The Journey

Jan 13, 2012

Pillowcase- from toddler to standard

Ok, this is a project that every beginner should do...because everyone uses a pillowcase...AND, it's super easy!
One of my go-to birthday presents for one and two-year-olds is a minky pillowcase. Usually by 2, they are ready to rest their head on something soft and elevated while they sleep- therefore, a perfect gift! It's easy to find small pillows in any craft store (and even in Wal-Mart, I think), but I never seem to find the cases. I've never really looked that hard, but seriously- why buy one when you can make one? And a MINKY one, at that!
This tutorial can be used to make toddler pillowcases as well as standard size. The directions will be the same- the dimensions will be different.

What to buy:
*a pillow- I used a 12" x 16" for this tutorial (approx. $8)
*1/3 yd cotton or minky (for border)
*1/2 yd minky (for main body of case)
For a standard pillowcase, you'll need 1/3 yd for border and 3/4 yd for main body

If you are using cotton, PREWASH it! It took me awhile to learn this discipline, but it's worth the time. Your cotton will shrink, and even though it's just a little bit, the little bit makes a difference!
Ironing before you cut always helps, too.

Get your rotary cutter or scissors, and let's cut some fabric-

Cut 9" x 27" of border fabric (this will be folded in half to make a 4.5" x 27" border)

Cut 14" x 27" of main body fabric

For a standard case, cut 10.5" x 40.5" for border and 26.5" x 40.5" for main body

*Tip: I like to make sure I cut the minky "between" the dots and make sure it is perfectly square. While stitching, you can match up opposing dots to keep the case straight and nice.

Here goes!
With right sides facing, pin the long, 27" edges together. (40.5" edges for standard case)

Flip the whole thing over. You should now be looking at the wrong side of the main fabric.
Now, we're going to do a trick to hide the seam between the border and main fabric. It's called the "hotdog method," and I first saw it here.

Roll up your main fabric from the bottom up to the pins. You'll now see the good side of the border fabric peeking out.

Grab that bottom edge and fold the border fabric (green bun) up to cover the main fabric (pink hotdog). Using the same pins you've already used, re-pin all THREE fabrics together. (I pin minky HEAVILY because it shifts so much while stitching.) The main fabric will be sandwiched between two edges of the border fabric. Peek on the side to see the hotdog all rolled up inside the bun.

Now it's time to stitch all three pieces together. Make sure the bottom piece stays flat and doesn't curl up like minky tends to do.

Time to pull the hotdog out of the bun!
Grab your main fabric, and pull it out.
Using the "hotdog method" allows you to see the right side of the border fabric- inside AND outside the pillowcase. It also hides the seam between the two fabrics which is a very nice touch!

Almost done! Place the right sides together and pin (heavily) on the two open sides.
I match up the body/border seams first. You'll want this to be seamless once turned right-side out. I pin the very top next, and then fill in the rest.
If you have a tag, insert it now on the short side about 3" from one corner.
Stitch both sides together. I like to serge the excess off after stitching. If you've used cotton, you'll want to serge or zigzag your edges to keep them from fraying when washed.
That's it, folks!
Turn and press if you've used cotton.
Do NOT iron minky- you'll melt it!
Finished dimensions- 13" x 17.5"
Fits 12" x 16" pillow with a little room on each side
This is a case I made for my toddler with a cotton border. Her duvet cover is made of the same cotton dot fabric. I just wanted you to see an example of a cotton border. 
Happy making and giving!
Oh, yeh, go make some more!

1 comment:

  1. Great post. I'm a novice when it comes to sewing but I've ambitiously decided to make minky covered pillows for my kindergarten classroom library. I'm a little nervous working with minky but your post makes it look easy. Thanks!