Pillowcases were my next project, after finally completing the two aprons – my labour of love. I am planning to give my mum a collection of my sewing achievements as part of her Mothers’ Day present on 26th March. She is so thrilled that I have finally decided to take up sewing and is eager to see some of my projects, so I’m making an extra special effort to complete a few simple projects that I can do to the best of my abilities and make some special gifts for the special lady in my life.
So far, my mum can expect 1 cushion and 1 apron. Now there are 2 pillowcases that have been added to the collection. Making the pillowcases was the first time that I independently found a project to create, that I hadn’t already completed in a sewing class. I looked for a simple and easy to follow tutorial on YouTube and stumbled across the vlog, ‘MADE Everyday’.
Overall, the tutorial was very easy to follow and this vlogger is really upbeat and encouraging, without sounding patronising or condescending. There were times in the video when I had to rewind and go over steps that I was unsure of, however, I was able to create not 1 but 2 pillowcases in the space of an hour. The instructions were clear and the vlogger sews the pillowcases during the video, which was helpful for me to watch her technique and attempt to emulate it. The pillowcases that are created in the video do not have the inside, overlapping fabric that covers the end of the pillow. Following the tutorial to a ‘T’ will leave you with a very basic pillow covering, which is great if that’s the look that you are going for.
I, however, wanted a pillowcase in the true sense. This meant me scrutinising one of my own pillowcases to ascertain exactly how it had been sewn together, then making a few adjustments to my project, in order to create the overlapping fabric to cover the end of the pillow. It was a very simple alteration and the result was very effective. The amount of fabric used leaves more than enough room for slightly larger/bulkier pillows. Less fabric can be used than is recommended in the tutorial, in order to give a snug fit to a standard sized pillow. I liked how the pillows looked with the use of slightly more fabric, so I would keep to the same amount of fabric the next time that I make pillowcases.
For such a simple project, I made quite a few mistakes, but this is simply down to my status as sewing newbie. I am still perfecting all of the ‘easy’ skills that intermediate and advanced sewists take for granted. Another problem of mine is following instructions to a ‘T.’ My biggest problems came when making the second pillowcase. I thought that I knew all of the steps and could easily recall what should happen next, therefore I tried to make the pillowcase without the aid of the video…..EPIC FAIL!!
My brain was still getting to grips with all of the skills required to make this new project, so adding on the additional chore of memorising each step AND trying to get each step done as perfectly as I could led to many mistakes and the inevitable use of my best friend (the seam unpicker). Note to self – go easy with the seam unpicker, otherwise it leads to rips/tears in the fabric where rips/tears are not welcome.
THANKFULLY, the small tear occurred on the inside of the overlapping fabric that covers the end of the pillow, so I did a quick patch job to ensure that it didn’t turn into a major issue. I let my mum know about my slight error and she was very understanding, reassuring me that it didn’t matter and that she would be happy to accept ANYTHING that I made (oh, a mother’s love). I really enjoyed making these pillowcases and will make more in the future.