Hi there, it’s Nienke again! Being Dutch, decorating for Halloween does not come quite naturally to me, it’s a holiday that is not commonly celebrated over here. However, after diving into numerous Pinterest boards and blogs, I started to get into the right mood and made some pillowcases for a start. Initially I wanted to write the kids’ names on the pillows, but since the pillows look cuter together than one lonely in each room, plus the eldest two are quite territorial at the moment, I decided to keep the text neutral. The kids still love the pillows though, especially the loose legs of the spiders!
– Orange fabric. I made these for 16″x16″ pillows and thus needed a 16″x38″ for each pillowcase. You’ll need a piece of fabric the same width as your pillow, and a heigth that is twice the heigth of the pillow, plus at least 6″.
– A scrap of black felt for the spider.
– Black yarn, a few yards.
– Thread: orange, black and white.
– Paper and marker to draw your text, plus a marker to transfer the text onto the fabric. I used a regular pencil, since the black thread covers it completely and I dislike my fabric markers, they don’t work well.
– Regular sewing notions.
Cut your fabric in a rectangle of the desired size. Hem one short edge, or both if you feel like it. One short edge will be inside the pillowcase, since it’s envelope-style, so I didn’t bother hemming the second side. I didn’t have to finish it either, I used the selvage, but otherwise do finish the short edge with serger or zigzag. Now fold the hemmed side of the rectangle over, right sides together, for 16″ as pictured above. Press well, so the crease is visible if you unfold it later.
Fold the other short edge over as well, so you have a 16″ square. The right side of the flap will be on top of the wrong side of the hemmed square. Press.
Write your text in the desired size, with a dark marker. If you’re unhappy with your own writing, you can use a handwriting font. I made you a basic template, downloadable here, but didn’t use it myself, I just wrote it all down. Make sure your letters are all connected, otherwise you’ll have loose ends of yarn in the end.
Unfold your fabric. Transfer the text to your fabric, you’ll want it to be on the middle part of it, the 16″ square in the middle. The text should start right to the edge of the fabric, so the loose end of the yarn will be neatly into the seam allowance when your pillowcase is all sewn up. I did the transfer by taping the paper with the text to the window and placing my fabric on top of it, then just tracing it with a pencil. Make sure your text isn’t mirrored, when seen on the right side of the fabric.
Now starting from the side, place the yarn on the writing on the fabric and carefully sew it into place, using black thread and a zigzag. When you get to a sharp corner, pivot by leaving the needle completely down, into the fabric, lifting the pressure foot and turning the fabric. Then, let the pressure foot down and continue. Slowly sew the yarn onto the complete text and end by making a decorative curly end, ending where you want your spider to be.
Cut four strands of yarn, each approximately 4″ long. Make a bundle of them and sew them at the end of your writing, by just going back and forth over the centre a few times.
Cut out your spider body from black felt, just the shape of an eight. Using the white thread and a straight stitch, sew a cross on its back, going back and forth a few times to make it more noticable.
Place the spider body on top of the spider legs, covering your stitches. Distribute the legs somewhat, so they don’t look like an awkward bundle and stitch along the side of the spider body, using black thread and a straight stitch.
I made the dot on the “i” by going back and forth with a zigzag stitch a few times. Now gently press your applique, from the wrong side of the fabric, and fold your pillowcase back up along the lines you pressed earlier. Make sure you fold up the square first, and then fold the shorter flap over that, not the other way around.
Sew the two side seams, with a straight stitch, and finish the seams with zigzag or serger. Turn your pillowcase and give the seams a last press. Put a pillow in and move on to the next one!