Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pillowcases are fun!

As promised, here's some instructions for the pillowcases I made this weekend -- super easy!!

Begin with three pieces of fabric cut the width of the fabric
27" x 42" for the body of the pillowcase
1 3/4" x 42" for the accent piece
11" x 42" for the cuff of the pillowcase

Here are my choices ... I'm making this for a young friend of mine who has a birthday coming up next week!

The first thing to do is take your accent piece and fold it in half, wrong sides together and press so you have a nice even folded piece to work with. Open up your pillowcase body so the selvedges are on each side (working across the width of the fabric) and pin the accent piece to the right side of the fabric.

Now take your cuff piece and open that up so the selvedges are on each side and working across the width of the fabric, pin this on the WRONG side of your pillowcase fabric right along the edge where you pinned your accent piece.

Good so far?

Lay your pinned pieces out and roll UP the body of the pillowcase, and bring the lower edge of the cuff to the front, so you're sort of stuffing the body into the cuff.

Pin this all the way across so you end up with a big of a fabric "sausage roll" ...

And take this over to your sewing machine and put in a 1/4" seam across that entire pinned edge.

All of this should have taken you maybe a half hour to 45 minutes.

Here's the next fun step! Choose one end of your tube and reach in to find the pillowcase body. Begin to pull it out, turning the cuff right side. It's almost like birthing a quilt (only way smaller and easier!).

Once you have it all turned right side out, take it to the ironing board and press your cuff flat. Back to the cutting board and fold your pillowcase so that your selvedges are on the right and the left. Trim off the selvedges and any uneven edges so that both sides are completely even with each other.
With WRONG sides together, fold your pillowcase and stitch down the open side and across the bottom USING A SCANT 1/4" SEAM. Yes, you're reading this correctly -- sew this with wrong sides together. When you're finished, trim off the two bottom corners. I generally put a pin at the point where the accent pieces match to be sure they are totally lined up with each other, but it's not required.

Turn your pillowcase inside out.
Back to the sewing machine and stitch those same two seams, only this time use a 3/8" seam allowance. You want to be sure you catch the first seams in this one. This is going to give you a beautiful closed seam on the inside so you'll never have little threads tangling up inside there. Once again, trim your corners so that they form nice crisp edges when you turn your case back right side.

And here's my finished pillowcase just in time to send to my little birthday friend!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I'm back ...

I was shocked at the date on the last post ... a much longer hiatus than I had envisioned, and my apologies for the delay in continuing our Shakespeare In the Park journey! I'll resume the class later this week, so thanks for your patience.

It's been an "interesting" few months, culminating with my gastric bypass surgery in January -- definitely a life changer! But it's all goooood :) As my weight goes down my energy level is going up, and that is definitely a positive exchange!

I spent the past weekend on a quilty retreat at my favorite local quilt store, What's Your Stitch 'n Stuff and, as always, had a blast! It being Valentine's weekend, I spent a little bit of time working on a gift for my darling husband, Howard -- special pillowcases for the day :) I learned a great new way (for me) to make these little quickies and tomorrow I'll post a little tutorial on how I made them. It's a good excuse for me to make some more!!

See you tomorrow! Hope you are keeping your sewing machines warmed up! I've got a small pile of tops ready for the longarm ... are you a topper or a finisher? lol!!