Vintage, Retro, Old School... or simply, "Hey, I remember that!" Designs with a nostalgic flavor go by many names, but are universally appealing. We start a new tutorial series today called Storybook Bedroom. It's sponsored by our creative friends at Moda Fabrics and features Lil' Rascals by Chloe's Closet. From a chubby-cheeked cowboy to a bespectacled pug dog to a mischievous monkey... the characters of Lil' Rascals are all up to something. Don't know about you, but I want to collect my graham crackers and milk, find my favorite picture book, and settle down for a much-needed afternoon nap. Over the next few weeks, we'll unveil eight tutorials to outfit a toddler's bedroom. We envisioned a boy's room, but this collection's soft color palette and playful designs would work for any lil' rascal in your life. Today's project: easy pillowcases sure to make everyone look forward to slipping into the land of nod.
Our full series includes today's fun pillowcases as well as: a bound and personalized blanket, pleated valance, decorative pennant banner, storybook bedside caddy, tufted floor pillow, twin-size bed quilt, and a custom ukulele throw pillow (you heard me right... a ukulele, and yes, we provide a free pattern).
At the end of the series, Moda will sponsor a generous Great Giveaway with fabric cuts and more. Plus, as a special bonus, we've composed our own story to go along with the adorable Lil' Rascals illustrations. You'll be able to download this exclusive, one-of-a-kind S4H Picture Book FREE , courtesy of Moda. We don't want to brag... but we think it just might become a bedtime favorite.... move over Goodnight Moon!
Sewing Tools You Need
- Any Sewing Machine (we recommend the Janome Jem Gold 3)
- Any Serger - optional (we recommend the Janome Magnolia 7034D)
Fabric and Other Supplies
Fabric amounts shown are for ONE pillowcase:
- 1 yard of 44-45" wide fabric for the pillowcase body: we used Lil Rascals from Chloe's Closet for Moda Fabrics in Rascal Natural for one pillowcase and Kitty Yellow for the other pillowcase
NOTE: If your print has a strong horizontal motif, you might need 1¼ yard to make it all work.
- ⅓ yard of of 44-45" wide coordinating fabric for the pillowcase trim: we used Lil Rascals from Chloe's Closet for Moda Fabrics in Blanket Tan
NOTE: The cut is 9" wide so you could get away with ¼ yard, but your cuts would have to be exact; you'll be safe at ⅓ yard
- Scrap or ⅛ yard of 44-45" wide coordinating fabric for the pillowcase flange accent: we used Lil Rascals from Chloe's Closet for Moda Fabrics in Sugar & Spice Yellow
NOTE: You could also use a Honey Bun pre-cut if you have one
- 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
- Seam gauge
- Tape measure
- From the fabric for the body of each pillowcase (Rascal Natural and Kitty Yellow in our samples), cut TWO 21" x 27" pieces.
NOTE: If you are using a directional print, your design should run horizontally along the 27" width.
- From the fabric for the pillowcase trim (Blanket Tan in our sample), cut ONE 9" x 41" piece.
NOTE: Again, check your print direction if necessary.
- From the fabric for the flange accent (Sugar & Spice Yellow in our sample), cut TWO strips 1½" x 21".
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Attaching the flange and creating the pillowcase body
- Press the two flange strips in half lengthwise, wrong sides together. Once pressed, each strip is now ¾" wide.
- The 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 piece (the 21" side).
NOTE: We used scraps and so needed to use as little fabric as possible. If you have a bit more fabric, you could cut your strips a full 2". Folded in half, the strips would then be 1". You could exactly align the raw edges of the folded flange with the raw edge of each pillowcase body piece... instead of insetting ¼" as I did. With this method, after your ½" seam, you'd have a ½" reveal.
- Using a machine basting stitch, stitch each flange in place, staying within the ½" seam allowance.
- Place the two pillowcase body pieces (with the flanges basted in place) right sides together.
- Pin along both sides and across the bottom.
- Stitch both sides and across the bottom, using a ½" seam allowance.
- Zig zag, overcast or serge the raw edges of all the seam allowances so when the pillowcase is laundered these do not fray. We used a serger to finish our edges. For more information, see our article on machine sewn finishes.
- 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 or a chopstick. Press well.
- 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. To do this, turn up the finished 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 along a ½" seam allowance line, and test to see if this 'trim circle' fits the pillowcase body by slipping the trim circle over the open 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 the seam allowance open.
- Re-fold the ½" first fold of the bottom hem. Re-press and pin in place.
- Edgestitch this part of the hem in place. It will become the finished edge inside your pillowcase.
Finish the pillowcase
- Again, slip your trim circle over the open 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.
- 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, using a ½" seam allowance. 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/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 well.
- Here's what your pillowcase trim should look like from the outside (left) and inside (right).
Hints & Tips
If you like these pillowcases, check out our other variations below. This tutorial is so easy, it's quick and fun to make special pillowcases for all kinds of special occasions.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Debbie Guild