Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Custom Pillowcase Tutorial - perfect project for Camp

I can hardly believe the time is almost here. Both of my girls are heading off to sleepaway camp with a handful of their friends and the excitement level is HIGH in our house! I feel like I'm sending them off to college at the rate I've been spending for camp stuff whether it was the cool trunk we bought that's now been fully decorated, all their toiletries, gear they need and of course the care packages I'm making. They are over the days of me making them custom clothing (I guess I had to let them grow up eventually) but now we look for other ways we can make something personal to take along.

For camp we are making custom pillowcases and I've had fun watching them make a mess back in my office digging through the bins of fabric. I hope when they lay their heads down at the end of a fun day, they'll remember Mom and Dad at home! This is such an EASY project that if you can get your machine powered on and threaded, just follow along and you can easily make your own. Click on any pictures to make them bigger if you need to zoom in for detail.

Here's your supplies you need. Your 2 fabrics and thread and you are ready!

I lay mine out on my quilters mat and cut with my rotary cutter. Cut 25 1/2" and then turn and cut 20" across. Cut your trim piece at 9 1/2" and then turn and again, cut this the same length as your main piece, 20" across. Remember, both are on the fold when cutting!

Fold your piece now with the right sides facing each other, you will be sewing down 2 sides of your piece. One long side and one short side. The short side that was left open should measure about 19 3/4 inches across if you kept to your 1/4" seam allowance. This should fit the average size pillow but if you think you have a very full and fluffy pillow, cut your piece wider. Pin your seams if it helps you. I stitch using about 1/4" seam allowance. (this should be the distance from your needle to the edge of your presser foot, I like this as a seam allowance as I have a constant guide) After I've stitched, I serge the 2 edges I've just sewn. Most people don't have sergers, no worries just leave the raw edge alone or you can zig zag over your raw edges to finish them.
*note, if your fabric has a direction to it, make sure to leave the side open that is the bottom of your print. For example, on my fabric, I have birds so I wanted their heads to face towards the stitched shut side of my case and the bottoms of their body facing the open side of the pillowcase. Check your print before you stitch your short side to ensure you did the right one.

Next take your trim piece and fold it in half (wrong sides together) the long way and press a seam in it. Then open it up and turn it joining the 2 short sides, right sides together and stitch that short side shut.

You will sew the short side seams together, Stitch line should be same width as your big piece shown in pic above. Next you will refold it along that seam you just pressed down in the prior step so that you are looking at the right sides of the fabric on both sides. I will usually press it again here and put the seam to one side. This helps me to not mess up having the seam off to one side so I remember to match them up when joining to the large part of the case. Press it here and it helps!

Take the trim piece and nest it inside the main part of the pillowcase and pin together matching up the raw edges of your main piece and trim piece. Begin with matching up the 2 side seams from main print and trim print and go from there pinning the other side next and then the other midpoints. After you are pinned, stitch all the way around these 2 pieces using a 1/4" seam allowance. Remember, you are still looking at the wrong side of the fabric. After I've stitched around, serge if you have a serger.

You can technically be done at this point but I like mine to look very finished. Follow on if you are type A like me! Take that interior seam and press it up towards the inside of the pillowcase.

Now take the case to your machine and add a top stitch to the case. It finishes off the piece as you stitch up that interior seam and helps the case to keep it's shape there.

There you go, all done! We are making them for friends who are also going and having so much fun seeing their print selections! For time sake, we are being more simple in our cases but these could be so fun to add ruffles to, applique their names to the trim and more! Keep it plain on one side, you need at least one comfortable side free of add ons to sleep on!

Here's a few more, these girls love peace signs!


Heidi said...


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