As those of us who rent know, it can be very difficult to make a space your own. Wood paneling and carpet from the 1970s are a natural side effect of apartment living, and – try as you might – it’s hard to modernize your living space while also adhering to a prohibitive lease agreement.
I frequently fantasize about trading my security deposit for some cute wallpaper and wood flooring. But, alas, I lack the gumption to disobey my landlord, and – more to the point – I have neither the time nor money to put towards redecorating. I can’t help thinking, “What if I have to move? It will all be for nothing!”
For a long time, this practical thought kept me from personalizing my apartment in any way at all. In fact, my living space was so sparse that my sister asked me point-blank if I was depressed.
So I decided it was time to put a little effort in!
Since I lacked both money and time, I needed to get creative. What could I do that would really make an impact on my living space?
A few years ago I might not have had an answer, but working at The Confident Stitch has taught me just how wonderfully versatile fabric can be!
Quilts, homemade curtains, and special upholstery will do a lot to spruce up a room. But I wanted something even simpler. And then one day – as a stood surrounded by our collection of gorgeous quilting cotton – it dawned in me. Pillowcases.
Easy, inexpensive, and – best of all – so customizable!
Kate has a foolproof pattern for making a standard pillowcase using French seams and the burrito method, so I decided to give it a try.
I let my inner child take over, and combined Kaffe Fasset, Anna Maria Horner, Dear Stella, and Ruby Star to make the brightest, wildest pillowcases you’ve ever seen. The result? PURE JOY!
I loved them! I sent pictures to my mom and sister. Called my friends!
The level of serotonin my brain manufactured in response to these three pillowcases was so astounding that I knew I couldn’t stop there. I, like Joan of Arc, had found a cause to champion, and I would bring personalized pillowcases to the masses!
Spread the Joy
Okay, okay, I’m no Joan – but I was a changed woman! I had discovered an easy project that made me SO happy, and I wanted to share it with the world.
My first step was to make eight more pillowcases to give out as party favors at the bachelorette party of one of my dearest friends. I – again – picked fun, whimsical fabrics, and – again – the joy was palpable!
All this frenzied pillowcasing had made me something of an expert, so Kate asked if I wouldn’t mind making a video tutorial in the subject. My answer was ‘of course!’ What better way to further the Personalized Pillowcase cause than with a sewing tutorial? You can watch it below.
I know my enthusiasm for this project is, perhaps, a little over the top. But, I’ve been so delighted to discover such a simple solution for what had previously felt like an insurmountable problem. It’s put me in control of my living space, and done wonders for my mental health in the process. (Okay, my sister may have been right. I was a tiny bit depressed.)
As we all know, sewing is more than just a helpful skill – it’s a tool for expressing yourself! And these pillowcases have helped lessen the feeling that I’m living a monochrome life in the carbon copy of neighbors’ apartments.
I hope you find as much joy in this simple project as I have.
Standard Pillowcase = ⅞ Yard (31.5”)
Queen Pillowcase = 1 yard (36”)
King Pillowcase 1 ⅛ yards (40.5)
⅓ Yard (12”)
11 thoughts on “Personalized pillowcases – the perfect project!”
Best Burrito Pillowcase lesson ever! The fabric tearing feature is key to a flat and smooth finished pillowcase. Love the fabric choices and fun combinations! Thanks!
Thanks for reading! Happy Sewing!
Really nice video! I love having colorful pillowcases on my bed made from my favorite fabrics. They make me happy!
Yay! Me too Cindy.
Best tutorial ever for a pillowcase. You have so inspired me that I am just beginning the process to make 103 pillowcases as gifts for foster children. This is a ministry sponsored by my church and we host an “over the top” party for them at Christmas time. Thank you Maisie and Confident Stitch. You are amazing.
What an amazing project Diane! I’m so glad this video was helpful. The kids will love them!
I really want to make pillowcases, but how do they hold up in the long run? I have tried using quilting cotton for garments in the past and they always wrinkle so badly, I was afraid that pillowcases would end up looking like H-E-double-hockey-sticks after a few washes.
Thanks for your comment. Quilting cotton does get really wrinkly when used for clothes, so I hear you there! However, I’ve washed my quilting cotton pillowcases (made using this method) a ton and have never had trouble with them falling apart. I will say that the higher the quality of quilting cotton and polyester thread used, the less likely that your pillowcase (or garment) will fall apart. Additionally – as I mention in my video – this technique is not limited to quilting cotton! If there’s a fun, patterned silk or soft cotton voile that you like, that will work just as well.
Wonderful project and video…can’t wait to try it! Great Christmas gift idea . Thanks, Maisie!
My pleasure Sue!
Fantastic tutorial with useful tips (ripping and pressing details). Really nice for beloved fabric designs that you don’t really want to cut up for quilts–save a yard to make a pillowcase and then cut up the rest with abandon. (Do I have a ton of fabric bought for the fabric design itself that I can’t bear to cut up yet??? yes) Love the idea above for personalized donations also.