Sunday, October 29, 2017

Classic Pillowcase Updated - Tutorial

This post tells how to make a pillowcase using only a sewing machine.

This pillowcase will fit a King size bed pillow, 20" x 36". It uses quilting cotton that is at least 42" wide, and 45" long (a yard and a quarter) for each pillowcase.

Because cotton quilting fabric is used for this project, I use Universal size 70/10 needles with this fabric.

I recommend machine washing and drying three times before starting this project. Because of laundry shrinkage, which will happen with cotton, I recommend having or buying more than one yard for each pillowcase.

I cut out my projects on a large table with a large cutting mat.  Sometimes I fan-fold the fabric before cutting, which lets me easily pull fabric across the table for the long cuts. This shows fan-folding of fabric to be cut, to prevent the fabric from pulling out of shape while cutting:

This shows rolling of fabric during cutting as another way to prevent pulling:

I lay the fabric across the cutting board with the selvages aligned to the grid.  I cut one end of the fabric along the grid, then align the cut edge with the edge of the cutting board.  I measure 21" along the selvage ...

I then place a pin in each selvage, 21" from cut edge:

Here's the pin in the opposite selvege 21" from the cut edge:

I roll the fabric from the cut edge until the pins are on the same line.  I place another pin in the selvage 20" from the first pin on each side:

Here is the pin in the opposite selvage 20" from the first pin on each side:

I align the cutting ruler with the second pins, remove the pins, and cut across the fabric. This is after that cut:

After the cut is made, I remove all the pins.  The resulting rectangle is the full width of the fabric (42" to 45" from selvage to selvage), and 41" along each selvage:

I fold the fabric piece, right sides together, with the fold going from the center of one selvage to the center of the other selvage, and the raw edges aligned.  I smooth out the fabric so the cut edges are aligned.  I place a pin through both layers of fabric 3" from one selvage:

I smooth out the fabric from the cut edge to the fold, then place another pin through both layers of the fabric, 3" from the fold of the same selvage:

To form the hem, I fold the selvage down, using these pins to show where the fold belongs (this is the pin to the right).  On the cut edge, I pin through all layers of fabric near the selvage (this is the pin to the left):

On the fold edge, I pin through all layers of fabric near the selvage (this is the pin to the left):

I move the pin from the hem fold to the cut edge to hold the hem in place:

I pin the hem down with a few pins, measuring to ensure an even, three-inch hem:

I pin the remaining cut edges together, and the remaining selvage edges, too:

I use a straight stitch with length = 3.5 for this project:

I stitch the pillow case together with a straight stitch, starting at the hem, about 3/8" from the edge.  I use the edge of my wide presser foot as a guide. I hold the thread tails when I start the seam, and backstitch, too:

I remove the pins along the seam as I go.

The backstitching is shown here, and the thread tails have been cut off.  I remove pins from this seam line as I go.  Leave in the pins holding the hem in place:

When I get to the corner, I curve the seam away from the edge slightly, starting about two inches from the end.  I sew off the edge, and turn the fabric to sew along the selvage.  I start that seam slightly farther from the edge, and taper back to the usual seam allowance (for this project) within about two inches:

At the corner where I turned from the cut edges to the selvages, I trim off the corner piece.  I am careful to not cut through the stitching that forms the corner:

Using an overcast foot, I use big zigzag stitches to overcast the cut edges of the fabric:

I start at the fold of the hem, but I do not backstitch there:

When I get to the cut corner, I turn the fabric a little at a time, and do not let the stitches go inside the corner stitches.  After I turn the corner, I continue about two or three inches with the zigzag stitch, then switch to a short (2.5) straight stitch for another inch or so along the selvage.  I stop and cut the threads there.

I take it to the ironing board and steam press the hem's fold and all the stitching.

I remove the pins from the hem, and place the pillow case over the pointy end of the ironing board, with the long seam down the middle of the ironing board.  I turn the hem down, which will force the long seam to one side.  I press this seam to that side along its length:

I pin the 3-inch hem in place at intervals, and press in place:

I set up my machine for hem topstitching - slightly long, straight stitch:

I stitch the hem in place, removing pins as I go:

I turn the pillowcase right side out and press it. For my pressing tips, see this tutorial where it shows the yellow fabric:

Here is the finished pillow case, neatly folded!

Now it's done!

More Patterns for Sale!

I have now added three new pattern brands to my pattern de-stash:

Brensan Studios, Jalie, and Stretch & Sew

The listing is on the Patterns for Sale tab above, or you can click here.

Enjoy your shopping!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Basic Pillowcase Tutorial

This post tells how to make a pillowcase using a serger and a sewing machine.

This pillowcase will fit a standard size bed pillow. 20" x 26". It uses quilting cotton that is at least 42" wide, and at least 36" long for each pillow.

Because cotton quilting fabric is used for this project, I use Universal size 70/10 needles with this fabric.

I recommend machine washing and drying three times before starting this project. Because of laundry shrinkage, which will happen with cotton, I recommend having or buying more than one yard for each pillowcase.

I lay out the fabric right sides together, folded down the middle, with selvages aligned (at left in this picture). I place the fold to the right, parallel to the long edge of the cutting mat, with one cut end extended just beyond the zero line at the short edge of the cutting mat.

This is a close-up of the scene from another angle, where the fold is at the lower right.  The cut edge is shown with zigzag stitching which prevented fraying during the prewash.  It was not very straight.

I set the ruler along the zero edge, and cut off the ragged end.

Now you see the cut edge has been straightened by cutting:

I find the 36-inch mark at the opposite side of the mat and lay down something at that point.  In this picture, it's a wooden yardstick.  I place the cutting ruler across the table at the 36-inch mark:

Here, it's ready to be cut:

Here is the fabric after being cut at the 36-inch mark.  All pillowcase pieces are cut to 36 inches:

I serge finish one cut end, and return the fabric piece to the cutting table, folded down the middle as before, but with the selvages nearest me. I place a pin three inches from the serged end on the selvage edge:

I place another pin three inches from the serged edge along the fold:

Since these pins mark the hem depth, I fold the hem over at the pins:

Here's a view of the folded hem at the long fold:

Now switching to the striped fabric, since I forgot to take all the pictures with one fabric...

I pin the hem down at the selvedges and at the fold:

I pin along the hem and the selvages:

I lay the hem end along the ironing board, and press it well with steam:

I lay a metal ruler over the pressed hem fold to help it cool off and strengthen the fold:

I lay it back on the cutting table and pin across the cut end:

Now it's ready for the next step:

I use a straight stitch with length = 3.5 for this project:

I start at the hem with backstitching, then I stitch parallel to the selvage so that the stitching is not within the unprinted selvage.

I remove the pins along the seam as I go.

I aim for a 1/2" seam, or less, if the unprinted selvage is narrower:

At about 1.5 to 2 inches from the cut end, I pivot away from the selvage slightly, and stitch right off the cut edge:

I lift the presser foot, pull out a short length of thread, turn the fabric about a quarter turn, and stitch across the cut edge, starting with a taper from wide to narrow seam allowance:

At about 1.5 to 2 inches from the fold, I taper away from the cut end slightly, then backstitch at the fold and stitch off the fabric:

Here is an example of the backstitching at the fold:

I serge the cut end of the fabric or overcast with zigzag stitches.  The corner tapering can be seen here:

Here's the other end of the serging, with original backstitching showing:

I use a double-eyed needle or a tapestry needle to tuck in the serger tails:

Near the fold, I insert the needle along the serged seam, away from the fold:

I push the needle between the fabric layers, and out at the fold:

I thread the serger tails through the eye of the needle after inserting the needle:

Then I pull the serger tails back through the fabric:

Then I simply trim the serger tails:

I pull on the fold to conceal the cut end of the serger tail:

When no fold is involved, it is usually easier to push the needle between the fabric layers at the start of the serging:

I thread the serger tail through the eye after the needle has been pushed through and then out from the seam allowance:

I pull the tail through the layers and then out before trimming the end:

I steam press the seam at the long edge:

I also steam press the seam at the short end:

OK, back to the swirly fabric...

After the seams have been stitched and pressed, I remove the pins from the hem area for the next step.

I open out the hem end and turn down the hem all around.  I start by pinning the hem where the fold line changes direction.  On the half where the fold line is reversed, I carefully fold in the correct direction while pinning in place:

At the left, you see that the long seam allowance wants to go to one side:

I steam press the hem in place, then press down the seam allowance in the direction it wants to go:

I set up my machine for hem topstitching - slightly long, straight stitch:

Starting just before the side seam, I stitch around the hem, between the two rows of straight serger stitching.  I tuck in the serger tails so they will be secured inside the hem:

Yet another fabric...

I turn the pillowcase right side out, and push out the corners.  I lay the pillowcase out with the long seam down the length of the ironing board.  I steam press the long seam, folding it exactly on the seam line as I press:

I turn the pillowcase so the long seam is at the right, with hem edges matching across the front of the ironing board, facing me. I iron across the pillowcase, from the seam to the fold, front to back; this will take several passes, as shown by the blue lines.  I pick up the pillowcase, bring it towards me, and repeat until I approach the short seam:

I turn the pillowcase so most of it hangs over the edge of the iron towards me, with the short seam along the length of the iron:

On the short seam, I push and pull the fabric to fold exactly on the seam line, and press it in place across the length of the seam:

This short seam has been steam pressed:

Now it's done!