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Today, I want to show you how to make a pillowcase with what is called a flange, as well as review a company called and offer a discount.  The flange is the decorative piece in the solid color; it really just adds visual interest.


I decided to make a pillowcase that would match Owen’s room once he is in a toddler bed.  I chose a 12 x 21 polyester woven pillow form from which seems to be a great size for a crib/toddler bed.  I used my invisible zipper tutorial, but pieced the front of the pillowcase.

Cutting Out the Pieces


To get started, you will need three pieces for the front of the pillowcase.  Since my pillow form was 12 x 21 (actual size 13 x 22 as posted in the additional info tab on the website), I knew I wanted the back and front pieces to be 12 x 21 (subtract an inch from the actual pillow form size).

I wanted about a 1/3 to 2/3 ratio, so I took 21 and divided by 3 to get 7.  This would be my smaller piece.  I added 1/4” for a seam allowance.  Actually, since I promised I would be completely honest on my blog, I have to confess that I forgot about the seam allowance before cutting out my fabric.  So each piece of my pillowcase is actually 1/2” smaller than I wanted it to be.  I didn’t have enough fabric to recut so I went ahead and sewed it up with my fingers crossed that the pillow form would still fit….and it does….snuggly.

Anyway, back to the tutorial.  I should have added the seam allowance to get a piece that was 12 x 7 1/4.

For my larger piece, I took 21 minus 7 to get 14, added my seam allowance to get 14 1/4”.   So I cut the piece 12 x 14 1/4.  When figuring out the total sizes, you do not need to include your flange, because it doesn’t add any length to your pillowcase.

If you weren’t adding a flange or using two different fabrics, you would just cut out your fabric to be the 12 x 21.  If you aren’t using a flange, then the above two pieces would still work; you just want your total length after piecing everything to be 21.

I was originally thinking that my flange would be 3/4”, but since I forgot about my seam allowance on my main pieces, it ended up being an inch.  Honestly, I think I like that it is an inch.  It could probably even be a little larger if you wanted.

So, to get an inch flange, you will need a piece of fabric that is 12 x 2 1/2.  That is the size of the flange you want (1”) doubled, and then the seam allowance doubled.  So 1 + 1 + 1/4 +1/4 = 2 1/2.

My 4 pieces were as follows:

circle fabric 12 x 7 1/4
chevron fabric 12 x 14 1/4
flange 12 x 2 1/2
back fabric 12 x 21

Front Assembly


Now that the pieces are cut out, let’s start with the flange.  Fold and iron it in half with the long sides together.  So you will get a piece that is 12 x 1 1/4.  This will end up being a 1” flange with a 1/4” seam allowance.


Next, put your 12 x 14 1/4 piece right side up.  Then, on the top right with the raw edges together, put your flange piece on top.


Next, put your 12 x 7 1/4 piece right side down on top of your flange piece.  Be sure to line up the raw edges of all three pieces.


Pin or clip and sew together with a 1/4” seam allowance.  If you have a directional print, you might want to line up everything like in the below picture and then layer.  It will end up with the flange and smaller piece lined up on the left side of the larger piece….if you want the smaller piece on the left for your final pillowcase.  Hopefully that makes sense!


Open and iron your flange toward the large piece so that it lays flat.  At this point, I suggest serging or using a zig zag stitch on your seam so that it won’t fray when you wash the pillowcase.  I forgot to do this until it was too late.

Shorten and Install Your Invisible Zipper


Now it’s time to install the invisible zipper.   If your zipper is too long, you can easily shorten it.  I did this by first cutting my zipper to 12”.  Then, a little away from the bottom, I added a “zipper stop.”  To do this, I actually used my button stitch on my sewing machine, so that way my machine didn’t try to move the zipper through the machine.  I increased my stitch width so that it went to each side of the zipper teeth.  To get the perfect width I had to manually turn my needle wheel and adjust my width until it was on each side of the teeth.  Be very careful because you don’t want to break your needle from hitting the zipper teeth…this is why I manually turned my needle wheel.  I then just let the machine sew a stitch back and forth so that my zipper wouldn’t come off of the end.


I then inserted my invisible zipper using my own invisible zipper tutorial since it had been so long since I used my invisible zipper foot.  It’s super easy to do and I highly recommend an invisible zipper foot.


Above is how the edge with the invisible zipper should look.  You can barely tell there is a zipper there!

Finishing the Pillowcase


After your invisible zipper is installed, sew around the remaining edges.  It’s a good idea to also serge or reinforce with a zig zag stitch so that the raw edges don’t fray.


You can sort of see my serging along the three edges that don’t have the zipper.


Clip your corners and turn your pillowcase right side out…


insert your pillow form….


and you have a finished pillowcase…


with an invisible zipper! Review and Discount Code

Now I want to talk a little about  When Kevin, the owner, first contacted me about his pillow forms I didn’t think that working with him made sense for my blog because the pillow forms were sold in bulk.  Well, he listened to the fact that not everyone wanted to buy in bulk and decided to begin selling pillow forms individually.  When I found out, I decided to go ahead and try out a pillow form.

As I mentioned above, I decided on the 12 x 21 polyester woven pillow form.  There are so many choices to choose from that it’s not an easy decision.  You can get square, rectangular, round, or bolster pillow forms, ranging in sizes from 5 x 5 to 40 x 40.  But you aren’t limited to what they have in stock, because you also have the option to do a custom order pillow form.  The next option is the filling…polyester, multiple down options, eco-friendly, etc.  You really can find whatever option you are looking for.

The quality of the pillow form is excellent.  It’s a really full pillow form as you can see in my pictures.  As I mentioned in my tutorial that you might want to serge the edge of your pillowcase, does just that to their pillow forms.  I’ve basically only purchased pillow forms from Wal-Mart and the quality of pillow forms is definitely much higher quality.  I am not an expert when it comes to pillows, but I can tell that these are made to last, just based off of my own sewing experience.  One of the other perks about buying from is that all of their pillow forms are made in the USA in Tennessee.

Kevin was kind enough to offer my readers a 10% discount on one order from  Just use coupon code “SewingNovice10” at checkout for your 10% discount.

Disclaimer: I received my pillow form free of charge in exchange to share with you.

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I think I mentioned that Lillian asked for a sewing machine for her 5th birthday.  Well, she asked and she received.  We got her the Brother CS6000i from Amazon and so far it’s a fantastic machine for her!  I will write up a little machine review like I did for mine, but for now I just want to talk about the basic skirt that she made.



We used the standard method of creating the skirt, but I did serge some of the edges with her on my lap so that it was a little quicker than ironing the hem and elastic waistband.  Since she is only 6, I did all of the cutting with my rotary cutter and ironing, because I’m just not comfortable with her doing them yet.  Maybe in a few years I’ll feel comfortable having her cut and iron, but just not yet.


I let her pick out the fabric from my stash and she chose this flowery fabric.  I think it’s perfect for a skirt and am pretty sure that I planned on making a skirt out of it when I bought it!  I guess we think alike.  I then took her measurements and cut out the fabric.  We then got started.


I showed her how to thread her machine, including how to wind the bobbin.  We then used wonder clips (her favorite thing) to keep the fabric from shifting while she was sewing.  I usually just line up the edges and try to make sure they stay straight, but thought it would be easier for her using the clips.

I then instructed her on where to line up the edge of the fabric on the machine.  Prior to this skirt, she did do some practice sewing on paper and scrap fabric, as well as make a tote bag, which I will probably show you later.  I was next to her the whole time watching her sew, but she did all of the work.  I was super impressed with how straight she was able to sew.  I gave her pointers along the way on how to keep the fabric straight and lined up.


A feature of her machine that I love is the speed control.  It was nice to have it set on the lowest speed so that even if she pushed too hard on the foot pedal, I knew that the machine wouldn’t go any faster than that setting.  It is a very slow pace, but I think it was a great speed for a child learning to sew.


I think she did a fantastic job making her very first skirt.  She did get distracted easily, but that doesn’t surprise me.  I hope she learns to love to sew even if it’s years down the road.  She always tells others that her mommy made her shirt, skirt, whatever she is wearing that I made, so I hope she can feel even better when she tells someone that she made it!

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate of Peek-A-Boo Pattern Shop and Amazon so I get compensated for any orders placed through the links in this post.

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Since it’s summer here and I have been itching to sew Lillian a shirt, I decided to try the Rio Racer Back Tank by Peek-A-Boo Pattern shop.  I have to say I absolutely love it and so does Lillian!


The fabric is from Euro Girls Boutique and the quality is excellent.  Super easy to sew with and I love the colors.  I’ve actually had the fabric for a little while and couldn’t decide what to use it for.  The Rio Racer Back was the perfect shirt and I still have plenty of fabric left to make something else.  I think it would also make an adorable skirt.  I have some persuading to do because Lillian insists that she doesn’t like skirts.  Sad day for this momma!


I used stripe fabric in the same colors for the binding but probably could have also used the polka dot fabric and it would have looked very similar.  This pattern has you sew the binding on in a very similar way as you would for a blanket.  I find this way easier, but it does create a thinner binding than the way used for the grand slam tee.  It’s a little less sporty this way as well.


The pattern was well written and very easy to understand and it was a super quick sew.  The most difficult part of the construction of the shirt was the binding for the arm holes because they aren’t perfect circles since it’s a racer back.


I ended up making a size 4 based on Lillian’s measurements and it fits perfectly.  She’s beginning to be in between sizes in ready to wear clothes.  4T still fits but are getting short and 5 is a little big.


Lillian once again didn’t want much to do with the shirt at first.  Then she surprised me one day when she was getting dressed and came out with it on.  She bragged to a friend that her mom made it for her.  A few days later she insisted on wearing it again.  So I would say this shirt was a win!


I do have to say the more I sew with knits, the easier it gets.  I’m getting more used to my serger and cover stitch machine as well.

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate of Peek-A-Boo Pattern shop so I get compensated for any orders placed through the links in this post.

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I have no idea how to start this post because I made this shirt a LONG time ago….I think before I was pregnant with Owen, so over 2 years ago. Geez!  I don’t feel like it’s been that long!  What is kind of funny is that it probably still fits Lillian.  I doubt it will by the time it’s cool enough again though.   It’s a Grand Slam Tee using Peek-A-Boo‘s pattern.  It turned out super cute except for the collar.


I used knit interlock fabric from Chez Ami (unfortunately, the shop is now closed) and rib knit (also from Chez Ami) for the collar.  It’s great quality compared to the thin stuff I’ve used before.  Quality is really important when it comes to knit.  It really makes sewing it easier.  Plus, interlock doesn’t curl much, if at all, which is yet another reason it’s a great choice of fabric for a beginner.


I haven’t made another grand slam tee since this one, so I looked back through the pattern to jot my memory about how it was sewn together.  It’s very easy to make.  You basically sew the sleeves on and then sew the side seams.  Attach the collar and finish by hemming.  The pattern does come with the option to add a pocket or applique.  If you don’t know much about knit, hemming is super easy because knit fabric doesn’t fray so you don’t even have to hide the raw edge.


Since I wasn’t 100% happy with the collar, I wanted to talk about it for a little bit.  My problem with it is that it sticks out; doesn’t lay flat on Lillian.  Hard to explain, but you can tell in the above picture.  I’m still new at making clothing and using knit fabric so I’m not sure if it’s just something that I will get used to or what.  From the research and many hours on Facebook groups, I think I need to increase my seam allowance so that the collar isn’t so wide.  It might also be helpful to make the collar binding shorter.  I’m not 100% sure about this though.


I already have at least one other grand slam tee planned out in my head, so I will be sure to let you know what I did differently with the collar if it works out better.  I have high hopes that it will!


I wanted to also give you a little update about what has been going on with me.  Owen is now over a year old and he is still working on the whole sleeping through the night thing.  BUT….he is pretty independent so he doesn’t mind playing by himself, actually he prefers to explore the house, so when he is playing, I have been sneaking in some sewing time.  Plus, Lillian is great about helping with him so if we are all downstairs (it’s all open) I can keep my eye on them and listen to them play.

I have a lot of finished projects to show you guys, but not a lot of tutorials.  So for a little while I will probably be doing more of pattern review type posts.  I have been working on getting more organized and now have a place to keep track of what I’ve made and what I have planned to make.  This list includes which projects will be tutorials, so that way I know I won’t forget to take the right pictures!

I am pretty much done with my sewing area, and am excited to show you guys what my area looks like.  Just a few more things to finish and then we will get pictures so I can blog about it.

I hope everything is going well with all of you!

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate of Peek-A-Boo Pattern Shop so I get compensated for any orders placed through the links in this post.

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Happy holidays everyone!  I hope you’ve had a great year. I have except for not being able to sew or blog as much as I would like.

2014 Holiday Card

If you follow me on social media then you know that we welcomed Owen to the family earlier this year. He is a pretty amazing little guy; almost always happy and giggles at Lillian all the time. He doesn’t sleep through the night yet so I’m still choosing sleep over sewing… hence the lack of blogging and sewing.

I do still have plans for the blog and sewing projects so I hope you stick around. I have a few tutorials to write up for some cute hooded towel options. I still want to finish my first pattern but keep thinking of new options to add to it and need to decide exactly how I want it, not to mention that it’s hard making a pattern.  I want to show you the diaper bag I made using the pattern. I have plans on making some sleep sacks for Owen, clothes for both kids, a bag for my mom and sister, and a wallet for myself. The list goes on, but who knows what I will really decide to make.

Hopefully sometime in 2015 I can get back to a regular posting schedule, but if not, know that I’ll eventually get there. I appreciate all of you reading and sticking around during my silence while I focus on my family.

I hope you have a great holiday season and I’ll “see” you in 2015!