a tutorial & stitch along {pillowcase skirt}

tutorial cover photo

I’ve had this pillowcase for a while and was going to make a pillowcase dress, but the other day decided to try my hand at writing a tutorial for a pillowcase skirt. I made a skirt out of vintage & thrifted cases a while ago, but only having one case this time decided to add a little something to the bottom. It was also time to participate in the monthly feeling stitchy stitchalong so I decided to make a little apron for the skirt and “kill two birds with one stone” as they say. The instructions are for a size 5 skirt, but can easily be adapted for smaller sizes. So here goes…

a pillowcase skirt tutorial:

pillowcase skirt 1

First, gather up all your materials:
– one standard pillowcase
– 3/4 yard of coordinating tulle
– coordinating ric rac
– thread
– roughly a fat quarter of white (or coordinating) fabric for the apron and embroidery
– embroidery pattern (found here)
– 3/4″ wide elastic
– small piece of interfacing

pillowcase skirt 2

Lay out your case on a cutting mat and measure 14″ from the open end up and cut across.

After cutting you should have something like this:
pillowcase skirt 3

pillowcase skirt 4

Next you are ready to cut your tulle strips. Strips are cut width of fabric x 5″ wide. I folded my width of fabric in half to fit it on my mat for cutting. Cut 3 strips.

pillowcase skirt 5

**This is where I did things a little backwards. Typically you would now sew your 3 strips together short ends to short ends to make a large loop and then baste. I opted to indent my basting a little bit and make the loop last.**

Next baste your 3 tulle strips together. This is where going slow pays off in order to keep all the layers on top of each other while you sew. After you sew, pull the basting a little bit to make it fit around the inside of the case. After fitting it almost together, sew the short ends together to make a loop.

pillowcase skirt 7

When you get ready to sew the tulle strip to the case, match up the basting stitch with the hem stitch on the case.

pillowcase skirt 6

Flip the skirt right side out and you should have something like this. The tulle should hang down about an inch below the case bottom.
pillowcase skirt 8

Here’s an inside view of the tulle strip after it has been sewn on:
pillowcase skirt 9

pillowcase skirt 10

Now you are going to cover up the hem seam and seam from the tulle strip with some ric rac. Line up your ric rac on the seam and you can go ahead and measure out how much you need and sew!

pillowcase skirt 11

Your skirt bottom should now look something like this:
pillowcase skirt 12

Next it’s time to measure the apron pieces and trace your embroidery. (obviously this picture was taken after I embroidered. Just use your imagination)

pillowcase skirt 13

Cut 2 apron pieces 7.5″ x 9.5″ and using a water soluble pen, trace your embroidery design and sew.

After you are finished with your embroidery, clip the long ends of your threads on the back and “seal” your embroidery by ironing on a small piece of interfacing. If embroidery isn’t your thing, you could always cut two pieces of coordinating fabric and use those as your apron piece.

Next, you will add ric rac to the edges of the apron pieces and sew them together. Sandwich the ric rac in between the apron pieces, right sides facing. Sew the two long sides and bottom, leaving the top open.

pillowcase skirt 15

Turn right side out, use a chop stick to poke out the corners and press. You should have something like this (sorry it’s blurry):

pillowcase skirt 16

Now you are going to line up your apron piece with the top of your skirt. Mine measured roughly 6.5 inches on each side.

pillowcase skirt 17

Pin apron in place.

Now it is time to finish the top edge of your skirt. If you have a serger, use your serger to finish the top, while at the same time attaching the apron piece. If you do not have a serger, you can use a zig zag stitch to finish the top edge and attach the apron OR you can baste the apron piece and fold the top down 1/4″ and press.

Now it is time to make the casing for the elastic.

pillowcase skirt 18

Fold down the top 1″ and press. You might want to pin the apron piece in place so that it doesn’t shuffle around while sewing the casing. Make sure to leave an opening in the casing to insert the elastic.

pillowcase skirt 19

pillowcase skirt 20

Cut your elastic 21″ inches and insert elastic into casing.

pillowcase skirt 21

When you have pulled all your elastic through, sew the ends together.

pillowcase skirt 21

Stretch the elastic all the way through and then sew the seam closed.


Voila! Now you are done!

pillowcase skirt 22

pillowcase skirt

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thursday threads {04.19.2012}

Covered in Stitches Entry: SNEAK PEEK

This months stitchalong with Feeling Stitchy is calling my name, but alas the other projects have superseded it and I’m going to have to pass on this one. If you want to try your hand at some embroidery with felt applique, this is a great beginners project with a super tutorial.


That said, this is project number one: my son’s teacher is retiring and I blogged about this last week. I had wanted to take all the kid’s names and make a frame around this cute little pattern from Wee Wonderful’s but I couldn’t get the names to line up right. My second idea was to sew some notebook paper…and I love it! I am going to stitch all the kid’s names on the paper and this will be the backside of the totebag.

April-May Project: retiring teacher's totebag WIP

The flower fabric will be the front panel, with the little Wee Wonderful kids reading stitched onto the front. The geometric print will be the inside lining.


On another note, my little red traveling thread box was getting out of hand with all the hoops I have going right now. I ended up having to use some little snack bags to organize all my project threads. How do you keep all your threads together if you have more than one project going?

organizing the project thread box

happy stitching!

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thursday threads {04.04.2012}

Covered in Stitches Entry: SNEAK PEEK

I have set aside Thursdays as day to share embroidery or hand sewn projects that I’ve been working on or patterns that I’ve come across.

This Thursday I don’t really have anything of my own to share. The needle hasn’t really touched the hoop for days as I’ve been working on a bunch of other things. So, instead I thought I would share a few patterns I came across this week…

If you’ve never heard of Urban Threads, you need to check them out. They have loads of awesome and different embroidery patterns (for hand stitching and machine) and most of them only cost $1 to download. They also allow you to use their patterns in items that you might sell, which is crazy generous and harder and harder to find.

These birdcages were posted this week and I.love.them!

…image from urban threads

This would be a super pattern for a novice or advanced embroider. These lend themselves to so many different ways of stitching.

This isn’t a pattern, but I saw this listing on etsy this morning and they were screaming “make an embroidery of me!”


…image from etsy.com

Actually, that yellow one up in the corner with the orange flowers was in my play kitchen when I was a little girl!

Lastly I wanted to share April’s stitch along with Feeling Stitchy.

…image from feeling stitchy

The official post isn’t going to be announced until Saturday, but they posted a teaser today. If there was anything I would aspire to learn how to do, it would be to create and sew even half as great as their guest artist is going to be this month. She is pretty darn amazing. It will be awesome to see how she goes about creating all the amazing stuff she does.

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march stitch along

I confess I never finished February’s stitch along. It’s still in the studio ready and waiting, but honestly I just can’t get into it with all the other projects I need to do too.

march stitch along WIP

This month was a little easier to get into and more fun to stitch honestly. The pattern is from Wild Olive, who designs the cutest embroidery patterns ever! This one is no different.

march'12 feeling stitch stich along

I opted to stitch the pinata onto a tee for my chick. I’ve tried stitching onto dark colored material before and I’ve never had luck with the transfer method I used. This proved to be just as frustrating as before. I tried the embroidery transfer paper that you lay down and trace over. The pattern went on just fine, but by the time I was half way through stitching the horse outline, most of it was gone. I ended up free-handing the rest of it. I’m interested in trying the sulky iron-on dissovable paper, but have read mixed reviews. Would love to know if anyone has had success with this?

march'12 feeling stitch stich along

This month’s stitch along is a great pattern especially for a beginner embroiderer! Now I need to remember it when it’s time to do some birthday stitching!

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saturday stitching

The winds are blowing outside and the balmy 60s have disappeared and left us with a freezing 20 degrees. It’s a perfect day to stay inside and catch up on some embroidery projects. I finished the blessing that was on my hoop (see sidebar) and it’s hanging to dry.

Next up on the embroidery front was my attempt at this month’s stitch along. I admit, this one had be quickly running the other direction. But I bought myself some wire and knew that I just had to try it out. Here’s a picture of my progress so far. I’m trying to make a “daisyeyes” nameplate to hang in my basement studio.

Feb Stitch along WIP

The Rooster got busy making an embroidery of his own today to deliver to his teacher on Valentine’s Day. He decided to make and “A” for the name of his school and quickly plowed through the straight stitch. I thought it needed a little something more, so I taught him how to do a chain stitch and I think he’s a natural!

stitching by the Rooster

What’s on your hoop today?

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