23 November 2009

French Seam Pillow Case Tutorial

Well, here comes the first of my Christmas Ideas Tutorials. My mom started the tradition of making Christmas pillowcases for my brother's and I. I've since made them for my children, and as presents for my husband's siblings.

It is really easy to make pillowcases, but my new twist is using French seams to make them very "finished". I've also discovered some tricks that make this much easier. 

First, gather your materials. You'll need:
1 yard of 44" wide fabric, pre-washed and ironed
Matching thread
Rotary cutter, self-healing mat, and ruler
Seam gauge
Sewing machine
Scissors and seam ripper

Step 1: Fold the fabric so that the factory edges are touching. Trim so that each end is straight and true.

Step 2: Iron one end 7/8", and then fold this over and iron the hem in at 3". I so this before I sew anything because the lines will stay put through sewing and it is easier to iron when the fabric is flat.

Step 3: Now, with WRONG sides together, sew the opposite side than the one you ironed, and the factory edges together at just under 1/4".

Step 4: Trim the corners. Turn wrong side out, and push the corners as best you can.

 Step 5: Iron all the seams flat.

Step 6: With RIGHT sides together, sew along the same sides, this time at 3/8".

Step 7: Turn the pillowcase right-side out again. Take care to pull the corners out. 

Step 8: Fold the hem, following the 7/8" and 3" lines you ironed at first. Lightly re-iron if needed. Now, sew the hem 1/8" from the 3" edge. You can use a straight stitch, or a decorative one. Be creative!

You've completed your pillowcase.

Now, to personalize it even more, consider sewing ribbon along the hem, a ruffle, or appliqueing the recipient's name or initials.

Hi there. Just a little postscript. Michele asked for clarification and another photo to show how the French seams look finished.  I hope this helps anyone else who was unfamiliar with French seams. 

This tutorial was featured on Craft Gossip and One Pretty Thing.

9 happy thoughts:

SheilaC said...

Great tutorial, thanks for sharing! I love that fabric!


Anne said...

Great tutorial! I posted a link on Craft Gossip Sewing:


Steph @ somewhatsimple said...

how fun! thanks for linking!

Michele said...

Can you post a close-up picture of the seam? Is this "French Seam Pillowcase tutorial" a tutorial just for the seam? I guess I am a little brain dead at the moment and am having a hard time following the tutorial! I am not sure what the french seam looks like so thats part of my difficulty following the tutorial. I am not sure of where it's going if that makes sense.

chris said...

Michele, I've added the photo. Thanks for the feedback. I'd love to see what you make!

Unknown said...

I featured this at somedaycrafts.blogspot.com

Unknown said...

Hello, I am so happy to see this information and this blog. Thanks very much. I just bought a sewing machine and am getting ready to make pillow cases. I haven't sewn in probably 30 years and wasn't all that adept way back then. I realize I'm in over my head. Any instruction I can get is really appreciated. Thanks again.

chris said...

What nice things to say! Thanks for brightening my day, Nancy. Best wishes!

Andrea said...

I just made a pillowcase. Great tutorial!! The case turned out a little wide compared to my regular pillowcases. Is this normal?

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