Solving the Pillowcase Problem

I don’t know about your kids, but mine have been sleeping on “Pillow Pets” since they turned one.  While Charlotte rotates through an assortment of pets and large babies, James sticks to one baseball pet.  The only problem with them sleeping on these pillows every night is….that they sleep on them every night!  And unless I’m a washing genie, it’s hard to get those big stuffed pillows washed, dried, and back in bed between time to get up in the morning and time for nap.  Which left my kiddo’s sleeping on pets that weren’t very appealing in between times that I could snatch to wash them, or had them crying at bedtime because their favorite pet wasn’t with them.
So a few weeks ago I was in Target and saw their travel pillows and thought that they would be the perfect size for my kids.  And, perhaps, if I could make cute pillowcases out of leftover fabric that I have, I could convince the kids to sleep on them!  Then I would just have to change pillowcases and wash them constantly and just wash the whole pillow occasionally instead of washing a whole pet all the time. 
Last week I finally decided to try the project and I have been so pleased at how it turned out I wanted to share it with you!  Without further ado…. How to Make A Travel Pillowcase!
Materials Needed:
Fabric – approximately 1 yard if making the whole case out of one fabric
Basic sewing supplies (needles, scissors, etc)
One Travel Pillow (this is the one I used)
Note: I cut out a pattern out of some random fabric that I had but you could just measure out and mark on the individual fabric pieces before you cut.
Step 1. Cut out your fabric.  
If you’re using a travel pillowcase like the one above, you’ll need to cut out the following pieces:
2 – 16″ x 21.5″
1 – 16″ x 10.75″
Note: The above travel pillow is 14.5″ x 20″.  The general rule of thumb is to add 1″ around for the pillowcase and in this I added .5″ for the seam allowance.

Step 2. Fold down and pin a .5″ seam allowance on the long edge of the 16″ x 10.75″ piece.  This is the envelope enclosure for the pillow.

Step 3. Fold down and pin a seam allowance from between 1.5″ and 2″ on the short edge of one of the 16″ x 21.5″ pieces.  This will be the back piece of the pillow.

Step 4. Sew both pieces that you have pinned.
Step 5. Lay the two large pieces together with their right sides together.

Step 6. Lay the envelope piece on top of the back piece with the sewn edge going towards the middle of the pillow.  This will be placed with the envelope’s right side against the back piece for the pillow’s wrong side.  (See picture below in which I just added the envelope piece on top of what I had already laid out in the picture above.)  
Step 7. Pin these pieces together on all four sides.

Step 8.  Sew all four sides of the pillow without leaving any breaks.  Make sure to reinforce the edges where the envelope is laid on top of the back piece (shown below) and where the back piece’s sewn edge is attached to the front piece.  This will give you more wear out of the pillow as the seams won’t start to tear when you’re stuffing the pillow inside of the case.

Step 9 (Optional). Trim the extra fabric around the edges to reduce bulk inside of the case.  (You could also press the seams open if you want to be really fancy….I did not do that!)

Step 10. Turn the pillow right side out through the envelope opening! Voila! You have a pillowcase!

Let me know if you have any questions about the steps!  And please excuse all the wrinkled fabric, I chose to go the easy route and just wash the pillowcases to get the wrinkles out before putting them on my kids beds.  As I type, they’re both sleeping soundly on their new pillows and Charlotte has already switched out pillowcases once since we first made them!
– These pillowcases and fabrics were just things I found or had on hand.  I wasn’t given them or compensated for using them.

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