Appliqued Pillowcase Tutorial

One of the toughest parts of parenting (for me) is choosing a gift for a kid's birthday party. My son wanted me to make a bag for his friend, but I wasn't convinced that was the right gift. I wanted something useful, personalized and colourful. So was born the idea of a pillowcase.

Materials Needed:

  • body fabric 29" x WOF
  • cuff fabric 9" x WOF
  • contrasting piping 1" x WOF
  • fabric for personalization (scraps - I used part of a 3" strip)
  • Heat'n Bond lite or other fabric adhesive.
  • thread
fabric choiceLove the gears!

This yellow gear fabric I bought a few years ago, intending to make something cool for my son. Never found a pattern I liked, and it seemed big boy enough to use for a 6 year old's birthday. The blue whale fabric is adorable! I thought the print is a little babyish, but I think it works in the overall pillowcase.

If you have enough fabric to make the body from one piece, skip over the next bit.

The main body of the pillowcase needs to be 29" x WOF I didn't have enough WOF of the gear fabric, (about 18 inches), so I cut it in half and inserted a 12" piece of blue. This will make a stripe going in the same direction as the cuff.

Pressing SeamsPressing the seams

To make a french seam, place WRONG SIDES TOGETHER and sew the 1/4" seam. I know, this is the opposite of the way we usually sew - and the first seam I did the regular way and had to unpick it....and I had just thought I need to pay attention to that part!

Now the seams need to be pressed. You want a crisp edge on this seam, so I used spray starch. I pressed the seam toward the gear fabric, then folded the blue fabric over the seam and pressed again.

french seamfrench seam

Sew about 3/8" from the pressed edge. You should get a flap like this. The raw edges of the fabric are inside this little flap.

Because these seams are where you lay your head, I want them to stay laying flat, so I sewed the flap down.

When you look at the front of the fabric, there may be some stray threads. Clip them with a seam ripper or small scissors.

Set this piece aside for a bit while you prepare the appliqued cuff.

I took a piece of Heat'n bond and ironed it to the backside of a piece of orange fabric. I'm OK with free handed cutting, so I cut out the letters about 2 3/4" tall that I needed for personalizing the pillowcase. If you want a guide, you can draw the letters with a ceramic pencil. If you don't like your writing, you could print from the computer then trace and cut out the letters that way.

The cuff is cut 9"x WOF, I folded the fabric (wrong sides together) both horizontally and vertically. The raw edges should be at the top and right, folded edge at left and bottom. Place the letters about an inch from the top raw edge, and centered on the long edge. Remove the paper from the back and iron in place.

Unfold the fabric and sew the letter edges down. I used a zig zag stitch, but any decorative or straight stitch will do!

Assembling the pillowcase

Pinning the layerspinning the layers

Prepare the piping by folding it in half lengthwise and ironing it flat. It should now measure 1/2 inch by WOF.

Lay the cuff so the name is right side up on the top right of your table. Lay the piping on top, matching the raw edges to the cuff. Lay the body of the pillowcase right side down and pin in place.

After you pin, lift up the body and check that all directional prints are going the correct direction!

assembling the pillowcaserolling the body of the pillowcase

Now roll the body of the pillowcase up. You can see the name peeking out from the rolled body.

Next fold the cuff up over the rolled body fabric and match all the raw edges, then pin and sew the seam.

You should have what looks like a tortilla wrap. Reach inside the wrap and pull the rolled body out. By turning this inside out, we have enclosed all the raw edges of the cuff, body and piping.

Yay! You're almost done!!

Press the cuff flat, starting at the piped seam and moving toward the edge. You now have a large squarish shape with the finished cuff along one edge.

Make another set of french seams! Remember, starting with WRONG SIDES TOGETHER, match the cuff seams and raw edges along the 2 sides. This should look like your finished pillowcase! Double check that all the fabrics run in the correct direction. Pin in place, then sew a 1/4 inch seam.

Turn the pillowcase inside out, quick press and sew a seam about 3/8 inch from the folded edge. Remember, this is the enclosed french seam.

Turn the case right side out and clip any threads. You're done! Now take a picture and wrap it up!!

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