How to Embroider a Pillowcase Valentine

comments (6) February 7th, 2014     

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JenniferStern Jennifer Stern, contributor
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Romantic Valentines Day sayings embroidered on the hems of my pink pillowcases.
As I embroidered these traditional sayings, I thought about my Valentine and a few thoughtful and more personal messages came to mind...Im going to stitch up a set for him.
Use the built-in lettering in your embroidery machine.
Romantic Valentines Day sayings embroidered on the hems of my pink pillowcases.

Romantic Valentine's Day sayings embroidered on the hems of my pink pillowcases.

Photo: Jen Stern
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Embroidering the hem of a pillowcase with a romantic notion quickly transforms a plain pillowcase into the ultimate Valentine. In my quest to come up with Valentine crafts, I asked my friends and family for ideas (I love doing that because I'm always amazed at the stuff they come up with!). One of my friends suggested embroidering the hems of pillowcases with popular sayings like: "Let me call you Sweetheart" and "I Love You." It was definitely a "why didn't I think of that?" moment. I decided that I needed to do a mini how-to on how to embroider a hem of a premade pillowcase. The best pillowcases to use for this project are the ones that have a plain hem that's simply folded under and sewn down. I have a pair of pink pillowcases that have been tucked in the back of my linen closet that are perfect...so I didn't even need to run out and buy new ones!

If you are going to give these pillowcases as a Valentine's Day gift, it's worth the time to take the hem apart before you embroider your love note. That way, you can fold the hem back under and sew it in place to conceal the bobbin thread. (When I'm machine-embroidering ready-made items, I always think about how the inside, or wrong side, will look when I'm done. If the back of the embroidery doesn't have to show, that's a real bonus!)

So, I started by using my trusty seam ripper to take the hem apart. Only take out the "front" side of the pillowcase, unless you are going to embroider a saying all the way around the hem.

take hem of pillowcase apart   This hem was very loosely sewn together, making it really easy to take out with a seam ripper.

Find the center point of the hem, and mark it with a line perpendicular to the folded edge of the hem.

mark the center of the hem   Make sure you don't mark the part of the hem that gets folded back to the wrong side-your embroidery will end up on the inside of the pillowcase if you do.

Hoop cutaway stabilizer and use 505 Temporary Adhesive Spray to stick the hem into the hoop. Since my saying was longer than the width of the hoop, I positioned the lettering vertically. To get the hem into the hoop straight, I matched the fold in the hem with the side edge of the hoop-that made it really easy to see if I was straight.

hoop pillowcase hem   Another bonus of using the very edge of the hoop to embroider the first pillowcase is that you can embroider the second one without rehooping another piece of stabilizer. (This is especially nice if you're using a huge hoop that needs a lot of stabilizer!)

If you have a baste-in-the-hoop feature, use it to double-check how square you are.

baste in the hoop and embroider saying   My basting stitches run evenly with the side of the hoop-I'm happy.

After you've embroidered your design, cut closely around the edge to remove the pillowcase from the hem. Make as small of a hole as you can. Then you can embroider the second pillowcase along the opposite side of the hoop.

cut closely around the lettering to remove from hoop    

Trim the stabilizer between the individual letters as well. This will allow the fabric to relax and lie flat when you press it.

trim between letters to keep fabric from pulling   If you used a sheer cutaway, you don't have to worry about removing every speck of stabilizer-it won't show through the fabric and it'll get softer every time you wash it.

Turn the pillowcase inside out and press the hem back into place. Pin the hem to hold it in position.

press hem back into place    

Sew the hem by stitching close to the folded edge of the hem from the inside of the pillowcase.

sew hem back in place   Take the accessory tray off your machine and use the free arm to make it easy to be sure you're not sewing the other side of the pillowcase to the hem from the underside.

 

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posted in: embroidery, pink, valentine, Embroidered pillowcase

Comments (6)

ebuy24hours writes: great ideals!
Posted: 9:43 pm on March 4th
thaliapatterson writes: Great idea!
Posted: 5:25 am on February 12th
JenniferStern writes: Thanks guys...I have a set of embroidered pillowcases for sleepover guests and lucky charms for Saint Patty's Day too!
Posted: 9:36 am on February 20th
Missmousie writes: Thank you so much for the detailed information and pictures. The pillowcase looks beautiful. I have been looking for good instructions regarding the ME and how to place the fabric. Your instructions are excellent.
Posted: 4:18 pm on February 15th
MeredithP writes: Excellent tutorial on ME on pillowcases. I'm guilty of not taking the hems out, but it really looks nice. Thanks!
Posted: 7:00 pm on February 9th
FashionSweetie13 writes: this is such a great idea, and you can embroider more than just as valentine on it too!
Posted: 10:33 pm on February 7th
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