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

Stretching Designer Fabric

That title might be a little misleading.  I’m not talking about literally stretching the fabric.  What I want to talk about is how you can buy less expensive fabric but make it go farther in a room.  Before I get into that, you’re going to need a bit of back story.

Our house was built in 1972.  We bought it in 2002, and very little had been done as far as updating.  There was still orange shag carpet in a closet and these lovely things hung by the front door.

front door

One bathroom had a dusty blue toilet and bathtub and the other was avocado green.  There were several pieces of gold glass throughout the house.  That dark wood you can see in the photo was EVERYWHERE. 

We’ve been working on some part of the house constantly since we moved in.  My daughter jokes that she’ll always have to have one unfinished room in her house just to feel at home. 

This is my fireplace.  At least, it was.


I had all I could take of that wood paneling, so I asked my husband what he thought about painting it.  One thing lead to another, and pretty soon we were re-doing the living room.  I’m dying to show you what we’ve done, but it isn’t finished, so I’m holding off for a big reveal.  I will tell you – the paneling did not get painted.

What I can show you are the new pillows for the couch.  It’s just a tiny part of the room, but I want to share a couple of tips on making your expensive fabric make an big impact on your room, but a smaller one on your wallet.

pillows 1

I set out to find fabric that would match my new living room colors and fell in love with the print above with the squares.  The black with the keys is a companion print.  Because we decided to do this room on a whim, the budget is very tight.  I wanted to use it for pillows and curtains, but at $18 per yard, that wasn’t going to work.  I didn’t want to give it up completely, so instead I found a tan microfiber on clearance and used that for the back of all eight pillows.

pillows 2

That allowed me to buy enough of the squares and keys for the fronts of two pillows each, and mix in the other coppery orange that I also found on clearance.  I recovered our existing pillows instead of buying new pillow forms, so I saved there too.  Another trick I used was piecing together some of the cheaper fabric with the expensive to get the look without using much at all.

pillows 3

I’m very happy with the pillows and can’t wait to show you what I did with the curtains.  Home improvement…better than spring cleaning.

Friday Favorites–Weddings

Next Wednesday, June 29th, my husband and I will be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary.  It’s been 20 great years, but it feels like it was only yesterday that we were two kids, heading off to start our life together.  Now we HAVE two kids and a lot of road behind us.  There was really no choice in my favorites this week.  It had to be weddings.

We were married back in the days of the white guest book and feather pen.  I’m kinda glad to see we’ve moved on.  This Birthday Calendar Guestbook from The Bright Life is pure genius.


Wedding or not, this Tree Pedestal Cake Stand from OnceWed is beautiful.


This Embroidered Love Pillow from Growing Home would be a fun bridal shower activity and a lovely gift for the bride.


It might be worth it to have this many bridesmaids just to make this rainbow.  And all the flowers match!  From The Knotty Bride.


Coffee Bean Favor Bags from Intimate Weddings.  How do I get invited?


For some reason, I just love the idea of these Mini Pinata Favors from Ruffled


I don’t remember ever seeing Save the Date cards before I got married.  If I were going to have some though, I’d want them to be just like these from Weddingbee.


There’s just something elegant about a black and white wedding cake.  Add some red, like this one shown on Project Wedding, and I might swoon a little. 


I’ve noticed a trend toward smaller veils lately.  This Mini Veil from Emmaline Bride is just right.


I love flowers, and especially wedding flowers, but whoever came up with bridesmaids carrying clutches instead was brilliant.  Etsy seller jennalou06 offers a Design Your Own option.


Friday Favorites - Fruit

My not-so-little kidlets are home on spring break this week.  They’re old enough to come and go without me, make their own lunch and brush their teeth without being threatened, uh, I mean told, and yet it still seems to affect my ability to get things done when they’re around.  I’m not complaining.  I can see the day on the horizon when they’ve gone away to college and I’m wishing someone would interrupt my typing mid-sentence to ask where we keep the fire extinguisher.

I’ve asked them both during the last couple of weeks if they have any suggestions for a theme for my Friday Favorites.  I won’t give away the boy’s idea, since it was a good one and I’ll be using it soon, but the girl immediately piped up with “Fruit!”  So, with thanks to my daughter for the idea, here’s a fruit salad’s worth of favorites.

This Whimsical Fruit Centerpiece from a Creative Jewish Mom says spring, and boy, do I need something to feel like spring right now.


I love strawberries.  I ate so many when I was pregnant with my daughter I was afraid she’d come out all red and covered in seeds.  How can you go wrong with strawberries and chocolate?  These Brownie Cookie Shortcakes from Pillsbury are definitely going in the recipe box.


This felt fruit looks good enough to eat.  The pattern is available from the talented fairyfox on Etsy.


I love Crafts by Amanda’s take on French Fruit Wall Art.  I think her version is cuter than the original she was inspired by.


My kids had sewing cards when they were little, but I never thought to make some myself.  These Fun Fruit Laces from C & T Publishing would be at the top of the list.

Link, 10676, fall09

This isn’t something I’ve ever pictured myself saying, but I want a blueberry pillow.  All of these Recycled Sweater Produce Pillows from Fun in the Making are cute, but that blueberry…got to have.


The combination of fabrics on this Pear Pin Cushion from Sewing in No Mans Land is adorable.  So many possibilities.


I know technically these Orange Rind Votives  from Beekman were intended for the holiday season, but I can picture them at a summer backyard barbeque.


Who would have thought I’d find a star fruit craft?  Thanks to Matching Pegs for this Star Fruit Cushion Tutorial!


And, we’re back to strawberries.  Told you I love them.  I’ve seen these little bags in stores for a couple of years now, but as every good crafter knows, it’s better if you can make them yourself.  Thanks to Ikat Bag for the Strawberry Bag instructions.