Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pillowcase Projects

I've had these done for a while now, but I've just not had time  (or the "want-to") to post till now.  But, now I'm ready.  Thanks for the kind comments and prayers about my former student and his family.  

When my mother moved to Assisted Living my cousins decided it was time to sell the house (she moved into their house when her sister died to take care of my cousins who were still at home).  We all went through ALL of the STUFF that was in that house.  There was stuff that belonged to my aunt and uncle, my grandmother, grandfather, and another aunt(who never married and lived with my GPs).  There was stuff that belonged, of course, to my mother, as well.  This could turn into a long story, and I won't tell anymore of it now, just picture this house that had so much STUFF that no one but Mother knew to whom any of it belonged!!  

The was a real treasure - pillowcases, tablecloths, and all kinds of other tatting and other types of lace adorned, vintage, linen, hand embroidered, you-name-it kinds of things.  Some were lovingly made by the hands of my aunt, my grandmother, and I'm sure, my great grands and great aunts.  

These pretty green pillowcases were amongst the treasures.  They aren't all that old because there is actually a JC Penney's tag in them, but my grandmother made the tatting and my aunt did the embroidery.  
Two years ago I made a BUNCH of pillowcase dresses!!  I made one for my two oldest GDs and DGNieces, one for a friend's daughter,  and one for each little daughter of any teacher at my school who had girls.  That was a whole lot.  I used inexpensive Walmart pillowcases for those.  They were cute, though, and so easy!!
When I found these I decided that my great nieces needed to have something special from the family besides just the one little dress I made with some of our DGMs tatting.  I've made all the new little ones in our family one item with her tatting.  I'm being stingy with it because there are more little ones to come, I'm sure.  Plus the fact that I have 4 DGDs and there were only 2 pillowcases, helped me decide to make these for my DSs DGDs.

I made my own bias tape to bind the arm holes.  I had enough of the fabric because one of my GNs is only two so I cut a large portion off the closed end of the pillowcase.  I guess I got ahead of myself.  I had my DN measure how long she wanted the girls' dresses to be.  I measured from the open end of the pillowcases, subtracted 3 inches (because of the ribbon straps), and then added back the amount I needed for a casing.  Then I cut off the excess from the closed end.  
If I hadn't had enough of this fabric I would have used a purchased binding or made some from a coordinating fabric.
To make my bias binding I folded the piece of fabric catty-cornered with the short end lined up with the long end.  That makes a perfect bias fold.  I then cut, and I didn't measure exactly how wide the strips are (I know I should, but I cut corners wherever I can).  I cut as many strips as I thought I'd need.
Then I folded both edges into the middle and steamed them flat.  Then, I folded that strip in the center and steamed again.  Watch out for your fingers!!  That iron and its steam is HOT!
I cut down both sides of the pillowcase as far as I deemed they needed to be cut for their little arms remembering that there will be ribbon making the top of the arm hole.  I sewed the binding on the edge of these cut edges.  
Next, I folded down the casing along the cut edge.  I made it the depth I needed for the ribbon I had.  This was one inch ribbon, but whatever you have that matches will work.  I inserted the ribbon which I made long enough to tie in a pretty bow on the girls' shoulders.  I gathered the casing and stitched on both ends next to the arm holes to keep the ribbon in place. 

Voila!  My neices have cute little dresses.  
I'm sure most of you have seen these. They were all the rage, according to my DD on ebay a couple of years ago.  That's how I got into it.  My mother said that they wore these as children for night gowns.  I have seen them made into tops and skirts, too.  They could even be worn as jumpers with blouse of some kind underneath.

Now for the pillowcase I made for my cousin's DW (she's been my friend for years before they got married) so I would have made this for her even if she wasn't officially family.  
I'm not sure if this table runner was in the treasure we found that I mentioned above or if this is something she had.  It has a gorgeous open worked design.  I'm not sure if it was hand done, but it looks like it was.  AMAZING!  The lace trim that was absolutely hand made was on a round linen tablecloth.  The linen was not in good enough to shape to use so I just cut this trim off of it.  My DC'sDW found the pillow that had been hers when she was a baby.  That makes it ????? years old.  She's one year younger than I am so I guess it's almost 56 years old!!  
I know these photos are not easy to see, but I wanted to show close-ups.  It is unreal that someone had the time and talent to make this trim. I left the "flaps" on the edges of the pillow because I couldn't bring myself to cut off any of the beautiful open work.  I made this pillowcase with a fold over opening on the back so she can take it off and wash it.  I will suggest that she soak it in Oxy Clean or something equally as safe for older fabrics.  The Oxy Clean suggestion was made by my SILs aunt who deals with antique fabrics all the time.   This project didn't take any real sewing challenges, but is satisfying just the same.

Now, on to other things!!  My DH and I didn't go to Knoxville on Friday night because that is when the tornadoes where swirling all around.  so, I went by myself on Saturday.  That was probably better anyway.  He doesn't enjoy JoAnn's.  Luckily, there is a Dick's Sporting Goods nearby that he usually goes to while I shop.  I was able to look longer and be more relaxed than if he had been with me.  I was looking for more of the same fabric that I made Riley's dress because that's what my friend wanted for her GD.  But, of course, Jo's had it in every color but yellow.  So, I found this really pretty yellow eyelet, which I love!! For the coordinating GSs outfit I got some linen look blend in yellow and green.  I am using the other green tea towel like the one I used for Riley's dress.  I was so lucky because I forgot to take the tea towel with me and I was able to find a good match.  His is slightly darker but in the same hue.  Jo's had NOTHING to make a shirt for the little fella's  outfit.  He live in Mobile, AL so I'm making shorts and a vest with a short sleeved shirt.  I mean I looked at every piece of fabric in JoAnn's and there was NOTHING!!  On the way home I happened to remember this new quilt shop that is on the way.  So, I stopped there and found this stripe. It is perfect.  
I took these to school to show my friend and she loved all of my finds, so it's on to my machine!!
I also have 3 aprons cut out waiting to be sewn.
I have also been working on some new puppet stuff for our Earth Day celebration  that we are having on Sunday.  One of the puppets is singing a Miley song so I made a loooonnnnngggg blond wig.  I'll post it and the t-shirts that I cut down for the puppets to wear after Sunday when I take pictures.
The young lady from church took her dress to try on, and she seemed very happy.  She's supposed to bring it back tonight so I can hem it.
Whew this was long!  Sorry!

1 comment:

gwensews said...

I love your pillowcases. The recepients are getting special treasures. It must have been a daunting task to go through your mother's house.

Great fabrics. You'll make beautiful things for little people with them. I'll enjoy seeing your finished work. It will, as always, be awesome.

Favorite Posts

big list of sewing blogs

Big list of Sewing blogs - I'm in, are you?
I'm listed in the big list of sewing blogs Sponsors Advertise on sewing-blogs.com
Julias Sew Sweet
How to Sew
Place your vote for Julias Sew Sweet and find more How to Sew at Seamingly.com.

Attitude of Gratitude Award