Saturday, July 28, 2007

How to Make a Vintage-Style Pillowcase



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
thread

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!

20 comments:

Mrs. MK said...

Thank you, Anna, for the beautiful tutorial! I especially liked your tips on finishing the inside of the pillowcase---I so like that professional look!

Storybook Woods said...

Thank you Anna for posting this. I know how to make pillow cases but it never occurred to me to sew down the zig-zag first (I will not even begin to tell you what I do. You will be horrified). Now when I do more pillowcases, it will be soo much easier !!! Clarice

Julian said...

thank you Anna, thoes are beautiful, and Im going to make many of them for presents to give the family at Christmas. I like the fabric you chose, it is pretty with the rick rack.
Christina

Sally Johnson said...

Hello Anna,
I am new to your blog. It is so pretty and bright, and looks like daylight. Your photos are so nice and clear. This is a beautiful project, one to do with my girls. I sent this idea on to my blog host's "Company Porch" for the craft page. I think you will like this one also :o) Yes, it is mine, and no, it doesn't hold a candle to yours, photo-wise!

Kristi said...

Those are lovely! The rickrack really adds a nice touch to the pillowcases. Thanks for sharing a great idea!

Gena said...

I just love pillowcases. Thank you for sharing your tutorial. Your pillowcase turned out so pretty. I have many vintage pillowcases that my grandmother made and they are the softest ones in my home. I need to make some of these to hand down to my daughters.

Cheri said...

Ooo! I love this! Mind if I post a link to it from my sewing blog?

Leslie said...

Thank you, Anna. I needed to see how to edge with rick rack properly. Your vintage sewing projects are, as always, inspirational.

Heather said...

Lovely Anna! I was just thinking last week that we need some new pillowcases - I have some unused heavy percale sheets that were hemstitched in red turkeywork in 1946 by my husband's step grandmother and never used. Thanks for the beautiful tutorial and straight forward instructions.

Kate said...

Thank you Anna for this wonderful tutorial. I am going to make some of these.

Maree said...

Hi, I'm new to your blog and I love the look on your pillowcase! It looks so sweet...

Blessings,

Maree...

Nanny Y. said...

I have fallen in love with rick rack since seeing so many beautiful uses for it shown in your blog! I never "got it" before but I do now and I can't wait to try out this project :)

Anonymous said...

Anna...
I thought of you immediately when I saw these two weblogs. SUCH a cute idea!!
http://littlesomething.myshopify.com/

http://angrychicken.typepad.com/angry_chicken/2007/06/this_house_is_w.html

You could whip these up with style!!
Enjoy,
Heather

Nikki Angels of Heart said...

Hi my name is Nikki. I write on the web for the Homeschool blogger company porch. I happen to write for the Craft corner and am alway looking for wonderful new tutorials to feature there. Would you be interested in allowing me to use you pillow tutorial for the site. In return I will link up to you so the community can come and read your blog. Please let me know. email me at Angelheart135@aol.com put craft corner in the subject.

Thank You

Nikki

Cindy said...

Thank you Anna. My daughters and I are going to give this a try next week. Feel free to give lessons any time !! :)
Cindy

momawake said...

Love these pillowcases! They are so sweet and adorable. I can't wait to make them...

Ann'Re said...

I love to sew pillow cases...I just did one in John Deere material for my neice (not exactly vintage! LOL) I never thought of adding rickrack...thanks for showing us how. I've got some more to make for gifts and I think I'll try it. God bless!

Carrie ~ Gigi said...

I also LOVE to sew pillowcases, & yours are beautiful! If though I have made them for years, I loved the tutorial...nothing like it! Thank you for sharing.

Melissa Jones said...

Oh, boy! I can't wait to use your steps to make Christmas pillowcases for my daughters, and also teach the moms in my playgroup how to make them as well. My mom made special "magic Christmas pillowcases" for my brother and I (they helped us fall asleep on Christmas eve so Santa could come!) and now I can pass the fun tradition on to my children and their friends. And to think, I've been doing ric rac the hard way! Thank you for setting me straight!!

Anonymous said...

I wish I could upload a picture of the pillow cases my daughter and I have made...but just made one for a cousin for her wedding gift, and used fabric folding of a hexagon into a flower as embellishment. Thanks for posting this! Definitely has inspired many gifts.

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