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DIY Applique Pillowcase

DIY Applique Pillowcase

This pillowcase took me about a day to make but it was a lot of work. It's the first time I tried to applique something - meaning, laying a piece of fabric decoratively on top of the project, and then stitching it on there as an additional layer.



You can applique by folding in the raw fabric edges of the applique fabric piece, but that's very time consuming and not what I was going for. Instead, I pressed fusible interfacing onto the applique pieces (the circles) and left the raw edges exposed.

DIY Applique Pillowcase

I love that I used only fabric scraps I had lying around to create this pillowcase!
I'm also very pleased with the result - I really like how these red and blue/turquoise shades work together.

This is how this pillowcase was made:
Cut 16 squares of various colors - 10 cm x 10 cm each (plus 1 cm seam allowance per edge)
Lay them out (4 by 4) the way you want them to be sewn together.

DIY Applique Pillowcase

Cut 16 circles and lay them out on top of the squares (make sure the diameter of the circle is less than 10 cm). Take a photo for future reference because you will be moving the pieces around a lot.

DIY Applique Pillowcase

Patchwork the squares together - first each row, then connect the rows. You will end up with a 40 x 40 cm patchwork square (plus 1 cm seam allowance per edge).

DIY Applique Pillowcase

Create a quilt sandwich: Cut a 40 x 40 cm piece of quilting cotton as the backing, and a similar piece of batting. Baste well. I use regular (real) basting thread - I find it is much better suited for basting than general purpose thread.

DIY Applique Pillowcase

DIY Applique Pillowcase

Press fusible interfacing onto the circles.
Lay the circles back where they need to be on each square and baste them in place.

DIY Applique Pillowcase

Hand stitch (!!!) the circles to the squares using a running stitch, close to the raw edge, through all layers in order to get the quilted effect. I tried machine stitching but I couldn't get a nice flowing curve going along the circle's border... Maybe if you stitch "crooked on purpose" or use non-curved applique pieces, this could be done by machine, but at this point I decided to stitch by hand. 

This was very time consuming and also a bit painful on my fingers. Add any additional decorative stitching - I added a little circle of running stitches inside each circle applique piece. I used top stitching thread for all of my hand stitching here, but you could also use general purpose thread which will be thinner and less visible, or embroidery floss, which is more fussy because of all the strands.

DIY Applique Pillowcase

At this point, the front piece of the pillowcase is done. Remove all basting, except for along the seam line around the outermost edge (where the front piece will be sewn to the back piece).   

Prepare the back piece of the pillowcase. It is made of two fabric pieces, in between which a zipper is inserted. The finished dimensions are (of course) 40 x 40 cm. I used beige which for some reason looks green in the photo.

DIY Applique Pillowcase

Keeping the zipper open, sew together all 4 edges of the front piece to the back piece.

Trim the corners at an angle and finish the seam allowances together with an overlock stitch (or a zigzag stitch if you do not have a serger).

Turn inside out and pull out the corners well.

Since I made marks on the fabric with a trick marker as I worked, I hand washed the pillowcase at this point and hung it to dry. Then I gently pressed it using a synthetic setting on my iron - a hotter iron might ruin the acrylan (synthetic) batting by melting and flattening it.

Put your pillow inside and close the zip, and you're done!

DIY Applique Pillowcase


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