do! You can turn out a bunch of these in a very short time. I like finding novelty patterns for different seasons and holidays so my country kids can have a neat pillowcase to fit the occasion. And from the smile on the littlest country kid’s face, I would say he approves!