These things haunted me. The pillows are a convex kind of cube where the middle is thicker than the edges, so you had to make sure you cut your fabric in way that it wasn’t too tight in the middle or too loose around the edges. I was not looking forward to them. My mom is really talented with the sewing machine so I called her for advice, and even she said she wasn’t sure what to tell me. Her advice was to go to a fabric store and ask for their professional opinion or go to Joann Fabric and look through their pattterns. I stopped by the sewing section of my Walmart and actually found a cube pattern! It wasn’t exactly what I needed since my pattern was for cases, not a pillow that was going to be stuffed with something like a bean bag – but I could see the way I needed to organize my thoughts and freehand pattern. I also looked up a few patterns on Pinterest for extra research-ammunition. I didn’t use one particular set of directions so I won’t put a link up. Below are my very rough set of directions.
1. With the fabric folded in half lengthwise I laid it out on the floor to see how many pillow cases I could actually make from the topsheet and how much extra fabric I was going to have to buy. It came out that I was able to get a top and bottom for all four pillows. I figured this out by first just lying them all down on the fabric with about an inch or two between them.
2. Then I measured the length and width of the pillow, added an inch to both, and marked up the fabric. I kept it folded in half with the back of the fabric facing up while I made the marks to reduce effort. I had 8 big pieces for the tops and bottoms.
3. With the leftover fabric I cut out the side pieces. When I assembled the first case I realized I had measured too much fabric for the sides, so I probably could have gotten away with making all of the sides out of the topsheet instead of buying extra fabric like I did, but you live and learn. What I did wrong was over measure the sides based off the thickest point of the pillow. If I had measured the thinner edges I would have been set. After I finished the first pillow (where I had to pin half of the side fabric down when I stitched on the bottom) I cut off a little more than half of the rest of the side panels. With all those pieces cut out I had 16 pieces for the side panels.
4. The first step of stitching was to sew the side panels for the first pillow into a loop. Edge by edge with the “back” or “wrong side” facing you, stich them together with about a 1/2 inch seam allowance on the sides.
5. With your loop ready, pin the top piece to it with everything still wrong-side out. I preferred to start pinning at the middle since all my edges are pretty rough and not symetical.
None of the corners turned out pretty, but these are outdoor pillows anyways. For your stitching start in one corner of the pillow and get as close to the seam on the opposite side as you can. Once you’re close, ensure the needle is in the fabric and lift up the foot. Rotate the fabric so that you’re now going straight down the next edge instead of a weird crooked turn. When I saw that I actually had something that looked like a viable pillow case I started to get excited. I put it on the pillow to see and OMG it was working!! There was too much side panel fabric as you can see below, but who cares! I was super proud and couldn’t wait to get the rest done.
6. Another reason why this was going to be such an undertaking was because these cases also had to be envelope style to get the pillows in! I decided to just not care for the backs. I cut the bottom piece of fabric in half, and on the “inner” cuts that I just made I sewed about a half inch seam on each. Then I overlapped them and sewed them together about two inches on the top and bottom. I pinned the middle of them together so the envelope wouldn’t open up and make sewing the bottom on harder.
7. I followed the same process as step 5 for the bottom piece as well. The pinning the top and bottom to the side panels takes the longest, but you want to make sure it’s right. And then you’re done!!
8. The last thing you have to do is stuff in your pillow!!
I had a friend staying at my house and crashing on my couch while I was making these and I don’t think he’ll ever see someone as excited over a pillowcase as I was over the first one. I was so uber proud. I hugged the pillow in front of him, even. He did tell me that he felt like I should be watching Golden Girls as I sat at my kitchen table with my sewing machine and cat sleeping right in front of the machine lol
I’m now much more ready to begin my sewing projects that I felt too inexperienced to start. Sure these are just pillowcases but who cares! Bring it on!