Pillowcases – tips that work for me

Pillowcase projects are lined up in my sewing room and I have completed three this week.  These are a great gift for any occasion.  Before I started this batch of cases, I browsed through the various instructions and tutorials as a refresher.

If you are new to pillowcases there are several wonderful photo tutorials as well as some great youtube videos.   There are a couple of things that can make it easier to complete the process.  When making a case using piping or trim, by the time you get the the final step — finishing the french seam — you will be going through 14 layers of fabric but the bulk of 28.  If you pillowcase is made of flannel it can be really hard to keep it moving and neat.

1) if available, use a walking foot.  this will help control the layers so that they stay even, helping the cuff/trim seams to line up.

2) I find that hand cranking the machine as I go through the bulk gives me better progress and control.  You might find that you will need to help the fabric along, I do.  Don’t try to pull the fabric through the machine — if you need to, lift the presser foot give a fabric a nudge (not more than a stitch length) put the presser foot back down and continue to hand crank.

3) wash and press (or rinse and spin) your fabric before you begin the process.  I know that there is quite a bit of dialog regarding washing prior to quilting — this isn’t a quilt.   As fabric is prepared for sale it is stretched — washing helps it spring back to it’s natural state.  You don’t want your pillowcase to shift sideways or the cuff to go wonky after it has been washed.

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