Sewing With Kids — Week 5

My kids all want to learn to sew, and so we are on a sewing adventure, and they hope to end up with new quilts handmade at their own hands!  Join us as we sew through the summer each week!  Sewing with Kids — week 1week 2, week 3, and week 4.

This week we made a simple pillowcase, which could be altered slightly to use for laundry collection.  Sophia was the only one willing to start the project with me, but now they all want their own – of course!  So we will be sewing pillowcases the rest of the afternoon.  I learned this method at guild last year when we made pillowcases for a women’s shelter, they are quick and simple!

Start with 2 yards of fabric, and cut a 9″ strip off of both, to make 2 standard size pillow cases.

Sophia’s selections for her pillowcase.  9″ x 44″ in the solid, and 27″ x 44″ in the print.  Now we laid it out to pin our pieces.

The band (solid) fabric goes on the bottom, add a few pins to keep things in place.

Then gently roll the larger piece, to pin the band over it.  This will hide all of the seaming around the band.

Line up the edges, with the third piece of fabric now, and pin the layers in place.  We just removed the ones we had in there, and put them back in the layers.

Time to sew!  Add a 1/2″ seam down the length of your tube.  Since I wasn’t using the 1/4″ foot I had her line up the edge of the fabric, with the foot, and moved the needle over to adjust the seam allowance.  I think that is easier than expecting her to keep it lined up with one of the marks on the footplate.

Turn the tube right side out, by removing the main fabric from the tube.  The press your seam flat.

See all the seaming is hidden in the band!  Now I trimmed it down before pinning…most would suggest doing this before you even start.  I leave that up to your discretion!  Pin the edges together on the two unfinished sides. And it’s time to sew again!

Sophia sewed the 1/2″ straight seam, then I went back and added the zig-zag to finish the seams.  One could also do french seams, and hide the seaming again.  I might do that for a pillowcase for myself, but not with the kids – at least not yet.  Turn it right side out, and press flat.

There’s a little bit of magic in her eyes as she watches it actually become something more than a piece of fabric – she get’s it!

Happily put straight to good use!  If I was planning to use this as a laundry bag, I would add 1″ or 1 1/2″ buttonholes to the band fabric so that I could add a drawstring.

Let me know if you make these with your kids!  I’m off to make a few more with the rest of them.


By |2017-02-06T09:18:34-07:00July 19th, 2011|Sewing with Kids|17 Comments


  1. Candy July 19, 2011 at 12:02 pm - Reply

    Never mind kids – I wanna make some pillowcases myself! :-)

  2. Deana July 19, 2011 at 12:07 pm - Reply

    Great tutorial. Thanks for sharing. I have been making these with my girls for gift bags when they have a birthday party to go to. Love the sausage roll technique. We have been doing the french seams,we just go a little wider on the second stitching just incase the seam allowance varies a little. Their friends love them! Can’t wait to see your next project!

  3. ImperaMagna July 19, 2011 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    Brava, Sophia! What a great job you did on your pillowcase!!!

    (I’m keeping my granddaughters next week and I think I just might take them to my LQS and let ’em pick out fabric to make themselves new pillowcases for their new home!)

  4. Lynette July 19, 2011 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    I just love the look of utter concentration on her face. :D

  5. Shannon C. July 19, 2011 at 1:32 pm - Reply

    I love this method! We made a bunch of these with our young cousins at Christmas to donate and a fabulous time was had by all.

  6. Charming's Mama July 19, 2011 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    I have made several pillow cases using this method. I love how simple and easy they are and they turn out so beautiful.

  7. heather@tripleblessing July 19, 2011 at 3:16 pm - Reply

    Cute!! We’ve been doing pillowcases for birthday gifts for Reagan’s friends because they go together so fast! :)
    Somehow your blog fell off my roll. Trying to figure out how to get it back :( Miss you friend!

  8. Kay Stephenson July 19, 2011 at 3:36 pm - Reply

    Good for Sophia! And I’m glad no one is lurking about taking my picture when I’m sewing. I bet the tip of my tongue is doing unattractive things as I concentrate. LOL

  9. Tove Leggett July 19, 2011 at 5:38 pm - Reply

    Heck I was only a week or two ahead of Sophia!!! I just learned that technique for pillow cases! Great pillow case, nice print too.

  10. jan July 19, 2011 at 5:41 pm - Reply

    there are few things that are as rewarding as sewing with kids–especially for the adult. love your pictures.

  11. Lynne July 19, 2011 at 5:46 pm - Reply

    Well done Sophia!

  12. Lynn July 19, 2011 at 11:29 pm - Reply

    Love the look of concentration on her face as she is sewing! Great photo!

    This is the way I make pillowcases too and I do sew a french seam. Great project for kids to sew.

  13. Patty Meyers July 20, 2011 at 4:32 am - Reply

    When my daughter was Sophia’s age I sewed for a living so there wasn’t much time for play and she didn’t show any interest when I did have time. Now 24 and newly married she wants a sewing machine and it doing many crafty things in her home. Of course she lives in Florida and we are in Kansas so I am not there to help out. Wish I were closer. Enjoy every moment as it already seems you do.

  14. Sue July 20, 2011 at 9:04 am - Reply

    Hooray, Sophia!

    I love making these pillow cases. Looks like Sophia did too! And kudos, Mom, for recognizing Sophia’s need for a seam guide that worked for her.

    I find it very typical of small children to want to watch the needle, not the seam guide. Another option is to draw the seam line on the fabric with an air soluble marker. The natural temptation to watch the needle is validated, and the children can make sure the needle always pokes that thin, purple line!

    I wait with great anticipation every week to see what you and the kids will make next :-)

  15. Connie July 20, 2011 at 3:24 pm - Reply

    Great idea for kids! I may have my grandkids this weekend and if so this is a must! Thanks for sharing.

  16. Simple Comforts | Amy's Creative Side December 17, 2012 at 3:01 am - Reply

    […] to make a couple and get them in the mail early this week!  Also, I have a quick and simple tutorial for a pillowcase Sophia made a couple years ago, if she can do it – I know you can […]

  17. bonnie December 18, 2012 at 2:30 pm - Reply

    I loved the tutorial and thanks :) Stupid question, though. “Now I trimmed it down before pinning” — you trimmed where and to what size? Thank you!

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