I started out on my sewing journey in the typical way: I made a pillowcase!
It actually happened at the perfect time – my husband and I wanted to get new bedding for the new year, but we couldn’t find pillowcases to match our king-size pillows anywhere in Singapore. When I realised I could make pillowcases easily with my new sewing machine, it was like it was fated to happen! My beginner’s project immediately turned into a mission – I had to make 2 sets of 4 king-size pillowcases to replace our old ones.
So I trotted down to Spotlight to find some fabric. I knew it would be a learning curve picking out fabric for the first time – but goodness me, it took ages. I was probably in there for an hour, poring over all the different types of cotton and trying to find a good balance between the feel, the colour, the pattern and the price. I ended up choosing bright green cotton poplin in polkadots and stripes. Bright colours lift my spirits, and I’m on a real green kick right now!
I made my very first pillowcase following the envelope closure pillowcase tutorial over at Make It & Love It. I finished the seams and pressed it neatly, and then went to put it on my pillow feeling super proud of myself… then I realised I’d made the darn thing far too big! Turns out American king-size pillows are bigger than UK ones. First important lesson learned – double check your measurements!
(Well, maybe the first important lesson I learned the hard way was to lower the presser foot before sewing. I had quite a panic after getting about a foot of thread tangled up in the feed dogs.)
So. I ripped out all the seams from my oversized pillowcase, did some measuring and some maths, and started over. This time it fit perfectly! I made four:
I also modified the approach so that each pillow is made with two pieces of fabric rather than one. I found it hard to manipulate such huge pieces of fabric.
The final numbers I ended up with to fit a UK king-size pillow are:
- Front piece – 20.5″ x 34.5″
- Back piece – 20.5″ x 42.5″
This gives finished dimensions of 19.5″ x 33″. I first hem one short edge on each piece by folding it up twice by 0.5″ and then use 0.5″ seam allowances.
A couple of weeks ago I made a second set. They’re in the wash right now so I’ll have to share the pictures later!