Thursday, October 4, 2012

{How to Make} Ruffle Pillow Cases

I really need to get into this crafting and blogging routine a little more. Now that I have a new job, and things are getting back to normal, I'm starting to have time again to make fun things! The latest project? To cover some plain black pillows we had bought for our couch. I've seen ruffled pillows on pinterest, but wanted to change it up a little by making the cover removable.

Yup. That's right: removable. For those of us who lead somewhat messy lives. I made these pillow cases in the spirit of a sham, with the opening on the back as opposed to one of the sides. This technique is nice, because you don't have to worry about zippers or buttons either.

Let me begin.

First you'll want to measure your pillow. Mine is an 18" basic black pillow from target. I measured it, and sure enough, it is true to size, being exactly 18", with my tape measured draped over the fluffiest part of the middle, in both directions.

Based on that measurement, I cut a piece of fabric to 44x19. The 44" happened to be the width of the fabric, and I like minimal cuts. I had originally planned out that for the 18" pillow, I needed double that to wrap around, and about 7-8" of overlap (including seam allowance) for the back opening. 18+18+7=44". 
The 19" width of the fabric allows one inch of seam allowance total for the top and bottom of the pillow.

With the front face of the fabric up, I folded the ends into the middle, like folding a letter to fit into an envelope. I played with the folding until the new folded length reached the 18" I needed for the pillow.

I made sure to check both the top and bottom, because sometimes the folds can end up not totally square. Measuring both sides ensures that everything is lined up right. To keep these folds, I ironed them down to make them nice and crisp.

I then folded over the ends of the overlapping sides to make a clean seam. I also ironed these down to make them easier to sew later. 

This is what it looks like when everything is ironed down. You can see that overlapping piece with the seam ready to sew. The flap underneath it has the same look. 

This clearly shows all three layers made by the folding. Make sure that you had turned the seam to the outside, as shown above for the flap ends. The face of the fabric (if you have one) should be facing in at this point. 

Unfold the fabric, and sew the short ends that you had ironed, as shown both above and below.

Place this piece aside.

Cut another piece. This piece will become the ruffle. The length will be at least double the length of the pillow. I kept the 44" from before, for ease of cutting. The width will be the width you want your ruffle to be, plus seam allowance. I wanted a wide, center ruffle, so I made the width 9" to allow for seams. 

Iron and finish the long sides. Mine is now about 8" wide after finishing. 

Another view of the finished long sides of the ruffle piece.

I then folded the piece in half, long way. To use primary school terms, folding in the 'hot-dog' direction. Yup, I just went there. I ironed that fold, to give me a clean line to follow. Then, using a long, straight stitch, I followed that line down the middle of the length. Make sure you don't back-stitch on this step. This is important so we can create the ruffle. 

Keep some length when trimming the ends of the thread. Take one of the threads, and shimmy the fabric down it to create the ruffle look.

You will end up with a piece that looks like this. Get out that other piece of fabric, and place the ruffle in the center of the middle section, as shown below. 

Make sure the ruffle hangs over, or at least matches the width of the fabric. Sew the ruffle in place, following the original seam of the ruffle.

Re-fold the side pieces of the fabric, to cover the ruffle. We're almost done! All you have to do is sew the top and bottom, to close everything up!

Trim any of the ruffle that is sticking out beyond the main pillow. Using the opening created by the overlapping layers, turn the case right-side-out. Stuff your pillow in there and....

Enjoy your new pillow case! :)