Back in the day when I used to sew a lot, I loved looking through all the rows of fabrics at the Golden Thimble. Even as a young girl I was drawn to vintage style calico, cotton blends, and pretty lace. In 8th grade home economics class we had to sew a piece of clothing and wear it in a fashion show. I was the only one who made a dress. Unfortunately, one sleeve ended up being longer than the other. No problem. I simply rolled up the sleeves during the show and no one was the wiser. I don’t sew clothes anymore but I do enjoy sewing simple things for the home, like these DIY vintage style pillow cases.
Making your own pillow cases provides the opportunity to easily customize your bedding without spending a fortune. The pillows look pretty on the bed without any shams to embellish them (or cover them up).
Plus there are so many pretty fabrics and trims from which to choose. I love mixing prints and colors and lots of pillows on the bed gives me the chance to do some mixing and matching. Pillow cases are easy to make and don’t require technical sewing techniques. You don’t even need a pattern to make these.
Start by choosing your fabrics and trims. I prefer calico fabrics for pillow cases because they’re soft next to your skin. Woven lace and ball fringe make great trim for the pillows. You need 1 yard of fabric per pillow case and approximately 42″ of trim or lace. Always wash your fabrics before sewing. Iron if needed.
I grabbed an existing pillow case and laid it on top of my fabric, using it as a guide for the size. Allow about a half-inch along the sides for the seams, but at the end of the pillow, allow an extra 5 inches so you can make a wide hem. Your fabric is folded in half and the folded edge means one less seam to sew.
Take your time and don’t rush this.
Nothing’s worse than having to rip out a seam and start over.
Once the trim is sewn onto the finished end of the pillow case, fold the right sides of the fabric together. Pin in place and then sew along the long edge and the unfinished short edge of the pillow case. Then simply turn the pillow case inside out and stuff your pillow inside!
Just make sure it’s not something that will annoy you when sleeping.
I found a cool button trim but it wouldn’t feel good on the face so I didn’t buy it.
It’s so much fun picking out coordinating fabrics. If you struggle with this, don’t despair! Usually fabrics are attractively grouped in the store, making it easier to select complementary patterns and colors. You can always ask the ladies at the store for help, too.
You can see why you need an extra wide hem on the pillow cases. When they’re stacked on the bed, you can see the inside edges so it’s nice to have the right side of the fabric showing when they fall open like this.
They lend a cottage feel to my bedroom and brighten my spirits.
My next sewing project is to make pillows for my sectional!