A Pillowcase Project

Our small neighborhood group of our guild has decided to do pillowcases for Safelight’s shelter. Yes, it is the same place as our Safelight Project Spa Bags. This could not have come at a better time, as I have a lot of fabric, and it will help with the Stashbuster challenge! I may not actually use all of this, but certainly a lot of it can go. Our group will have a sew-in later this week, so most of the yardage out will go in February, but I wanted some to be out in January.

I have shown how to do these with a French seam for finishing on a previous post when I needed a pretty pillowcase to make sure I didn’t leave it behind in a hotel room – Travel Pillow Case. This time, I want to make the finishing go even faster, so I got out my serger for a workout. The serger was already loaded with black thread, so I pulled two black and white fabrics out, plus a bright yellow for the accent trim. I rolled up the bits as shown in the post link.

Serge across the raw edge, then pull through and press.

Trim the sides even.

Then, fold right sides together. Serge the side and across the bottom.

When done, use a tapestry needle to put the loose thread end under the stitching to hold it. I also will use a drop of Fray Block to lock it down.

OK, that is one. Each pillowcase uses one yard plus 2-inches of fabric.

I realized that the pins may end up inside the seam if I wasn’t careful. This could be a problem not only for those of us who use a serger, but also those using a sewing machine, as unseen pins can be struck by the needles causing breakage.

I began using clips instead, as they stuck out the top. I also found that by using the clips, I could more quickly get the raw edges lined up and be ready to sew the top seam after rolling.

So using my mantra for the order, (right side up, right sides together and right sides together), I began clipping.

The final ‘right sides together’, and I can quickly move the clips as I pull the bottom up and over.

Next, it occurred to me that even more speed might be achievable if I did it assembly line style. So I cut and pressed six more trim bits.

Then I rolled and clipped six more pillowcase units.

Now I could really speed serge, doing one after another. While it took half an hour to do the first one, and about the same for the second one, in a little over 2 hours I had six more. Now, I had eight!

Whoopee, 8 yards plus 16 inches of fabric out! I just need one more to be able to count out 9-1/2 yards for Stashbusters. So, I’ll do at least one more before the meeting. Maybe several!

Don’t forget, our first Stashbusters check in for 2023 is Friday!

19 thoughts on “A Pillowcase Project

  1. Julie

    Great tips! I haven’t made pillowcases since I got my serger – this is going to revolutionize the process. All I need is yardage! My stash is shrinking as I mostly buy for projects rather than on speculation & besides it’s mostly fat quarters. Filing these tips for future reference, especially your mantra.

  2. jseccurrtwcnyrrcom

    Love the idea of a one and done sewn seam that also encases the pillow case raw edge. I’ve always done that in two steps…first the seam and then the overlay stitch. Not anymore!

    I’ve cut out Safelight sets and hopefully will get a chance to finish them next week.

    Rock on Carole!

  3. Patty Brenner

    Pillowcases are one of the closest things to instant gratification from sewing, and I’m sure the recipients will love them!

  4. slmrn1

    Love the pillowcase idea to help use up stash. This is my favorite way to make pillowcases too but haven’t used your clip method to speed things along. Will definitely give it a go. Thanks for sharing.

  5. jseccurrtwcnyrrcom


    I hope you don’t mind that I am sending my Stashbuster report early. I will be leaving for a quilt retreat Thursday in a remote area with very poor internet service and can’t confidently say that I will be able to report on Friday. Here’s the report:

    I look forward to the Stashbusters challenge. It has helped me remain disciplined to shop my stash first for what I need and to donate fabrics I am not likely to use. Thank you for keeping the challenge another year!

    January Fabric IN = 9 yards January Fabric OUT = 26 yards January Net Total = 17 yards Year to Date = 17 yards out

    I am happy to report that I completed a king size quilt plus a couple charity quilts.

    Jo Anne Seccurra

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