Sunday, October 26, 2008

Holiday Gifts: Luxury Pillowcases

The nice thing about making gifts yourself is that you can take something practical, like a pillowcase, and turn it into something luxurious, or personalized or even a work of art. It doesn't take much money, and only just a little time.
Pillowcases can be made out of cute themed quilting cottons, like these that I made for my nephew:
Or they can be made of of soft cuddly flannel:

or you can make them out of silk, like the ones I am working on now. Silk is not much more expensive than good flannel or high quality quilting cottons. I ordered mine from Ann at Gorgeous Fabrics (not affiliated, just a happy customer)
I think Habotai or Charmeuse makes nice pillowcases. You don't need much and it makes a fabulous impression. If you looked at the prices of nice silk pillowcases in stores you would faint dead away. I read somewhere that silk pillowcases are supposed to prevent wrinkles. I don't know if that's true, but it can't hurt!

Imagine all the possibilities here. You can make custom designed pillowcases for kids that they will like so much they won't sleep with anything else. With printable fabric or transfers thrown into the mix, you could even put family pictures, pets or kids drawings on them.
Here is a brief description with dimensions for your convenience:

Standard pillow measurements:
Regular 20"x26"
Queen 20"x30"
King 20" x 36:

Fabric requirements for ONE pillow: (based on 42" wide fabric)
Main pillow std/queen 3/4 yard king 1 yard
cuff 3/8 yard
contrasting trim 1/8 yard

Supplies besides fabric:
rotary cutter and mat
sewing machine of course


Std queen king
Body cut one piece 22" x42" 26"x42" 32"x 42"
Cuff 10" x42" 10"x42" 10"x42"
contrast trim 1 1/2" x42 1 1/2"x42" 1 1/2"x42"

I do everything flat first - sew your contrast trim piece to the pillow body. You can sew it as a contrast band like my flannel cases above, or you can do my flange variation, where I folded the contrast piece in half wrong sides together and then sewed to the pillow body, like flat piping. This looks very nice. You can also do eyelet here, or lace, or other trim. Then sew on the cuff piece to the contrast piece. Right sides together. Now you fold the whole thing in half right sides together. You'll have a 21" x 22" rectangle if it's a standard case. There is a long fold on one side and a seam at the bottom and one side. Match your contrast and cuff seams at the sides. Sew the sides. For silk pillows it's nice to do French seams. I trim and zig zag, but you can also use your serger. Press. Fold the cuff edge down half an inch and press then fold in half so it covers the raw edges inside - wrong sides together. Sew down, covering all raw edges. You can use a contrast color thread, or matching. A decorative stitch looks nice too. Press case and you're done! It's also nice to package this gift with lavender sachet if you are giving to grownups, or fun pajamas for either kids or grown ups. Everyone in our family enjoys home made gifts, so it's fun to make unusual things for them every year.
Happy Sewing!

1 comment:

Lilyputts said...

Great choices! Any one could dream that they are in Hawaii on both of these beauties!