Wednesday, April 14, 2010

KT's Old Fashioned Pillowcase Tutorial: The four feet, thirteen step dance!

I hope you dance!!!!

Oh, and this is my entry into the Bronte along!  I finished Jane Eyre, and watched the movie to boot.  These pillowcases make me think of how much more attention was given to trimming things to be beautiful.  Click on the button on my side bar to see what this is all about!

So many people took time to give good advice about the border of Rainy Days and Mondays, that I thought I'd say thank you with a little tutorial!  (If you are dying to see what I have done to that border, there are pictures in a set on my photostream.  Click on the link to my photostream on the side bar.)

First, the drama behind the scenes.  I pillow!  Maybe that is shameful for a grown woman, but I vow to always tell the truth to you all. ;0)  When we go somewhere overnight, this is how my pillow looks.   Last fall we went on vacation to Gulf Shores, and while getting ready, I noticed that my travel pillowcase was getting tiny holes.  I left it in my normal white case...disaster!!!  My pillow now resides in a condo in Alabama!!  (This wouldn't be a problem if I were still there too.)  These pillowcases came from my mother, so I called her.  Turns out these babies were made by a great-aunt almost 50 years ago!!!  They have a right to be holey.  As I looked closely at them, I decided she was a smart cookie!

Here is what you need to make your own:
One yard of fabric  (I used gingham in honor of my aunt, the black can't be left behind!)
1 1/2 yards of trim pictured below (I don't know what it is called!)

1 1/2 yards of gathered eyelet lace, at least 2 1/2 inch wide
1 1/2 yards of grossgrain ribbon, width to lace through your above trim
applique foot
1/4 inch seam foot
rolled hem foot
blind hem foot

1.  I evened up the cut edges of my yard of fabric, and trimmed to 30" in length because that works for my standard size pillow.  Be sure to leave width, from salvage to salvage, alone!!

2.  Using your blind hem foot, adjust it so that the needle comes down in the perfect spot on the trim.  Sew the trim to the top of the lace.  NO I DON'T PIN!!!!!

3.  Using my rolled hem foot, I roll one of the cut edges.  Be sure the RIGHT SIDE IS UP if it make a difference in your fabric.  This will make sense later!!

4.  Apply your trimmed lace to the rolled hem.

Here is a picture with me holding the edge of the lace back so that you can see how the wrong side of the lace lines up with the rolled hem (right side of the fabric).
Here it is pinned into place.

5.  The blind hem foot should already be adjusted to the same spot.  Stitch that down to the fabric on the same stitch line.

6.  Switch to the applique foot, and sew along the top edge of the trim.  (I just love that little red arrow!!)

7.  Now, to sew the seams, we are going to make a french seam!!!  Use that 1/4" foot and fold the case WRONG SIDES TOGETHER, RIGHT SIDES OUT.  This will seam weird, you are going to have to trust me.  The only place that I pinned was around the bulky lace.  Sew side and bottom together.

8.  Clip that corner.  Then trim your sewn edges to a generous 1/8th inch.

I used shears for the bulky lace.

And my zippy rotary cutter and ruler for fabric edges.  (Sorry for the blurry picture, it is getting late)

10.  Turn WRONG SIDE OUT and press those seams open.  Note how nicely the funky edges are all enclosed!

11.  Still using the 1/4" foot, stitch along side and bottom again, enclosing raw edges!!!!  Turn right side out, told you it would work!!!  Almost done!!

12.  Lace the ribbon starting in the middle of the front, and in the second hole of one of those two-hole sets.  You will just have to improvise a little at the seam.  It will be fine, really!

13.  Tie a bow.  Tack down the center.  Treat the edges of the ribbon with fray check, or a match if you are steadier than me!!

There you have it, old fashioned pillowcases,  speedy quick.  Mine are done just in time.  Treasure and I are GOING TO PADUCAH next week,  I don't want to loose my pillow again!! 

Please comment on this post if you have any questions or need any clarifications.  I would love to see your pillowcases!!!




  1. these are so pretty...the black and white case is a great plan for not losing your favorite pillow. i would be devastated!!!

  2. I really enjoyed your tutorial. You showed how to use two of the feet I have and also you answered a question I had about the french seams. I had a problem with the corners making a cup.....Thanks so much!!

  3. Knowing how much Squishy and I mean to each other, he loves me as much as I love him, I feel your pain each time I think of this tragedy.

    The new pillowcases look beautiful and very professional. Just right to take to a very swanky and professional place like Paducah!

    I'm spring cleaning. Just what you need after the flu.

  4. Love these pillowcases; and have fun in Paducah!!!

  5. KT, perfect tutorial!!! Love the black gingham and eyelet. I take my pillow everywhere too...except on a husband gets too embarrassed ;-) YOU GET TO GO TO PADUCAH!!!!! Have a great time.

  6. Love your pillow case! A great way to get ready for a big trip to Paducah!! You lucky girl!

  7. Your tutorial is beyong words. I am going to try this myself. Thank you so very much for sharing it with us all. Thanks for having me. Tammy


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