“She used to say she could taste sleep and that it was as delicious as a BLT on fresh French bread.” I love that quote. It’s from Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells. I’m a good sleeper, and I firmly believe there’s nothing better than nodding off on a new, freshly laundered pillowcase. Our pretty pair of pillowcases is a great beginner project. So fast and easy, you can start at noon and be napping by 3:00.
These pillowcases follow directions very similar to the holiday versions for Mother’s Day version in luxurious satin.
All of our Fresh Linens projects started out as pre-cuts of Joanna Figueroa’s Fresh Linens collection.
This collection of fabric has a softly nostalgic feel, but there’s nothing old-fashioned about it. That’s one of the magical things about Joanna’s designs; she pulls in wonderfully vintage themes and colors but the result is never dowdy or out-of date. In fact, they are always new and fresh and fun. To learn more about Fresh Cottons, pre-cuts and our nine Fresh Linens bedroom projects, read our article, Fresh Linens Liven up a Guest Bedroom with Crisp, Comfy Color.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Any Sewing Machine (we recommend the Janome JNH1860)
- Any Serger (optional, we recommend the Janome 1100D)
Fabric and Other Supplies
Fabric amounts shown are for two pillowcases:
- 1½ yards 44-45″ fabric for pillowcase body: we used Joanna Figueroa’s Fresh Cottons Bouquet in Chantilly Cream by Fig Tree Quilts for Moda Fabrics
- ½ yard 44-45″ fabric for trim: we used Joanna Figueroa’s Fresh Cottons Medallion Fleur in Apple Green by Fig Tree Quilts for Moda Fabrics
- Honey Bun (we used just two of the 40 Honey Bun strips in the pack; if you choose not to use a Honey Bun, you’ll need to cut two 1½” x 44″ strips): we used Joanna Figueroa’s Fresh Cottons Honey Bun by Fig Tree Quilts for Moda Fabrics
- All purpose thread to match fabrics
- See-through ruler
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Straight pins
- Tape measure
- From the fabric for the body of the pillowcases (Bouquet in Chantilly Cream in our sample), cut two 21″ x 53″ pieces.
- From the fabric for the trim of the pillowcases (Fleur in Apple Green in our sample), cut two 9″ x 41″ pieces.
- Cut the Honey Bun (1½”) strips (Crisp Rose in Apple Green in our sample) in half to create four 21″ long strips.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Attaching the flange and creating the pillowcase body
- Press the Honey Bun strips in half lengthwise, wrong sides together. Once pressed, the strip is now ¾” wide.
- The Honey Bun flange in our sample is designed to show about ½” out from the seam between the trim and pillowcase body. This means we have to pay attention to where we position the flange. The folded strip should be ¼” from the raw edge (or a total of 1″ from the fold to the raw edge) along each short side of each pillowcase body (the 21″ side). Measure and pin in place.
- Using a machine basting stitch, stitch each flange in place, staying within the ½” seam allowance.
- Fold one pillowcase body in half, right sides together, so it is now 21″ x 26½”.
- Pin the two 26½” sides together. Stitch both sides, using a ½” seam allowance.
- Zig zag or serge the raw edges so when the pillowcase is laundered these do not fray.
- Turn the pillowcase right side out. Push out the trimmed corners from the inside to make nice, square corners on the outside. Use your finger or a blunt edge tool, like a large knitting needle. Press.
- Repeat for the second pillowcase.
- Finish one long edge raw edge of the pillowcase trim piece with an overcast stitch, zig zag stitch or serger.
- Press a double-fold hem along this finished edge. Turn up the edge ½” and press, then turn up another 4″ and press again.
- Unfold the pressed hem. Your fold lines will remain.
- Fold the 9″ x 41″ trim piece in half, right sides together, so it is now: 9″ x 20½”.
- Pin in place securely at a ½” seam allowance, and test to see if the ‘trim circle’ fits the pillowcase body by slipping it over the open bottom end of the pillowcase. The open edge of the pillowcase body and the trim circle need to be a perfect match. If the trim circle seems a bit too big or too small, adjust your seam allowance accordingly.
- Using the appropriate seam allowance you tested above, stitch along the 9″ raw edge. Press seam open.
- Re-fold the ½” bottom hem. Re-press and pin in place,
- Edgestitch this hem in place. It will become the finished edge inside your pillowcase.
- Repeat for the second pillowcase trim piece.
- Again, slip your trim circle over the open bottom end of your pillowcase body, right sides together, matching raw edges and aligning the trim’s seam with one of the pillowcase body’s side seams. You are matching the raw edge of the pillowcase opening with the raw edge of your trim piece. Pin all around.
NOTE: Here’s another point to TEST your seam allowance. Place a few pins horizontally along the ½” seam line. Then, check from the right side to see if the flange reveal is really how you want it to be. Nobody’s perfect… especially me; that’s why I always pin first, then check, THEN stitch.
- Once you’ve tested and insured you have the proper seam allowance to give you the correct flange reveal, stitch all around the pillowcase opening. Press the seam up towards the pillowcase trim.
- ‘Re-fold’ the remaining 4″ of the trim’s hem, following the pre-pressed line.
- This will bring the folded edge of the trim around to the inside of the pillowcase. The folded and edgestitched hem of the trim should neatly overlap the inside pillowcase/trim seam.
- Pin in place from the front.
- As you look at your pillowcase from the front, you should have 4″ of trim showing from seam to folded edge.
- Topstitch ¼” in from the seam – on the trim side, to secure the trim’s hem in place. Press.
- Repeat to finish second pillowcase.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Jodi Kelly