Linen pillow case

In which Hannah decides to sew pillow cases

When I first moved in, we discussed (argued?) for months about what kind of pillows we wanted on the couch. I wanted pillows, I think Fred might have been ambivalent. But these were too busy, those were too boring, these were too bright, those were… I don’t even remember anymore.

We finally ended up finding the most awesome compromise – typographic pillows. Fred has one which says “Chaos is my friend” and I have one that says “Remember, you can do anything but not everything.” I actually bought three of these: one for me and two for my best friends. I also have one with a big huge ampersand on it, which has become my lap pillow. Cool, right?

You can do anything pillow

I finally got around to buying the lovely linen from Olssons Tyg that I was going to make another Pavlova (or Rae, I hadn’t quite decided yet) but then messed up with my Swedish. Instead of asking for 1.75 meters of fabric, I asked for 1.25 meters. If you understand Swedish, you may realize that these numbers sound rather similar and I was overly excited about finally buying the fabric.

I thought about it for a while, but there wasn’t much I could really do with 1.25 meters of fabric…. except for maybe some really awesome pillow cases for the couch. The fabric was an excellent match, I love the fabric and I wouldn’t mind washing it if I got things on it while it was a lap pillow. Even better – it seems pillow cases aren’t even that hard to make; you don’t even really need a zipper! It took me a few minutes to wrap my head around the idea that a pillow case could just have flaps, but once I did, it was awesome!

I pulled the current case off and measured: 49 cm x 49 cm. According to the directions, I cut out a piece that was 49×2 + 7 cm = 105 cm-ish by 51 cm. I thought I was being so smart – I included seam allowances! Each end was folded over once (I didn’t bother with a double fold) at about 1.5-2 cm.  The tricky part was folding the pieces up so that there was an overlap in the envelope – I finally just folded the pieces up so that the entire thing measured 49 cm. Makes sense, right? When I triumphantly stuffed the pillow in, well… it was huge.  I ended up taking off 2 cm on the sides and 4 cm on the top to make it fit.  Even so, I’d made lots of mistakes: the flap was even attached differently on each side, so it never had a chance to lay flat.

Oh, well. I always say that I don’t make the same mistakes twice, but I am more than creative enough to find new mistakes to make.

The second one went quite a bit better. I did a 2 cm fold as a simple hem and then folded the pieces up so that each side measured 45 cm. I sewed it up with a 2 cm seam allowance (so that’s why those really big seam allowance markings are there!) and voila – it fit this time! The back even lays fairly nice and flat.

Pillow and a plant

It seems that the trick to sewing pillow case covers, at least for throw pillows, is negative ease. Also, be generous with the back flap and remember that you’ll be losing some of that overlap to the hem. I never thought I’d be one to even care about pillow cases, but it’s a pretty easy thing to do to personalize your space.

In other news, I think someone forgot to turn off the faucet in here in Upplands Väsby. It’s been raining very heavily all day. I think the weather is trying to tell us that fall is here and it’s here with a vengeance. You can see that our street has formed a tributary of water which merges into the main flow.

It's raining today

I love fall and winter here in the Nordics. Actually, I love all of the seasons, but I really do enjoy the coziness of fall after the heat of summer. Candles are a big thing here and I thought it was pretty awesome to light the beautiful candles we got from Byrkjedalstunet when we were in Norway this summer.

Cozy candlelight

This picture is an awesome example of our combined geekiness. The poster is Fred’s – he has a collection of these Star Wars travel posters. The grey things are a pair of Dashing handwarmers that I made Fred for Christmas a few years ago and the candle is just so cozy. I think that might be a phone adapter hanging over the candle holder – oops.


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