The Cube Cases

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.

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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.

You can see the pillow in this one to get an idea why it's a weird shaped case.

You can see the pillow in this one to get an idea why it’s a weird shaped case.

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.

No worries, Lep, you just do you.

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.

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Pinned

Stitched

Stitched

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.

The trial run with the first case, you can see how much extra side panel fabric there is here.

The trial run with the first case, you can see how much extra side panel fabric there is here.

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.

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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!!

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full2

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!

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The Western Wear Laptop Case

I had a Dell from freshman year of college until midway through senior year when it decided to crash and burn literally while I was typing a midterm paper due that day. I was hitting the panic button big time. I ended up getting a Mac, which meant my (also homemade) Dell laptop case wasn’t going to fit anymore. I found this one http://sweet-verbena.blogspot.com/2011/07/laptop-sleeve-tutorial.html and knew I wasn’t going to buy one, but make another, more sophisticated looking one.

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I found everything I needed at Joann’s Fabrics and even found that magnificent embossed faux leather on clearance!! I followed the tutorial pretty much verbatim save for a few points. I chose not to do the strap for two reasons: I thought the toggle would get caught on things in my bag constantly and get ripped off, thus ruining the case; and I also misjudged the snugness of the case to where it kind of needs to get shoved in, so it’s not going anywhere. I also didn’t do the side stitching with a sewing machine, but instead chose to do a full basket stitch. I loved the look of it too much.  Note for the basket stitch if you haven’t done it before, watch the video in the tutorial a couple times and do a practice test on some excess felt. If you do choose to do the full stitching make sure you buy more embroidery thread than the tutorial calls for.

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^This is what it will look like prior to cutting off the sides and doing the stitching.

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^And this is what it will look like when your cat decides it’s the new bed. Mommy was clearly not paying her enough attention while she was sewing.

I don’t remember how much this one cost as I did it a while ago, but it shouldn’t be too much. I’d guestimate it was around $50 max. It took a little while, though, probably a few nights in front of the TV after work, since I had to go slower with the stitching to make sure I got it as close to perfect and even as possible. But I get a lot of compliments on it from TSA agents! 🙂