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Topic: How to Make a Thriftstore Pillowcase Skirt  (Read 56975 times)
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« on: July 09, 2003 11:14:55 PM »

This is a really satisfying and instantly gratifying sewing project. Perks include: (1) it's almost all sewn for you, (2) you have an excuse to visit thriftstores (to look for great old pillowcases), (3) the material is cheap and often nice and soft and worn-in.

These instruction are my own adaptation (for beginning seamstresses such as myself) of those found here:

What you'll need:
  • standard pillowcase
  • sewing machine
  • scissors, iron, tailor's chalk, pins, etc.
  • fusible webbing
  • liquid no-fray solution

step one
Pick out a pillowcase. Speaking from experience, I recommend using a scratch pillowcase for your first attempt at this. Just in case you don't get it right the first time...

step two
Turn the pillowcase inside out and iron it. I've learned that it's a good idea to always iron your fabric before sewing.

step three
Mark off at least three inches from the top by chalking a line. You will cut this off and make the drawstring out of it. If you want a shorter skirt, you can mark off more. Just talk into account that the drawstring hem will take up about two inches.

step four
Cut he top off along the line that you chalked. I usually put some pins along the line I'm going to cut to make sure the two pieces of fabric stay together as they are cut.

step five
Chalk a line directly down the center (lengthwise) of the 3" piece you cut off, pin and cut along the line.

step six
Now trim off the two sewn edges (one long one, one short one) and you'll have two long pieces of fabric.

step seven
For each piece, fold in half lengthwise and iron all along the length.

step eight
Next, you'll stitch the drawstring pieces closed. (And then sew the two pieces together end to end to make one long drawstring). The drawstring pieces look wider than they need to be right now but this is just for ease of sewing. If you line the fabric up with the foot as shown, you'll pretty much be stitching a line right down the middle. You'll trim them to be nice and skinny later. This is a cheat I came up with because I have trouble sewing close to an edge.

step nine
To make the drawstring skinnier, carefully cut off the excess fabric all the way along each piece. I cut a few millimeters away from the stitching. Then apply the liquid no-fray solution all long the exposed edge so it doesn't fray. (A big bottle of Aleene's "Stop Fraying" from a craft store is pretty inexpensive.) Then hand-sew the two pieces together to make one long drawstring.

step ten
Now for the drawstring hem. Your pillowcase should still be inside out. Fold down once about 1/2" or 3/4" and iron down. I use pins when I do this to try and make sure I fold and iron down the same amount all the way around. Remove the pins and iron this down with fusible webbing.

step eleven
Fold down another 1/2" or 3/4" and iron to make a crisp edge.

step twelve
Sew all the way around as close to the edge as possible for a nice roomy casing for the drawstring. I highly recommend pinning or doing a quick basting so the fabric doesn't move around too much as you sew it.

step thirteen
Now turn the skirt inside out. Decide which part will be the front so you know where to put the drawstring opening. To make the opening I find the center of the front of the skirt, apply a little no-fray solution, and when it dries, cut a vertial slit. Then I hand-sew around the edges of the slit to strengthen it. Then the drawstring can be threaded. To do this, attach a safety pin to one side of the drawstring and feed it all the way around.

That's it!
« Last Edit: May 13, 2010 10:09:30 AM by jungrrl » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2003 09:55:15 PM »

These skirts are so fantastic! Easy, and fast, and cheap. The only drawback so far is that some pillowcases are a tiny bit more transparent than I would like. Any equally simple ideas on a lining?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969 04:00:00 PM by 1062345600 » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2003 09:48:41 PM »

i'm currently working on a piillowcase skirt made of pink muslin. i'm going to try using a white muslin pillowcase with a pink crocheted trim as a "slip" underneith, so the trim and a bit of white will be visible at the bottom. i'm afraid it might be a bit bunchy, but i could always narrow the slip by sewing an extra seam...
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969 04:00:00 PM by 1062345600 » THIS ROCKS   Logged

the term "stitch and bitch" sums me up pretty well.
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2003 01:07:54 AM »

*looks at size of pillowcase*  *looks at size of ass*  i'd love to do make this, but i don't think i'd fit in mine Sad  maybe i need bigger pillow cases??  Grin
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969 04:00:00 PM by 1062345600 » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2003 11:10:09 PM »

Cheesy  omg.  me too!  Smiley  they do make king size pillowcases... not sure that would work for me either.  Wink  i guess you could always sew insets into the sides... it would be pretty easy and extend it nicely.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969 04:00:00 PM by 1062345600 » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2003 01:58:03 AM »

Yeah i tried this and it ws too snug for me to wear, Im a size 14. Id say this only works for size 12 and smaller!!! Huh
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969 04:00:00 PM by 1062345600 » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2003 04:28:22 PM »

is this a US or UK 14?  can't remember how it goes, US is a size smaller than UK right?  eg a US 14 would be a UK 16??  hehe, not that it really matters, i'm a UK 16  Grin
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969 04:00:00 PM by 1062345600 » THIS ROCKS   Logged

"It's not my curves that I dislike, it's the folds and ripples."
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2003 03:36:33 AM »

if the pillow case is too small for you, cut off the long sides, or unpick them, and then sew a seam so it fits you, then put in casing for a drawstring. i also put darts in mine, cause it was kind of boxy. it s shorter, but still tops.  does it make sense?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969 04:00:00 PM by 1062345600 » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2003 12:30:36 PM »

oh how fun, i need to try this! or actually, finish mine. haha...oh i need to do that.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969 04:00:00 PM by 1062345600 » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2003 03:27:33 PM »

I have to trythis one day.  I have a very cool thrift store near me and I must go tomorrow!!
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