Hi again In part one, we talked about choosing colors + fabrics, and how to determine how much yardage you need. In this final chapter, we’ll sew the actual pillowcase and take a look at a variation idea, too.
Tools and Supplies
- light-to-medium weight fabric in a variety of patterns (I like quilting cottons – yardage depends on the size and quantity of pillows, but a good rule of thumb is one yard for every 18-inch pillow [see part one])
- tape measure
- basic fabric-measuring-and-cutting supplies
- sewing machine
- thread to coordinate with fabric
- old throw pillows, or new pillow forms
Preparing the pieces
I constructed most of my pillows as follows: patterned print for the front, solid color for large back panel, coordinating patterned print for small back panel.
I set all of my fabrics out ahead of time to decide which would be paired with which.
Once all of your pairings are decided, you may cut the fabric to the desired sizes, and get started.
Grab the fabrics for the first pillowcase.
Set aside the front piece.
The two back panels will form the opening of the envelope. Three of the edges of each panel will be caught when sewing the envelope together, and may remain raw. The fourth edge will be exposed and must be finished.
Fold one long side of the small back panel over about an inch and press it down with the hot iron. Fold over another inch and press again. Stitch down along the folded edge.
Do the same for the corresponding edge of the large back panel.
You should now have all three components ready to sew:
Sewing it all together
Make a sandwich as follows:
Line up the front fabric and the smaller back fabric, right sides together, along the right-hand edges, keeping the hemmed side of the back fabric facing to the left, as shown above.
On top of those, place the remaining back fabric face down and align it along the left-hand edge, keeping the hemmed side facing to the right as shown.
Pin all fabrics in place and stitch round the outside of the entire square, leaving a half-inch seam allowance.
Clip the corners, being careful not to cut into the stitches. This will allow you to keep the corners nice and pointy when you turn the case.
Turn the fabric sandwich rightside-out, poke the corners out with your finger, and you have your first envelope-style pillowcase!
Admiring your work
It looks even nicer with a pillow inside it:
Use the same instructions to complete the rest of your pillowcases, and enjoy decorating your space!
I thought the solid pillows needed just a little embellishment, so I added ric-rac, and I display them with the envelope side facing out.
The ric-rac was added to the hem of the smaller back panel.
A little decorative stitching along the hem (in this case, just four lines of “normal” stitches, side by side) adds more visual interest.
You can try other types of decorative edging here besides ric-rac. Pompoms and fringe, for example, would have an interesting effect!