The holidays bring a special kind of energy to a home. Here we are baking cookies, drinking eggnog and planning get-togethers that bring friends and family from all over. Many times, that means our loved ones are staying with us and what better way to welcome them but to add colorful, holiday-themed touches around the home. And what could be better than creating those projects with the people you love!
Maybe you are fortunate enough to have some little ones stopping by that might want to sew with you. Nothing beats the precious memories created from a blustery afternoon spent working on a project together, sipping cocoa and listening to Christmas songs. The best part about this project is that it would be a wonderful first project for that beginning sewer in your life as it is all straight lines and really easy. All you need is scissors, a ruler, thread and some fabric.If you want to get a little fancy, you can add a third “contrast” fabric. If you want to keep things absolutely basic, though, just omit the steps marked as “optional”.
There are some great patterns online or in stores for a pillowcase but, since it is such a simple shape, it is a wonderful exercise in pattern making basics.
So first, let’s measure!
- So, we need to make a pattern. If we poke around online or even grab a pillowcase out of our linen closet, we find that most “standard pillowcases” are about 22 by 32 inches.
- Since we really want this to be festive, having a little contrasting fabric on the end makes it just “pop”. For this, the finished pillowcase would have 5 inches of contrast at the end. Additionally, we can add a third contrasting fabric as a little folded accent.
- Now we need to think about a seam allowance: so, 1-inch all around added for seam allowance and an extra 3 inches to fold over on the open edge (since this is what it looks to be on the standard case). Note: Feel free to use a more standard seam allowance. I’m suggesting 1″ just for the sake of being simple and being able to adjust for any problems beginners might run into.
So in total:
- 2 pieces of the main fabric, each measuring 22″ by 27″
- 2 pieces of the accent fabric, each measuring 22″ by 9″
- 2 pieces of contrast fabric, each measuring 22″ by 4″. (optional)
- Cut your two pieces of your main fabric and two pieces of your accent fabric.
- (Optional) Cut your two pieces of contrast fabric.
- (Optional) Fold your contrast fabric in half and press so it has a nice crisp fold. Repeat for second piece of contrast fabric
- (Optional) Pin the folded contrast fabric to the right side of the accent fabric along the 22″ edge so that all the raw edges are aligned. Stitch together. Repeat for other piece of accent and contrast fabrics.
- With the right sides together, pin one of the main fabric pieces to one of the accent pieces along the side that is 22 inches.
- (Optional) If you are using the contrast fabric, you will be pinning together the side with the folded contrast fabric so it will be sandwiched between the right side of the accent fabric and the right side of the main fabric.
- Repeat with the other two (or three) pieces of fabric.
- Now, sew along the pinned line on each pinned together piece with your one-inch seem allowance.
- (Optional) Press folded fabric down so it is folded flat towards the bottom edge of the main fabric.
- Fold over (to the wrong side) your accent fabric 3 inches and pin. Sew along that line. Repeat on other assembled panel.
- Put your panels right sides together with the fabrics matching and pin around the edges leaving the part with the 3″ hem open.
- Starting at one corner, sew along the edges, making sure to back stitch at the beginning and the end. Clip the ends of thread.
- Turn your new pillowcase right side out and put a pillow in it. Enjoy your holiday pillow!
Do you have any special projects underway as we count down to the end of 2015? Is there a favorite project you have to help teach people to sew? Share in the comments below, we’d love to hear about it!