Hot and Cold Pillowcase

I love Oregon, but I find this time of year a little frustrating.  Don’t get me wrong, there are things I love about fall, like apples, pumpkins and boots.  Oh, the boots.  But the inconsistency in the temperature drives me a little nuts.  One minute I’m freezing, the next I’m roasting.  When you live here, you learn to dress in layers.  But nighttime is a little harder to solve.  This project was made to help a friend in the hospital who wanted something soft by his face, but I think I’ve found an easy solution to my freezer/oven problem.

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 1

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 1

This is a basic pillowcase, but the secret is using woven cotton fabric on one side and super-soft Minky, or other soft fleece, on the other.  If you’re too warm, flip it to the cotton side for instant cooling.  If you’re trying to warm up, the fleece is the side you want.

To make this, you’ll need 14” of woven cotton fabric, 14” of fleece, 12” of woven cotton for the cuff and 3” of woven cotton for the accent.  The fleece will probably be wider than the cotton (54” vs 42”), so you’ll need to cut it to the same size so each piece is 14 by 42”.

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 2

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 2

Sew two of the 42” sides together with wrong sides together and a slightly less than 1/4” seam.  Turn the pieces so the right sides are together and press the seam on the cotton fabric side.  Stitch again with a slightly larger than 1/4” seam.

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 3

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 3

What you should have at that point is a piece that measures 27” long and 42” wide with a French seam running down the middle.  Set that piece aside for a moment. 

Fold your 3” accent piece in half with wrong sides together and press.

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 4

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 4

Take your cuff piece and lay it face up on your workspace.  Mine is a little deceiving here because I happened to find a piece that was printed with two different colors.  You could certainly piece two prints together if you’d like a different color on each side of your pillow, but what’s shown here is just one piece.

Lay the accent piece on top, lining up the raw edges.  As you can see on the right, they may not match up on the end.  That’s okay – we’ll deal with it shortly.

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 5

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 5

Lay the cotton/fleece piece on top of that with the right side down and raw edge matching the others.  If you did piece the cuff, make sure to match up the seams of both pieces. 

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 6

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 6

Starting from the bottom edge, carefully roll up the cotton/fleece until it’s past the center of the cuff but not all the way to the top edge.

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 7

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 7

Fold the bottom edge of the cuff up and over the roll and match the raw edge to the raw edges at the top.  Pin in place.

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 8

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 8

Stitch 1/4” from the raw edge all the way across.  Pull the roll from the inside out one end to turn everything right side out.

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 9

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 9

I’d recommend checking your seam to make sure you caught all the layers in it before turning.  The fleece is a little slippery and you don’t want to end up with this hot mess.

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 10

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 10

Cut off the accent, cuff and body to match the shortest of the three.

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 11

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 11

Line up the edges with wrong sides together and stitch a scant 1/4” seam down the side and across the bottom.  I always go way under 1/4”, just make sure you’re catching both layers.

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 12

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 12

Turn the pillowcase wrong side out.  Press the seam on the cotton side.  Stitch a bit over 1/4” from each edge.

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 13

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 13

Turn the pillowcase right side out and press the seams one last time on the cotton side.

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 14

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 14

I’m ready now, Autumn.  Bring it on.

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 15

Hot and Cold Pillowcase - Crafty Staci 15

Friday Favorites–My Favorites

Last Friday I listed the top 10 most popular posts from this blog in the past year.   This week, as we’re nearing the end of my First Anniversary celebration, I wanted to share some of my personal favorites.  There would be some duplicates, like the whole list, so I won’t go over those again.  These are a few that didn’t make the last cut, but still hold a special place in my heart.


Pillowcases 101

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For some reason, I just really love making these pillowcases.  When you turn the whole thing out of the tube and you can see what the three fabrics are actually going to look like together...that’s my favorite moment in any project.


Lip-Shaped Bag

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I wish my photography had been better on these, because they are so much cuter in person than they came off here.  I need to make more of them soon.


Pineapple Purse

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I was happy this purse fulfilled my girl’s pineapple wishes for her birthday, but I also love it just because it turned out the way it looked in my head.  That doesn’t always happen. 


Bleach-Sprayed T-Shirts

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These were fun and a little dangerous, a thrill for my internal adrenaline junkie.


Crayon T-Shirts

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Any craft I can do with my kids, put Wonder Woman on, use crayons for and wear later is ok with me.


Microwave Homemade Caramels

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I just made these again for Valentine’s Day and they are still ridiculously delicious.  I mean they were.


When I look back at my projects from the past year, there isn’t one I wouldn’t do again.  I’ve made mistakes, but I’ve learned a lot.  That’s why we’re all here, right?

Don’t forget, you can enter my First Anniversary Giveaway until midnight tonight!  You could win your choice of any of my tutorials…made by me just for you!

Friday Favorites–Quick and Easy Gifts

Is it just me, or do the Fridays come right on top of each other in December?  Since we’re all short on time and big on lists of people we want to show our appreciation to, today’s favorites are gift ideas that fit the bill.  Most of these can be made fairly quickly and without a lot of expensive supplies.  Perfect, right? 

I had a seriously hard time narrowing down the list I found, so it’s a little longer than usual.  I’ll try to talk less.  Uh, huh.  At least you’ll have more options.

My husband is the BBQ-er in my house, so I think this one is for the guys.  KoJo Designs shows us how to make these cute jars of homemade Spice Rubs.  Nope, I did not just call my only real guy-gift favorite cute.


After that grilling, they’ll need some dessert.  Vanilla is one of my favorite flavors (yes, it IS a flavor) and I’ve always wanted to try making my own vanilla extract.  Disney Family has the recipe.


There are so many possibilities when it comes to this Lunch Money Cuff from a Lemon Squeezy Home.  They would be great for joggers.  I might have to make one big enough for my cell phone.

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These Homemade Essential Oil Air Fresheners from Foodie with Family are simple and smell good, two of my favorite qualities in a gift.  Or most things, for that matter.

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Teens can be tough to shop for, and even harder to make things for, but this MP3 Pocket Pillowcase from Seven Thirty Three is perfect.  I love her idea to put an iTunes gift card in the pocket.

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If you’ve never tried sugar scrub on those rough elbows and heels, you’re really missing something.  I love everything about this Lemon Sugar Scrub from Gluesticks.  Jar, label, wooden spoon, scrub…all cute!

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These Comic Strip Bracelets from Craft Envy would be great kid-to-kid gifts.

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I would love to receive this Cupcake Take Along kit from Nichole Heady.  I’d never be able to bring myself to take it apart and use it, but I’d admire it from afar.

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I had some of these Retro Braided Ribbon Barrettes when I was a kid.  A Girl in Paradise shows how to make them.  Are you old when the stuff from your childhood gets called “retro?”

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I’ve seen Snowman Soup in many forms over the last few years, but I particularly like it in these cello cone bags from The Essential Packaging Store.

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This homemade microwave popcorn from My Creative Place would be a good choice for those times you need a bunch of the same gift.  I love the tag she has on her blog that says “DIY Popcorn Garland.”

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These Reversible Napkin Rings from Prudent Baby are a little more work than some of the other projects here, but if you sew they wouldn’t take much but a few scraps and some buttons that you probably have lying around anyway.  And they’re adorable with the paper name tags.

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I think this one attracted me because of my Starbucks addiction.  I can stop whenever I want, but then I wouldn’t have cups to make these cute Mini Albums from Echoes of Laughter.  So really, it’s not a problem.  I’m collecting crafting materials.

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This Toddler Winter Hat from Monkey See, Monkey Do is obviously aimed at the little ones, but I know at least a few teenage girls who would happily wear them.

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Thanks to this No Sew Scarf tutorial from MaryJanes and Galoshes, with a 44-inch square of knit fabric, some scissors and 30 minutes you can have a fabulous gift for a girl of almost any age.

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Have fun making all those gifts!  How do I get on your list?

Eleven days in the hospital can drive you crazy

I'm back home after an unexpected stay in the hospital due to a complication after a routine surgery.  I'm still not allowed to MAKE anything, but if I don't at least TALK some crafty, I'm going to lose my mind! I made two decisions during the last few days that I'd like to share.  Remember the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge?  I was looking for somewhere to give my donations to.  My local Craft Warehouse is accepting them, which I believe they're forwarding to Doernbecher Childrens Hospital.  My children's pillowcases will be going there.  However, as I stared at the ceiling in the oncology ward of my local hospital, my own bright, flowery pillowcase under my head, the light bulb came on.  My husband and I spoke to a couple of nurses and the supervisor, and I'll be donating pillowcases for adults to their department.  They're happy to be receiving them from a former patient, and I'm thrilled to be able to give something back to a place where I received such excellent care.  I can't wait to get back to my sewing room!

My second decision is that I'm planning to open my own Etsy shop.  I'm going to aim for July 1st, but I might start sooner if I'm ready.  I've done some research, and I really feel like there's a place there for my style.  Lots of reading and research for the next couple of weeks, but I'll keep you posted on my progress!

What to do with those leftover pillowcases

This post contains affiliate links.

Last week we went over how to make a beautiful, personalized, one-of-a-kind pillowcase.  Remember?  Now you've got all those old pillowcases and nothing to do with them.  Not so!  Here's some ideas that might inspire you to not only use the ones you have lying around, but maybe seek out some cute vintage ones also. I hope you have one this perfect, because I sure don't.  It looks like it was meant to be a skirt:  Bella Dia


A little girl's dress from Refashion . There is a very clear tutorial on the site. I think this could also work as a cute summer top or nightie for a bigger girl.  I'm afraid to try it for this adult, but if you do I will admire you completely. 


Another little girl dress with tutorial from Jen Leheny .


And if nothing inspires you yet, an entire book dedicated to the recycling of pillowcases:  Craft Challenge: Dozens of Ways to Repurpose a Pillowcase by Suzanne J. E. Tourtillott .


One last piece of advice:  drool spots can be covered with applique.  Enough said.

1 Million Pillowcase Challenge

Ok, go!  Come on, 1 can do it!

Maybe asking you to make 1 million pillowcases by yourself is a little too much, but how about adding yours to pillowcases collecting them from all over the country?  American Patchwork and Quilting magazine is sponsoring a year-long event that I can get behind.  It's called the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge.  Since you learned how to make a pillowcase yesterday, you can participate too!  They are encouraging crafters to make and donate pillowcases to charity and are aiming for the million mark by the end of 2010.

One Million Pillowcase Challenge

There are several places that collect and donate quilts and blankets.  I've donated a few to Project Linus in the past.  But I can't make them fast enough to feel like I'm actually doing any good.  Pillowcases are another story.  I love making these, they take relatively few supplies and are quick to produce.  Since you learned how to make them yesterday, you can participate too!

There is nowhere very close to me listed that is collecting donations, but I have no doubt I'll be able to find somewhere that can use them.   If you want to make a few to donate, I'd be happy to find a home for them.   Even one or two would make one or two people a little happier.  Just get in touch with me and let me know you're interested.

My personal goal is 50 before the end of the year.  After raiding my fabric shelf, I put together enough fabric to make 25 or 30 without even leaving home.  I'm sure there are support groups for people with my fabric-collecting problem.  Of course, if I use it all up making pillowcases no one has to know.

Pillowcases 101

Call me lazy, but sometimes I like to make things that don't require me to be too exact.  Ok, often.  And don't call me lazy. Take pillowcases, for example.  In the end, you're stuffing a very flexible pillow inside, which means you have some wiggle room as far as measuring and stitching goes.

 I have made MANY of these.   They are really quick to make, which makes me happy all by itself.

To start, you'll need fabric.  Most cotton comes in 42 - 45 inch widths.  As long as it's somewhere in that range, it will work.  You will probably want to use 100% cotton, since someone is going to be sleeping on it and polyester blends just aren't that comfy.  Flannel and fleece are nice also, but can be sticky to work with so I wouldn't recommend them for your first pillowcase.  You'll need:

27" (3/4 yard) for the body

12" (1/3 yard) for the cuff

3" (the smallest most places will sell is 1/8 yard - you'll have extra) for the trim

If you do or plan to do much sewing, invest in a rotary cutter, cutting mat and ruler.  You can usually find a set similar to mine for around $50, and they are often on sale for less.  Completely worth it, unless you can consistently and quickly cut lots of straight lines freehand.  Nope, me either.

Cut the ends of each piece of fabric so they're all square and straight. Cut off the selvages (the part that isn't the cut edge, often white and stiff).  Cut trim piece down to 3 inches.  All three pieces will likely be slightly different widths.  Don't worry about that yet.

Fold trim piece in half lengthwise, right side out.  Press with an iron.  If other pieces are very wrinkled, give them a quick press also.  Maybe they've been laying on a shelf somewhere for years, getting wrinkly, waiting to be part of some fantastic creation?   Just me?  Never mind then.

Lay cuff piece out flat on a table, right side up.  Lay folded trim piece on top, raw edges even and matched up at left side.  The right side probably won't match up.  Ignore it and it will go away.  Not really, but we'll fix it later.

Lay main fabric on top, wrong side up, matching raw edges.  I find it easiest to line up the left corner first, then move toward the right matching edges as I go.

After all edges are lined up and pieces are smoothed flat, roll the main fabric up from the bottom edge.  Make sure it's more than halfway up the cuff, but not up so far it will get in the way of your seam.

Fold the cuff from the bottom up over all and match raw edges.  Pin in place through all layers.  Stitch a generous 1/4 inch seam down the raw edge where you've pinned.

Pull tube out of the end and proceed to turn the cuff right-side out.

Press trim toward the body and cuff out.  Cut all layers even with the shortest.  The shortest for me is usually the trim piece.

Fold pillowcase, wrong sides together.  Pin raw edges.

Sew across side and bottom with a 1/4 inch seam.  Clip corners.

Turn wrong side out.  Press seams, rolling the edge between your fingers to get the seam all the way out.  Moistening your fingers may help.  How you moisten them is between you and your fingers. 

Sew again with a 5/8 inch seam.  It's a larger seam than is usually recommended, but I like to know I'm not going to find raw edges sticking out when I turn it. 

Turn right side out and press one more time.  And you're done!

These make great get well gifts.  I mean, they're laying on a pillow anyway, right?  They're also good for teenagers.  Fill it with some candy, soda and popcorn and you've fulfilled two of their basic needs - sleeping and eating.  They can be personalized to fit anyone's favorite color or, if you're really feeling creative, a hobby or interest.  Time to go fabric shopping!