Saturday, April 11, 2009

School's back in sesssion

The Teacher's Been Playing Hookey...

Due to a combination of being under the weather and being busy, I've not had much time to post lately. But, now I've returned to my quest to perfect my home keeping skills and to post so that we can all work along together.

I hope that all of you who are doing the crochet project with us are enjoying it.

Next up on the project list is to make a pair of pillow cases. If you would like to join in, the materials you will need are as follows:

2 yards of 45" fabric for 1 set of Standard Cases
2.25 yards of 45" fabric for one set of Queen Cases
2.5 yards of 45" fabric for 1 set of King Cases
(I'm not sure how to convert the yardage to metric numbers for countries where the metric system is used. If anyone can help with that, please leave a comment!)

The above measurements are approximations, but should be sufficient for our project. If you want to be more exact, measure the width of your pillowcase, allow for 1/4 to 1/2 inch seam on each side plus enough inches that the pillow can slip inside the finished case easily. Measure the length and add about five and 1/2 inches for the cuff and seams.

Whether you use the numbers I have listed or you buy material according to your measurements, I would suggest buying 1/8 to 1/4 more yardage to allow for shrinkage. Pre-wash your material and iron it.

Note: If you want to make only one case for a twin bed or because you want to make just one of a special material or design, adjust the fabric amounts accordingly.

Also, you might want to make the body of your case out of one fabric and the hem out of a contrasting or complementary fabric. If so, take that into account when buying your fabric, as well.

If you are a beginner, avoid designs which require a lot of effort to match the pattern when sewing two pieces together.

If you would like to turn this into a hand or machine embroidery exercise, in addition to being a sewing project, I suggest buying a white or light fabric. If you don't sew, but you would like to hand embroider pillowcases, buy a white set and embroider them yourself. You can buy a kit that contains pillowcases and embroidery instructions, and you can also buy transfer patterns for either embroidering or cross-stitching a design on your cases. Or, you can make your own embroidery design. Moreover, you can use a piece of waste cloth over your pillowcase and cross-stitch a design onto your cases. Then, you wash the cases and pull the treads of the waste cloth out, leaving only the cross-stitched design. We'll do some projects later on that you can use to embellish your pillowcases or other items.

In addition to your material, you'll need:

Thread (white, cream, or to match background)

Ribbon or lace, etc. if you would like to place a decorative trim on your cases.

Sewing Supplies: scissors, quilting or sewing pins, large sewing ruler, fabric marking pencils, seam ripper

Pillowcases are an easy project, so they are especially fun for beginning sewers. However, even advanced sewers may want to make some to have for their own closet, to place in a hope chest, or to give as gifts to college students or new brides or to anyone who is setting up housekeeping. Making your own pillowcases can save you money, especially if you look for fabric that's on sale.

Another idea is to make pillowcases of a washable satin or satin-y finish. Satin pillowcases are good for your hair. They allow your hair to slide across the case easily, without pulling. Not only does this help keep your hair from pulling or tangling, it can preserve some of the curl of a hairdo for a longer period, as well. This is one example in which you might or might not want to make just one case. The satin material might be more expensive than cotton, and you may wish to make only one -- either for yourself or for a daughter. For example, my husband has no desire to use a satin case, but I do enjoy one for myself.

I will be doing a very simple case, but I've included some links to some other cute pillowcase
ideas and tutorials in case you would like to be a little more adventurous.

Kirsten Can
PleasantView Schoolhouse

If you have a body length pillow, you can make cases using the exact same method that we will use. You will need to measure the width and length and add the allowances as I do not have the measurements for a body pillow.

Happy Home Keeping!

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