They say sleeping on satin pillowcases helps keep wrinkles away. I say, "Sign me up for that one!" We thought these would make a perfect Mother's Day gift. They're quick to make, but look like the fancy cases that cost BIG bucks at the store. Mom will think you slaved away for days to create these just for her. She'll adore the luxurious feel of the satin charmeuse, and when you tell her that little tip about the wrinkles, I bet they become her favorite bedding faster than you can say "forty winks." And... no doubt you'll retain your title as Mom's Favorite!
These pillowcases follow directions very similar to the holiday versions for adults and kids, which debuted last December. Pillowcases are a great beginner project. These special ones for Mom's Day are a bit more difficult with the fancy ribbon embellishment, but even with that added bling, you can easily whip out a pair in an afternoon.
Our thanks to Michael Miller Fabrics for providing the brand new Black Dandy Damask for this project. And, to our friend Jona at Fabritopia for the amazing ribbon. Jona carries a wonderful selection of the Renaissance Ribbons. We were very impressed with the quality; they are so beautifully woven, they look almost as gorgeous on the back as from the front. Fabritopia also has lace, novelty trim and appliques... and fabric, of course.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Any Sewing Machine (we recommend the Janome Memory Craft 5200)
Fabric and Other Supplies
Fabric amounts shown are for TWO pillowcases.
- Fabric for body of pillowcase: 1½ yards of 45"- 52" wide fabric: we used a 52" satin charmeuse in baby pink
- Fabric for pillowcase trim: ½ yard of 45" wide fabric: we used Black Dandy Damask from Michael Miller Fabrics
NOTE: You will use exactly ½ yard with the two pieces of 9" trim; if you want a little room to breath, get 3/4 yard.
- 2½ yards of 5/8" fancy ribbon: we used Renaissance Ribbons' French Plum Velvet with Black Lace Edging from Fabritopia
- 2 standard 20" x 26" bed pillows
- All purpose thread
- Contrasting color thread for topstitching
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Straight pins
- From the fabric for the body of the pillowcase, cut two rectangles, 21" x 53".
- From the fabric for the pillowcase trim, cut two rectangles, 9" x 41".
- From the ribbon, cut four 21" lengths.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Attaching the trim
- Take one length of ribbon and position it approximately 3/8" from one raw 21" edge of the pillowcase body on the RIGHT SIDE of the fabric.
NOTE: I say ‘approximately' because the exact position will depend on the ribbon you choose. You will eventually seam this edge with a ½" seam allowance, and so you want to position the ribbon so your ½" seam will allow an appropriate amount of the ribbon to show. In our sample, I wanted half of the velvet and all the lace to show, and adjusted my position to accommodate this.
- Lightly pin the ribbon in place.
- Set your machine for a long basting stitch, and baste the ribbon in place.
NOTE: I used my machine's clear Statin Stitch foot, which allowed me a couple of points to guide my ribbon and fabric. I used the outside edge of the foot to guide the raw edge of my fabric and the inside edge and arrow to guide my ribbon. I removed the pins once the ribbon was secure under the foot so I could feed it into place as I sewed. Remember, no need to lock stitch your basting at the start or end of your seam.
- Repeat for the other end of this pillowcase body, and then repeat for both ends of the second pillowcase body.
Pillowcase body seaming
- Fold one pillowcase body rectangle 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.
- Because pillowcases are laundered often, and because satin frays easily, we recommend finishing your seams. I used an overcast stitch to finish my seams, with an Overedge foot. You could also use a simple zig zag or serge your seam.
- Turn 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 second pillowcase body.
- 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 the 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. If you did your measuring correctly when you first applied your ribbon, a standard ½" seam allowance should be dandy. But satin is slippery and things can shift, so it's important to place a few pins horizontally along the ½" seam line. Then, check from the right side to see if the ribbon reveal is really how you want it to be. I'll admit it... I needed to adjust my seam from ½" to 3/8" to be sure enough of the velvet part of my ribbon showed. Nobody's perfect... especially me, and 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 ribbon reveal you want, 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 easily 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. We used a contrasting color thread for a decorative touch. Press.
- Repeat to finish second pillowcase.
Hints and Tips
Alternate pillow sizes
If you have larger or smaller pillows you'd like to make cases for, simply adjust our measurements to accommodate your pillow size. For example, king pillows are normally 20" x 36" so the width remains the same but you need an additional 10" in finished length (20" in cut length). This means rather than cutting the fabric for the body of the pillowcase 21" x 53", you should cut it 21" x 73". However, two yards of fabric equals 72". This is where the 'fudge factor' comes in. Can you 'fudge' a little to save some money? I'd say, 'yes.' You can totally get away with this slightly shorter length to avoid buying more than a standard two yard cut. Your trim piece won't extend quite as far over the edge of the pillow, but will still cover it nicely.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Liz Johnson