Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Transform a Fabric Remnant into a Pillowcase Using Basic Sewing Skills

You will need:

Fabric remnant large enough to make into a pillowcase
Sewing needle and cotton (or a sewing machine, if you have one)

Cost: US$0-5

  1. Fold the material once widthwise, so that you have a rectangular shape (you may need to adapt this if your remnant is a different shape, perhaps by folding it lengthwise or cutting out two identical rectangles of fabric)
  2. With right sides together, pin each of the long sides of the fabric together (and one of the short sides if you have two rectangles of material).
  3. Using back stitch, sew each of these seams.
  4. Turn the fabric to the right side and fold down to the wrong side of the material approximately four inches of material on each side of the open side.
  5. Iron both of the folds to the wrong side of the material.
  6. Pin and sew across one of the folded down sides and leave the other one open to form the flap of the pillowcase.
  7. Neaten the edges of the seams, so that they don’t fray.
  8. Insert a pillow and you have a fantastic new pillowcase!

My daughter spotted a lovely remnant of material covered with fairies, butterflies and flowers in our local fabric shop. She asked me if I could make it into a pillowcase for her. Although I don’t have a sewing machine and hadn’t done any sewing in years, I thought, “Why not!” The remnant looked as if it was large enough to make a pillowcase, so I bought it for A$3.

When I got home and measured the material against a pillow, I realized that, although the width was fine, it wasn’t long enough. So, not to be defeated, I cut a piece off a remnant of calico that I had bought at the same time, and sewed it to the fairy fabric, so that it was long enough to make a pillowcase. As you can see from the photograph, you cannot see the calico from the front of the pillowcase.

It only took me about four hours to make this pillowcase by hand and I’m not a fast sewer by any means. It would be much faster with a sewing machine.

Look out for material that would appeal to someone on your gift list and sew him or her a pillowcase too!


Anonymous said...

You can make a pillowcase out of almost any cotton or cotton/polyester fabric. I use an old pillow case as a pattern. It's a good way to use up sheets that are worn out in the middle. You need about a yard and a half for one pillowcase.


Roz Andrews said...

Hi Marilynne,

That's a great idea for recycling old sheets! Thanks for sharing.

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