Yesterday on QUILTsocial I showed you some great tips for sewing borders with setting triangles and we finished up the top of my bed runner. It turned out SO lovely and those Artisan Spirit – Euphoria fabrics are just beautiful!! I don’t have quite enough of any one fabric to do the backing and binding, so I’m going to go back and quilt it at a later time. But I DO have enough fabric to make a set of pillowcases to match my bed runner, so I’m going to share my favorite pattern and tips for sewing French seam pillowcases.
The pillowcase pattern
Sewing the cuff and trim
After you’ve cut out your fabrics as outlined in the pattern, you need to fold the strip of fabric for the cuff in half and sew the two ends together. This will make a circle of fabric. Repeat this process with the trim fabric strip.
This seam is then pressed OPEN for both the cuff and the trim.
Now both of these are folded in half lengthwise with the right sides out (wrong sides together). The trim (the narrower one) is folded so that the raw edges of the fabric are even but the cuff is folded so that one side is about ½” wider than the other.
Sewing the pillowcase body
Next the pillowcase body is folded in half and is sewn together along the long side and one of the shorter sides BUT we’re sewing this so that the RIGHT side is out and we’re only using a ⅛” seam.
The next step is to turn the pillowcase inside out and press those two sewn seams. Now we’re going to sew along those same edges with a ⅜” seam to encase the raw edges and create the French seam. Leave the pillowcase inside out as this will make the next step easier.
Putting it all together
Now, here’s the tricky part. First we need to pin the trim and the cuff together, so that the raw edges of the trim line up with the lower raw edge of the cuff.
These now need to be pinned together with the body of the pillowcase. Take the cuff/trim and put in inside of the pillowcase so that the trim fabric is sandwiched between the cuff and the body of the pillowcase. Pin them all together lining up the raw edge of the pillowcase with the raw edge of the trim. This will result in the one cuff edge extending ½” past the other fabrics – this is correct!
Now, stitch through all of these layers with a ¼” seam.
The extra cuff fabric can now be folded over those raw edges and pinned.
Now all we do is topstitch along the top edge of the pillowcase body – this will secure the folded over edge of the cuff fabric so that there are NO raw edges on the inside of our pillowcase!!
Christmas is coming – hint, hint!
Our pillowcases are now complete and I have to say that I lOVE them! I certainly know which one of them will be mine (too bad I didn’t have enough of the Butterfly Euphoria print to make them both exactly the same). Once you make your own pillowcases with Northcott fabrics you’ll never want to use bought pillowcases again. And once you get the hang of it, this pattern is pretty fast and simple! It’s great for making Christmas presents and pillowcases that co-ordinate with a handmade quilt.
Northcott’s Euphoria fabrics have been a dream to work with, but Northcott fabrics generally are! I hope you’ve learned a few new things this week and please remember that the pillowcase pattern is for your personal use only – if you would like to use it for any other reason please just send me an email.
Have fun making your own bed runner and I hope you’ll use these tips for sewing matching French seam pillowcases to make yourself (or a friend) a special treat!
This is part 5 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 4: Essential steps for sewing borders with setting triangles