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With summer just around the corner, my little family is super excited! We look forward to summer all year round, with my kids lamenting all winter long that summer will never come. But, it does, and, it’s almost here!
For our family, the summer season brings a lot of camping, traveling, and road trips. And when I think of traveling, I am reminded of how much fun it is trying to pack what seems like all our earthly possessions into our vehicle. Haha, I actually do like packing…it’s like a puzzle, just waiting to be solved!
But, to help out this year, I’m making everyone a travel-sized pillow, to make room for other important things we need to take (like the kitchen sink! Ha!)
And don’t think you can get off the hook by making just one of these…everyone in the family is going to want one!
And there’s really no reason not to whip up a handful, because they are so fun and easy!
A simple cotton case with a great minky trim. Nothing better!
Let’s make some!
For a travel-sized pillowcase made to fit a 12 by 16 inch pillow, you’ll need:
- 1/2 yard cotton fabric for the main body of the pillowcase
- 1/3 yard minky fabric for the edge (Because Minky is 60 inches wide, you’ll have enough length for 2 pillowcases.)
To start, you’ll need to make sure you pre-wash your cotton fabric because the cotton fabric shrinks a little and the minky doesn’t. If you’ve never sewn with minky before, this is a great project to learn on. Minky is a super soft polyester fabric that is actually fairly easy to sew if you take a few extra seconds when preparing your project.
After you’ve pre-washed (and dried) your cotton fabric, you’re ready to cut. I made my travel pillowcases to fit on a 12 by 16 inch pillow form. Some travel pillowcases are a little bigger, so here’s an easy formula to determine your measurements. Add 1 1/2 inches to the height of the pillow form and subtract 1 inch from the length.
So, for my pillow form of 12 by 16 inches, I cut two pieces from the cotton fabric, each measuring 13 1/2 inches by 15 inches.
For the minky edge, cut a long strip that measures 9 inches wide by 26 1/2 inches long.
With right sides together, sew the two cotton pieces together.
Finish off the edge with a serger or a zig zag stitch.
Open up and press the seam flat. Now, lay the minky down lengthwise, right side up, and place the cotton fabric on top, also right side up.
Start rolling the cotton fabric up from the bottom until you can only see about 4 inches of the cotton fabric.
Fold the minky over the cotton fabric, lining up all three layers. Keep the rolled fabric out of the way…you only want to catch in one layer of the main fabric. Now, carefully pin the ‘sandwich’ together.
Pin all the way to the edge, every inch, doing your best to keep the minky from shifting as you go. Head over to your sewing machine and you are going to sew the edge you just pinned. If you have a walking foot, it will help the layers feed through your machine evenly.
My sewing machine is a fairly simple machine, but it came with a walking foot. If yours doesn’t have one, that’s okay! You can sew it with a regular foot, just be patient.
You’ll want to use a 3/8 inch to 1/2 inch seam allowance as you sew, and watch the bottom layer of minky to keep it flat. Minky does tend to curl so go nice and slow. My machine manual recommends not backstitching when using a walking foot, so I set the stitches at the beginning and end with a few tiny forward stitches. I stitched the rest of the seam with a regular length stitch.
Now, reach into the tube and gently pull out the cotton fabric. And just like that, you’ve added a beautiful edge to your pillowcase!
Fold the pillowcase in half, lining up the edges. Using your standard sewing machine foot, sew along the back and bottom and then serge or zig zag stitch to finish off the edge. A little tip here: sewing through 4 layers of minky might be hard for your machine. Help your machine by pulling the fabric from the back and by sewing quickly. Otherwise, your machine may decide to be finicky!
Turn right side out, and iron out any wrinkles! Don’t iron on the minky, though. Unless you want to buy a new iron. :) Minky melts.
You are done! Slide a pillow into your new pillowcase, and admire your work. Be prepared to make a few more if your kids see it. Kids seem to be minky magnets!
Thanks for letting me share this project with you! If you haven’t tried sewing with minky yet, put it on your list…you’ll be glad you did!