Thursday, June 6, 2019

Gone Campin'! RBD Blog Tour & Pillowcase Tutorial

YAY!!  Summer is finally here!  Want to know great way to involve kids to get ready for some outdoor activities and adventures this summer?  Go "Camping"!

Gone Camping  by Echo Park Paper Co. for Riley Blake Designs.

Great big camping motifs, camp patches and 1" buffalo check.  Now, let's go camping.  Well, actually, it's "Sewing Camp"!  Then we'll be all ready for that other kind of camp... lol!

For years, I volunteered as a 4-H instructor, teaching kids to sew and quilt.  Our county extension office would hold several sessions of  summer Sewing Camp!   Kids could learn to use their sewing machines and earn their Operator's License as they made simple projects.

Here are a couple of those quick, fun projects to make whether you are making them yourself or hosting your own sewing camp with kids!

For a travel-size (kid size) pillowcase:
  • 5/8 yard pillowcase fabric
  • 1/4 yard accent fabric
  • matching thread
  • travel size pillow (14" x 20")
Step 1)  TRIM to square up fabric if necessary.  Don't trim the selvage edges yet.  Trim the travel size about 21 inches x width of fabric, and for the standard pillow, the length will be around 26 or 27 inches. 

Step 2)  LAY OUT the accent fabric with the right side up.  LAYER the main pillowcase fabric right sides together with the accent fabric, line up the raw edges and PIN about every 4 inches.  Sometimes fabrics are not the exact same width, but don't worry about those selvages, we'll cut them off in just a few minutes.  

Step 3)  ROLL up the main print fabric into a long tube.

Step 4)  Bring the bottom of the accent piece up and over the roll.  Match raw edges together and PIN together, enclosing the roll.

Tip:  Use the same pins, and just re-pin the edges.  
Be careful not to catch the rolled up fabric when you pin it together.  
I usually start in the center and work my way to the edges 
so I don't skew or twist the fabrics.

Step 5)  STITCH that long seam to enclose the raw edges.  I use 1/4" seam allowances, but kids may find it easier to manage using 1/2" seam allowance.  It really won't make much difference on the size of the pillow case, and it's a good way to practice sewing straight seams.

Step 6)  Now for the fun part:  Grab hold of that rolled-up fabric inside the tube and PULL it out.

Step 7)  PRESS.  I usually take a minute and fingernail press to get the seam flat on both the inside and outside of the accent fabric.  Then press it for real with an iron.

Tip:  Remember to PRESS, don't IRON as the back & forth motion
can distort the fabrics.  Use a light spritz of water if necessary.

Step 8)  Now is the time to TRIM it to the size that will fit your pillow.  Fold the pillowcase in half, with the selvage edges lined up.  For the travel pillow, cut it 30 to 31 inches wide or 15 to 15-1/2" wide, folded.  Cut the standard size pillow at 42 inches wide, or 21 inches wide if you have folded it in half - don't cut the folded part, just the selvage edges ;).  You can measure any size pillow and add about 1 inch to the length and 1 to 2 inches more in the width.

Step 9)  Next, for a quick finish, FOLD the trimmed pillowcase in half, with right sides together, matching the raw edges.  PIN at the intersections, then STITCH down the long side and across the bottom of the pillowcase.  Back-stitch at the beginning and ending.

Tip:  At the corner, sometimes it's easier for kids to sew 
off the edge, then start again on the next side.

Step 10)  Finish the raw edges with a serger or zig-zag stitch on the sewing machine.  Another skill-building exercise for kids, and prevents the seams from unraveling.

Tip:  "Zig" off the edge of the fabric and "Zag" inside the seam.  

Turn the pillowcase right side out, give it a good press, then stuff in your pillow!  All ready to go camping!  (OR keep it in the cupboard until after the county fair - you're sure to get a blue ribbon on this cute thing!)

For a standard size pillowcase with French seams:
  • 3/4 yard pillowcase fabric
  • 1/4 yard accent fabric
  • matching thread
  • standard pillow (20" x 26")
This is the DELUXE version!  Follow Steps 1 - 8 above.  Now, we'll add an extra step:
Step 8-1/2)  Fold the trimmed pillowcase with wrong sides together, match seams and stitch a scant 1/4" seam down the long side of the pillowcase.  Stop and trim the seam a bit more if necessary, then turn the pillowcase wrong side out and press the seam.

Now, continue with Step 9).  Stitch, using a generous 1/4" or 3/8" seam to enclose the raw edges.  This makes a beautiful FRENCH SEAM, and is another lovely way to finish the raw edges.  (This is for the "older" kids, lol!)

Another prize winning Tip:  Begin stitching about 1/4" away from the top edge
then back-stitch to the edge and continue on with the seam.  
This helps avoid unsightly threads hanging out of the end of your pillowcase.

So fun to do, I had to make more!!

Here's a great resource for operating your own summer sewing camp including the pillowcase, a drawstring backpack and other simple projects for kids or any beginner, complete with the Operator's Licence.  Check it out!  >> SEWING CAMP! <<

Aaaand, here's a BONUS!!
I really, really wanted to make a drawstring backpack with this adorable "Trout Paper" fabric too... also from the Gone Camping line.

My daughter @thimblechaser has designed the cutest fish drawstring backpack that takes no more than two fat quarters and about 3 to 4 yards of cording or shoelaces, plus a couple of buttons.  Here's the link to the pattern:  "Gone Fishing" Drawstring Backpack.

I added some Crayola Kaleidoscope fabric for the head, fins and tail (looks like fish scales to me).  Uhm, and this fish looks more like a catfish hanging on that palm tree...

So. Dang. Cute.  Photos are from our visit to Hawaii this past week.  We didn't necessarily go fishing, but we ate some ahi and poke' and saw some lovely turtles and fish and sea urchins as we snorkeled.  Not really the mountain/forest trout depicted in the fabric, but... we made do with a picnic at a beach.  Now that's the kind of camping I could do every day...

For more inspiration, check out the other gals on this project hop, listed below on the next few Thursdays!  Thanks for joining me today!

June 6th - Deonn @ Quiltscapes  Pillowcases & Drawstring Fish Bag
 June 13th -  Karen @ CreamCraftGoods  Quilted Scout Bag & Zipper Pouch
June 20th - Lacie @ RileyBlakeDesigns  Tote Bag
June 27th - Julia @ RileyBlakeDesigns  Woodsy Throw Quilt


  1. Those fabrics are super fun and make great camping motif pillowcases. but that fish backpack steals the show. Do you know what the pattern is?

    1. Thanks, NM! My daughter designed this cute bag and sells it at her Etsy store: I've updated the link above.

  2. I love that fabric! It would be perfect for the backing of a camping quilt I I have planned. MelvaLovesScraps(at)NolanQualityCustoms(dot)com

  3. Cute fabric on that pillowcase and love that backpack!


So happy you stopped by for a visit! Thank you!