Thursday, December 6, 2012

How to Customize your Store Bought Pillowcase Tutorial

I wanted to make some pillowcase for Christmas but, I wasn't into the whole making pillowcase from scratch thing. As far as I could tell, from the tutorials for pillowcases online, it was going to be a couple yards of fabric, just for the case, plus more fabric for the cuff. Although it look super easy, I started adding all this up in my head and though there had to be a better way. Plus as far as my sheets go they usually have a higher thread count and are much softer than quilting cotton. Plus pillowcases really don't cost that much (at least not as much as a couple yards of fabric. So I decided to find some really nice pillowcases on sale and customize the store bought pillowcase to match the quilt. Now just because I like to share, I thought I would make a little the tutorial for you. 

How to Customize your Store Bought Pillowcase Tutorial:
How to Customize Your Pillowcase -
- A pillowcases
- 9 inches x Width of Fabric (WoF) peice of fabric
-sewing machine
-seam ripper
-rotary blade, mat and ruler
-measuring tape

Step 1:  Start with a store bought pillowcase in your color of choice. Here you have two options, you have to look at your pillow and pillowcase to figure out the best option. You can either cut off the cuff or you can use your handy dandy seam ripper and pick out the stitching. I measured the cuff on these pillowcases and it was under 4 inches since my cuff was going to be 4 1/2 inches unfinished I knew I could just cut off the end and it would end up being the same size. If your pillowcase cuff  is smaller you may need to unpick and cut down to the right size. You might also check your pillow to see how big the pillowcase is compared to the pillow. It may not matter if you have a smaller sized pillow to fit in a much larger sized pillowcase.

Customized Pillowcase.jpg

Step Two: Measure the whole perimeter (P) of the opening to your pillowcase with your measuring tape and measure the width of your fabric.  It is important that you measure all the way around the pillowcase rather than just measuring one side. I found that the store bought pillowcase often bunched up and I wasn't able to get a good measurement without measuring all the way around.

Your width of  fabric needs to be 1 inch longer than your pillowcase to allow for seam allowance. With my pillowcase the perimeter (P) of the opening was 42 inches and lucky for me the WOF happened to be 43.

Step 3: Fold the 9 by (P +1) piece of fabric in half by matching up the long sides. Press with the iron.

Customized Pillowcase-1.jpg

Step 4: Open the fabric back up. Take the two short ends and match the right sides together.

Customized Pillowcase-2.jpg

Step 5:  Sew together with a 1/2 inch seam allowance to make the cuff.

Customized Pillowcase-4.jpg

Step 6: Press seam allowance open.

Customized Pillowcase-5.jpg

Step 7: Flip the cuff right side out and use the previously ironed line to help you make a nice cuff. Lightly press again.

Customized Pillowcase-6.jpg

Step 8: Turn your pillowcase inside out, so the seams are now on the outside. Put your cuff inside the pillowcase and pin well. Make sure right sides are together.

Customized Pillowcase-7.jpg

Step 9: Sew 1/2 inch seam allowance all the way around. Make sure to start and stop by back stitching a couple stitches.

Customized Pillowcase-8.jpg

Step 10: Turn the pillowcase right side out and make sure everything look good. Look all the way around making sure that the fabric didn't slip at all and your seam looks good.

Customized Pillowcase-9.jpg

Step 11: Finish the raw edge.

Customized Pillowcase-12.jpg

I used a serger stitch, which a built in stitch and uses a special foot for my machine. If you have a serger you could just serger the edge. Or if you don't have either of these options you could zigzag the edge.

Customized Pillowcase-11.jpg

Step 12: Turn right side out again and press.

Customized Pillowcase-13.jpg

Repeat the process if you would like to make more customized pillowcases.

Customized Pillowcase-16.jpg

These pillowcases will go with the quilt that I made Gramps' for his 80th birthday! 

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  1. It looks very nice, I am sure your Gramps will appreciate this lovely addation to his quilt!

  2. Hey, cool! The cases are perfect now for the quilt!

  3. Brilliant idea!! The quilt you made is fabulous too!

  4. I agree that this is a brilliant idea!!! Your reasons for doing it make perfect sense - thanks for making me think outside the box. I appreciate your tutorial.

  5. Thank you so much to your ideas! I just made these and they turned out so great! Thank you thank you!

    Gretta Hewson
    Veritable Fishing Lodge Alaska Website


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