Monday, June 6, 2011

Making a Pillowcase or...

...how I returned from my sewing hiatus!  In the past two weeks I have done a lot of purging. I knew I had lots of tablecloths, maybe more than the average hostess. That's what happens when you love fabric. Some I have donated or given to others but I had this one 50x50 inch really lovely heavy damask tablecloth. What to do....... I decided I would never use a tablecloth that size again, sort of card table size, if you know what that is, but it sure would make some awesome pillowcases. A few years back I purchased some 450 count Egyptian brushed cotton linens for our bedroom and they are my favorite of all time. I love the heavy brushed effect and it feels yummy next to the skin. This heavy damask gave me the same feeling so the pillowcases were a no brainer. Here is a simple tute of how I did it.
  • You need to end up with a cut piece of fabric 40 x 30 inches. Layed out flat, the finished PC will be 20 x 30, so you need the 40x30 for both sides. That's a finished size. Add seam allowances. If you are one of those super sharpies out there, you just figured out that 30 and 30 add up to 60 and I don't have enough fabric in my 50 inch tablecloth. Well I do. First, I cut the tablecloth in half. Then I folded and pressed down the middle so the pattern of the damask would be balanced as much as it could. I cut it so I had 40x25 inch pieces but I also had ten inches of width left over. This I cut into five inch wide strips. Hope I haven't boggled your mind with this. No matter, you will probably never use a 50x50 piece of fabric for your two pillowcases. 
  • All trim is added "in the flat" before sewing up any side seams. I searched the stash and came up with some lovely eyelet as well as some beading. Next I found white 3/8ths inch grosgrain to fill the beading. First I stitched on the eyelet with a 1/4 inch seam.
  • Next I dealt with the leftover 5 inch wide strips. These were pieced so I ended up with two long pieces, one for each pillowcase. I managed to use a selvedge edge so only stitched it in a 1/4 inch seam. This was pressed open and then placed at the center of the 40 inch edge on top of the eyelet. That way, when the PC (pillowcase from hereon) was pressed, the seam landed on the fold and was not obvious. The eyelet will be covering most of this seam anyway.

  • After stitching on the strips and eyelet, I ran the seam through the serger. PCes need to be tough and have to take a lot of washing.  All seams possible here were stitched, serged, and then topstitched. The edgestitching foot is invaluable here.  It was time to add some beading. I played with it a bit and decided the beading  looked best applied 3/8ths inch away from the strip seamline. It gave the "cuff" more depth this way. Grosgrain ribbon was run through the beading.

All this time the PC is still flat. Once the edge is hemmed and fully trimmed, you can sew up the long side seam with a half inch seam. Again it is serged after and pressed to the side. Next step is to sew the closed end of the pillow case with a straight stitch. I used a 1.0 stitch length when I got to the corners. This closed end is then serged and pressed to the side.

I apologize for any difficulty viewing the photos. I had to do some major tweaking because of the all white fabrics and trims. This was a great one day project for getting me back into my sewing groove.
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The whole sewing hiatus was a good thing. Our veggie garden is in. 95% of our landscaping issues are dealt with. House guests have been enjoyed and sent back home. Six pounds were lost from not sitting on my arse sewing and moving around the gardens instead. (That really scares me.)It was a "good thing" as Martha says. I am refreshed and feel much pressure removed and that is what it is about. Next in the queue is a smocked hanky linen bishop for the AG doll and a pair of Burda Style pants for moi. After some more gardening tomorrow morning, those projects will begin. Thanks for sticking with me through my absence......Bunny

14 comments:

  1. Gorgeous as usual Bunny! Love'em.

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  2. pretty, pretty pillowcases. I'm glad you're back, but happy you got the gardening etc done. 6 pounds huh? I need to get out there too then.

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  3. Hmmm...I've never lost six pounds out in the garden. Maybe I'm doing it wrong.

    Gorgeous pillowcases!

    Kathy

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  4. I love all pillowcases so I went straight for your blog when I saw your post. Yours are so beautiful and I can imagine how soft and comfy they are because I too have such a table cloth but not to be cut up. However, I am now going to looking for one to use.

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  5. Beau-t-ful! Have sweet dreams on those one of a kind linens. I hope your eye injury is healed and you have no scars. What a terrible scare! I think of it every time I bend over near a table.

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  6. What a great way to repurpose a tablecloth, beautiful pillowcases.
    Welcome back !!

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  7. Great use for the tablecloth, Bunny. I once used one for curtains in my bedroom. I wanted white, but not see-through. They were lovely and perfect. Still kept the room light and airy, but you can't see through them, so we still have privacy. They have a lovely drape, too.

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  8. The PC's are great, and I love the edging and the beading. I tend to use my edgestitching foot quite a lot. It gives such a nice tailored finish to seams. I have an old tablecloth that I got from an antique store, hmmm, that might work for these.

    It's good that you got your garden in, now just to water and pick the buggies. My tomatoes are dying already.

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  9. Great re-purpose! Your pillow case looks beautiful and pristine. All my damask table clothes have the odd red-wine stain!

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  10. I'm glad to know that you must have recovered from your whiplash injury. Otherwise you wouldn't have worked away in the garden. :-)

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  11. Beautiful as always. Thanks for the tutorial.
    I am a big fan of your blog.

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  12. I, too, love re-purposing. I even made a short summer jacket out of a linen tablecloth that belonged to my grandmother. Also made fur edged handbags out of lynx stole she had made me for my senior prom. Mawmaw was a furrier and fabulous dressmaker so I know she would approve. Love your pillowcases - very high end style!

    Karen in Houston

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  13. Really beautiful work - I love how these came out and love how you have access to such gorgeous fabrics.

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  14. What lovely pillow cases. Thank you for the great idea - I have my MIL's Irish linen tablecloths and now I know what to do with them.

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