Introduction: Leaf Print Pillow Cases
Last Saturday we took a walk in a park with the kids and the ground was covered with beautiful fallen, colorful leaves. I‘ve been waiting for this ever since a friend of mine showed me a photo with leaf stamped pillow cases that looked gorgeous and easy to make at the same time. When the kids were small we used to print on paper with leaves, so I thought that this is a something I could do. It’s really very easy.
I did some decluttering in the summer and I saved a few flat sheets from baby beds and kids beds that we were hiding in the back of the wardrobe for quite a while, for sewing pillow cases. This was a perfect project to make use of them. Though I have a sewing machine, I am not a master of sewing, I can sew straight line and zigzag, that’s all. But there is this simple way of making envelope pillow cases I have already tried before, so I stuck to it also this time.
Let's get started!
Step 1: Supplies
Gather the following supplies (I am explaining how to take measurements and define the size of fabric necessary in the next step):
- White cotton fabric
- fallen leaves
- black fabric paint
- a few pins
- piece of old kitchen towel / paper towel
- sewing machine
- tape measure
- pen (or other marker)
- piece of cardboard to protect the table while painting
Step 2: Fabric Size
In order to calculate fabric size, measure the size of your pillow insert both vertically and horizontally (pic. 1-2.). I used a 45 cm x 40 cm pillow insert.
The width of the fabric shall be just slightly larger then the pillow for seam allowance: the shorter side of my pillow was 40 cm, therefore I added 5 cm to the width of my fabric: 45 cm.
The length of the fabric should be double the longer side of the pillow insert plus 25 cm for overlap, in my case 45 cm times 2 plus 25, ie. 115 cm altogether.
On how to calculate measurements, check picture 3.
Cut the fabric using the measurements described above.
Step 3: Printing
I suggest to cut the fabric first and then get on with the printing, because this way you will have an idea where the pillow goes (see sketch - last picture) and you'll have a better control over the final design.
Plan the printing by arranging the leaves on the fabric (I placed the pillow above the fabric to get a more clear picture about what I was doing).
Apply black fabric paint on the back of the leaves one by one. Veins are standing out more on the back side, so you'll get a more detailed print.
Place the leaves on the fabric and press on top with a piece of old cloth or paper towel.
Remove the leaf carefully. That's it.
Step 4: Ironing
Let the paint dry completely (preferably overnight), then lay another kitchen towel on top of the printed fabric and iron at high temperature in order to stabilize printing.
Hint: Check the box of paint for instructions on stabilzing the paint other brands may require different treatment.
Step 5: Sewing the Pillow Case - Hem
To create a hem, fold over the edge of the fabric on one side about 0.5 cm, and sew with zigzag stich. You may fix the folding with a few pins. Repeat on all sides.
Then fold over the edge about 0.5 cm a second time, straight stich with matching thread.
Repeat on all sides (see sketch 2 - last picture).
Step 6: Fold
Lay fabric right side up and fold at the first fold line from the left (see sketch).
Now you have the right sides facing each other and the top layer overhanging the bottom layer with 25 cm.
Fold back the overhanging part (see sketch). When you turn the case inside out this is going to be the envelope holding the pillow insert inside.
Now you should have a square / rectangle (roughly the size of the insert) laying on the table.
Step 7: Sew
Straight stich along top and bottom with 1 cm seam allowance.
Step 8: Done
Turn pillow case inside out and insert your pillow. Sweet dreams :-)
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