Project: Pillowcases (set of 2)

Sew Tunes: Lily Allen (Pandora Station)

Pattern: None

Fabric Used: 100% Cotton and Broadcloth

New to Me: French seam

Trips to Store: 0. Purchased fabric online.

Loved One: My friend David. He likes cavemen, DNA tracking, and The Dave Matthews Band, all in that order. He’s a pretty funny guy, and he blogs too…because “the winners write history, and sometimes blogs.”

Day by Day…

Changing things up a bit. No trips to the store AND no pattern. What, no pattern? I’m ready to take my training wheels off and attack a patternless project.

Thanks to the Sewing Circle I was lucky enough to find here in New Orleans (thank you, Heidi!), I have already done a test run as it was the project we tackled at one of our last meet ups. It was a fun project, but I used scrap fabric. I am ready to try it again, this time carefully curating the fabric selection used, and making sure I measure more exact. Also, I want the finishing to be top-notch, so I am going to try my hand at the french seam.

So moving right along…

I heart Joel Dewberry, and this fabric I have seen:


Sadly, I can’t get my hands on his fabric here locally.  Since I know I love all things Joel Dewberry, I felt comfortable buying online.

By the way, here are some other designs of Mr. Dewberry’s that I am coveting at the moment:

I thought it most important to learn about the french seam first in case I need to alter the directions. I found the tutorial on Coletterie helpful. Side note: A Colette pattern is on my wish list. Stay tuned in coming weeks.

I am using a tan color broadcloth for the trim, and a brown color broadcloth for the cuff. Incidentally, these two colors match exactly the dots that are on the selvage (the dots represent the colors that can be found in the design of the fabric). I wanted to go crazy with the cuff, but for this project, simpler is better.

Sunday,September 18:

I am back from my one week tour of the west coast. This pillowcase project is a perfect way to ease back into the experiment. I washed, dried, and ironed the fabric this morning.

I cut:

  • the cuff fabric to measure 11″ by 42″
  • the trim fabric to measure 2″ by 42″
  • the main body fabric to measure 27″ by 42″

Once cut, I folded the trim in half and ironed. I then lined up the top raw edges of the cuff (right side facing up), the trim, and the main body (right side facing down). Once lined up, I rolled up the main body fabric to the middle of the cuff.

I then brought up the bottom edge of the cuff up to the top edge. It’s like a fabric sushi roll.

Once stitched, I pulled out the rolled main body fabric and turn the cuff right side out. Voila:

Time for the french seam? Oui!

Tangent: When studying the french seam tutorial on Colette’s site, she had pinned edges together by placing the pins perpendicular to the raw edges instead of parallel. I like this technique and may start using it.

Oops, I made a mistake. You are to start the french seam with wrong sides of the fabric together. I didn’t see that and started with right sides together. Seam ripper to the rescue. Once I took out the stitches, it was smooth sailing. I used the french seam on the two raw edges. It looks great, but I am sure there is some finishing technique to the french seam. It looks ok but could probably be tucked in a bit so not to see the raw edge.

Yawn, I am ready for a nap.

Project Wrap-up

Sew Happy:

  • I purchased just the right amount of Joel Dewberry fabric. I didn’t have any to spare.

Not Sew Happy:

  • I wanted the design to run vertically, but with the amount of fabric I purchased, this was not possible.
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