Keeping It Simple - Specialty Pillowcases

Last week Emma and I were at the fabric store picking up some fabric for my aunt who is 94 and still sewing.  While we were looking Emma saw this horse fabric and went nuts over it.  "Meesy, we just have to make something with this!" she said.  Now, why this little girl is so crazy over horses I am not sure.  But she just loves them right now.  Her mother had told me earlier that the girls needed pillowcases for Christmas so we purchased just enough to make one.  Here is Emma's new pillowcase.

Here is what you need:

One rectangle fabric 28X41" for main pillowcase

One strip coordinating fabric 14"X41" for cuff

Two strips fabric 2"X9" for handle

Embroidery design of your choice

Stabilizer  (tear away or cut away)

Embroidery and sewing threads

What you do:

Make the Handle

1. With right sides together sew both long sides of the 2"X9" strips.  Turn right side out and press.  Set aside.

Make the Pillowcase and add the handle

1. Zig zag around the sides and bottom to prevent raveling if desired.

2.  Lay the rectangle right side up on a flat surface.  On the center of one long side, pin one raw edge of the handle.  Measure 3" from inside edge of pinned handle toward the top of the case edge and pin the other raw edge of the handle making sure your handle lays flat.  Sew both close to the edge.

3.  With right sides together fold the fabric in half so you have a 28" X 20 1/2" rectangle.

4.  Beginning at fold sew a 1/2" seam along the bottom and long side.  Be careful not to catch the handle loop in the seam.  Set aside.

Embroider the Design

1.  With wrong sides together fold the 14"X41" strip in half lengthwise and press.  ( Should now be 7"X42").  Fold in half again widthwise so it is now 7"X20 1/2".

2.  Lay flat with front section up.   Find the horizontal center.  Measure up 3" from fold and mark.  Pin center of your design template here. (Alpha Xpress and Catalog Xpress can create these templates nicely).   Unfold the fabric.

3.  Hoop the stabilizer and fabric with the design centered in your hoop.  (We had to use a big hoop so we pinned the fabric to the stabilizer on one side to secure.)  Make sure the design on the machine is the same orientation as the template in your hoop. 


4.  Embroider the design.  Remove the stabilizer as desired.

Make the Cuff

1.  With right sides together fold the 14"X41" embroidered rectangle in half to make a 14"X20 1/2" rectangle.  Sew a 1/2" seam.  Press open.  You should have a tube.

2.  Fold the raw edges of the tube in 1/2" and press.

3.  Insert the case into cuff tube . (The case should still be inside out.  And the cuff should be inside out.  So the cuff right side and the case wrong side should be together.  The end of the cuff tube without the embroidery should match up to the raw edge of the case.  Pin the raw edge of the case to the end of the tube.  Sew all the way around using a 1/4" seam.

4.  Now flip it all so the case is right side out and the attached cuff tube should now be wrong side out. 

5.  Fold the cuff in half and pin the edge of the cuff tube over the stitching. Pin and topstitch all the way around the cuff. 

Press and insert your pillow.  Finished pillowcase should be approximately 20"X33"

The designs came for the Sewing with Nancy Wild Horse Collection.

You can make lettering in Alphabet Xpress.

Since she is in school she didn't get to help with this one.  But she made a cute bag for some of her smaller play horses using another design from this collection.

Here is some other pillowcaes that I made a couple of years ago.

The designs for this one came from Happy Animals.

All kids love special pillowcases, even the college aged ones.  The handle is optional but makes it easy to transport their own pillow back and forth.

I hope you have a safe and happy Halloween.

Take care,


Comments (2) -

I love pillowcases of all sorts.  I feel like it is really a personal gift, because we each have our own pillows, and don't try to make me use a different one!!!  LOL

I like the simplicity of the cuff to offset the busy horses.  

My son and his wife of 25 years recently got a divorce.  The kids take their pillows back and forth, and they select the ones I did just for them.  


Great idea!  An idea just occurred to me: what if quilters out there made these pillowcases to store their quilts, made to match or coordinate with the quilt, adding quilt name or recipient's name.  You might want to add a reinforcing strip inside to support the added weight or put the straps at the open ends, like a tote.  Lots of options, but thanks for encouraging the brain cells!  

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