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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

I wanted to go to the fabric store. This meant I needed to convince my boys that they wanted to go too. I’ve taken them several times before and while it’s not their favorite, they usually manage to be tolerable. To make it pleasant I promised they could each choose fabric for their own pillowcase.

Surprisingly they got really excited about it, and very quickly each boy picked out the prints of his choice. They were mighty pleased with themselves at the cutting counter, showing the ladies what they’d chosen. We got 3/4 of a yard of the main print, and 1/4 of a yard of the complementary accent color.

I washed and ironed the fabrics. There’s not a lot of cutting or sewing required for this project, but if you take the time to trim your pieces square the end product is much nicer.

rotary cutter

This. Is a rotary cutter. It is VERY. SHARP. I do not let my children use it. I’ve seen far too many adults get cut with it, and with the number of exciting distractions present in my home I’m not ready to have the boys use it yet. When will they be ready? Perhaps when they’re 25. I’m not sure.

Hey Internets, did I mention that the rotary cutter was very sharp? Because it is. Sharp. Not for children.

fabric being cut with rotary cutter

If YOU want to use the rotary cutter, be careful! It is very sharp. It’s best used on a special self-healing cutting mat. All you do is lay your rotary cutting ruler on top of the fabric lined up where you want it, and run the cutter (which is very sharp!!) along the edge of the ruler.

I trimmed both of the cut edges of my fabric and “squared up” the piece. Basically this means that the piece is a rectangle, about 28 inches long and 42 inches wide. If your piece isn’t exactly those measurements don’t sweat it.

Lay the smaller fabric piece on the table, right side (printed side) up. Spread it out nice and flat. This is going to be the “cuff” of the pillowcase. Take the larger piece, and lay it right side down on top of the first piece, lining up the edges. This will be the body of the case.

fabric folded

Here you can see that the two fabrics are right sides together on the table. I folded back the corner temporarily to demonstrate the difference between right and wrong sides of the fabric.

Roll up the body (top) fabric until you have a nice “snake” lying the length of the cuff piece. Like this:

rolled fabric

If the selvage edges don’t line up on both sides, no problem. Follow through with the steps and we’ll address that little issue later. Just line up one side and the top.

Take the bottom edge of the cuff piece and fold it up over the rolled fabric and pin.

boy putting pins in fabric

You want the single edge of the body piece and both edges of the cuff piece to line up. It’s important to be sure that none of the rolled fabric is up near the edges. (I’ve temporarily promoted myself to hand model only to demonstrate the roll of fabric inside the folded cuff. I’ll demote me again shortly for obvious reasons. Thank you.)

fabric being pinned

Sew your fabric along the raw pinned edges, pulling the pins out as you go.

Once you’ve gone the length of the fabric you’ll need to turn the tube inside out pulling the body print out as you go. It’ll look like this:

fabric being pulled inside out

I like to run the iron over the cuff at this point. It’s easier to line up the edges and get a nice straight line on the finished product.

Remember those uneven pieces? Now’s the time to go back to the cutting board and trim off the longer piece to match the shorter one.

folded pillowcase, ready to be sewn

Fold the pillowcase in half, lining up the edges and pinning to hold in place.

Starting at the cuff, sew along the raw edge. Backstitch at the beginning and end of your line. Turn the corner and sew along the bottom of the pillowcase, backstitching at the beginning and end of the line again. Remove all pins.

Turn the pillowcase right side out and iron. Voila! One yard of fabric, two seams, and about half an hour of your time and you’ve got a beautiful homemade pillowcase. Enjoy!

handmade pillow case

Earnest Parenting: help for moms who want to go to the fabric store.