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Making up your own colourful pillowcase is a simple and inexpensive method of decorating a bed. Only a small amount of fabric is needed for assembling a pillowcase, and you can choose the fabric from a great variety of robust and easy-to-wash sources, ranging from elegant linens to printed dress materials.
A pillowcase can be fastened with a concealed inner fold of fabric, or by means of simple or fanciful buttons or ties. In addition to decorative fastenings, you can give a pillowcase a personal touch by adding an edging, such as a flange or a frill, to complement your bed furnishing.
This simple pillowcase is made from a continuous length of fabric, and is therefore quick and easy to make up. One end of the fabric is folded over to the inside, forming a hidden flap that holds the pillow in position.
To make this pillowcase, you will need suitable fabric that is more than tice the length of the pillow itself, and the basic sewing kit.
1. Measuring Up Measure the pillow length and width. Cut out the fabric to twice the length, adding 24 cm for turnings and the fold-over flap. Add 3 cm to the pillow width for seam allowances. Turn, pin, and tack a 1.5 cm double hem along the width at one end of the fabric, and press.
2. Making Hem Turn the fabric around so that you are working at the opposite end, then fold over a hem to the wrong side by 1 cm, followed by a 5 cm turning, to form a wide-hemmed edge. Pin, tack, and sew.
3. Making Pocket Turn the fabric around again so that you are working at the 1.5 cm double hem. Make the internal pocket that will hold the pillow by folding over a 15 cm flap of the fabric to the inside. Pin and press. Fold the fabric in half along the width, so that the wrong sides are together.
4. Sewing Seams Align the sides, and the wide-hemmed edge with the edge of the flap. Pin, tack, and sew a 6 mm seam on each long side of the fabric. This is the first stage of a french seam. Trim the seams and remove all of the tacking stitches.
5. Enclosing Edges Turn the pillowcase wrong sides out, and press before pinning and tacking the long sides of the fabric together, 1 cm from the first seam. This second seam will enclose the raw edges.
6. Completing Seams Complete the french seams by machine sewing along the two long sides of the pillowcase, again working 1 cm from the first seam. Remove the tacking stitches. Turn the completed pillowcase right sides out, and press.
The Finished Pillowcase
Pillowcase With Flange Edging
Unlike the plain pillowcase, this is constructed from separate sections of the fabric, and incorporates a fastening consisting of buttons and a strip of looped rouleau. Select the fabric for the pillowcase, and have ready the basic sewing kit.
Measure the pillow, and cut out one piece of fabric to the same size, plus 1.5 cm all around. For the facing strip, which conceals the pillow, cut a length of fabric to the same width as the pillow, plus 1.5 cm, by 6 cm wide.
1. Measuring Fabric Mark and cut out the fabric for the flanged-edge panel to the same size as the pillow, plus 12.5 cm all around. Make a rouleau strip 60 cm long.
2. Hemming Strip Turn, press, and pin a 1 cm double hem on a long edge of the facing strip. Take a smaller panel and mark 2 cm intervals along the right side of a short edge.
3. Positioning Rouleau Pin and tack rouleau strip to this edge, making loops between marks. Lay facing strip over rouleau, with right sides together. Match the raw edges.
4. Pinning Facing Strip Secure the facing strip in place over the rouleau strip by pinning, tacking, and sewing it 1.5 cm from the edge of the panel of fabric.
5. Folding Facing Strip Fold the facing strip over the edge of the pillowcase panel, so that the facing and the fabric panel now lie wrong sides together. Carefully press the rouleau edge flat.
6. Folding Edges Take the larger of the two panels, fold over the edges by 1.5 cm to the wrong side, and press flat. Fold the edges over again to the wrong side by 5 cm, and press.
7. Mitring Corners Neaten the folds of the fabric at the corners by machine mitring.
8. Trimming Corners Trim the excess fabric at the mitred corners. Press the seams open. Turn the corners right sides out, and press.
9. Joining Sections Lay the pillowcase back with the rouleau on the mitred pillowcase front. Line up the rouleau edge with the inside edge of the flange on one of the short sides. Tuck the other three edges of the back under the fold of the flange. Pin in place, and tack.
10. Stitching Edges On three sides, topstitch around the edges close to the turning edge of the flange. Do not sew over the rouleau edge. After the first row, topstitch a second row 6 mm in from the first.
11. Attaching Buttons Sew the buttons to the flange edge, Corresponding to the rouleau. Make sure the buttons are aligned with the loops. Press the finished pillowcase.
The Finished Pillowcase
Button & Rouleau Fastening
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
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