Even with the most beginning-level sewing skills, you can make this sweet set of pillowcases. All straight seams, all fun! For the main part of the pillowcase, I love to use a "new" vintage sheet, one I bought still in the package. I love the hefty crispness of old percale, and I don't want to risk a used fabric shredding after a few washes. The trimming fabric can be more fanciful--you only need a half-yard, and it won't get the hard wear the main part of the pillow will.
Materials to make two pillowcases:
1 1/2 yards of your main color (must be at least 40" wide)
1/2 yard of your trim color (ditto on the width)
1 package coordinating rickrack
1. We always start with clean, washed and pressed fabric.
2. Cut out the main fabric: two rectangles that are each 40" by 27". The 27" side should run parallel to the selvage, or finished side edge, of the fabric.
3. Cut out the trim fabric: two rectangles that are each 40" by 9". The 9" side should run parallel to the selvage.
4. Cut two lengths of rickrack each 40" long.
5. We are going to use a 1/2" seam allowance on everything. Take one length of rickrack, and sew it down the long edge of one of your main color pieces, on the right side. The center of the rickrack scallops should go right down that 1/2" line. You may prefer to match your thread color to your rickrack.
6. Pin one piece of trim to your main color piece, right sides together, matching edges, right over the rickrack. Work on the main color side, not the trim side, as you will be stitching right over your first stitching line and need to be able to see it as you sew.
7. Now stitch them together, staying exactly on top of your first rickrack stitching line.
8. Press the seam allowances toward the trim on the wrong side. Then turn over on the right side and press again, making sure you don't have a bubble of excess fabric bulging over the rickrack.
9. Take the free edge of your trim piece and press it down 1/2 an inch. Then fold the trim fabric over in half, just until the pressed edge almost touches (1/16 inch away) your first stitching. Pin securely. Topstitch this edge down, working on the wrong side of your pillowcase.
10. Fold the pillowcase in half, right sides together. Make sure that the rickrack seam matches just right--if you need to fudge, do it somewhere else. Pin securely, and trim any extra fabric that somehow doesn't match up (like that would ever happen to me!). Stitch, using our old friend the 1/2" seam allowance.
11. Trim seam to 1/4", and zigzag all the way around to finish nicely. Turn pillowcase right side out and press edges carefully.
12. All done--stand back and admire!