Like many other thrift store fabric enthusiasts, I have quite the collection of oddball pillowcases hanging around my fabric stash. I don't know what it is about them that is so appealing, but I can't quit buying them. Maybe it's the price. At 10 cents to a couple of dollars a pop, they make for some pretty cheap material. Maybe it's because I feel sorry for them, as they are often alone, orphans, with no matching cases or bedding to be found. Or maybe it's because they are often in such great shape, since I think the thrift store workers automatically toss the gross ones.
Whatever the reason, they are pretty darn useful. You can use them as they are, to machine wash your bras in, to pack your kid a last minute overnight bag to Grandma's house(or camping), or as a small laundry hamper liner for your kid's dirty clothes.
You can also cut them up and use the material for patchworks, tote bag liners, new pillows, dresses for little girls, and as I recently discovered, skirts for big girls. Like me!
I bought this vintage(I'm thinking 1960's or 70's) pillowcase, for 88 cents I believe, at our local Goodwill. I was drawn to the bright circus like pattern and thought I'd make a unique tote bag out of it. But after inspecting it more closely, I decided that I couldn't cut it up too much(it's a long pillow case) because it was in such fabulous condition.
So I decided to upcycle it into a skirt, which was about as easy peasy a project as it gets. I cut the top and bottom seams(no need to cut the side seam as it becomes the side of your skirt), sewed the open sides together to create a second side seam, hemmed the top and bottom, then folded the top hem over and sewed it over the elastic(I stitched the ends together to create a loop of elastic) to create the casing that became the waistband. The whole project only took about an hour or two! Evan a lazy bum like me can handle that kind of gig!
I took these photos on our front porch, where Fanni Quinn resides, so that's why there is an annoying and garish bright light invading the frames. In case you were wondering. Hey, I run a business, cook and clean for my family and am a full time stay at home/work at home mom. I don't have time to wait around for perfect sunlight, yo!
One thing I am learning about elastic, you want to cut your waistband pieces a little smaller than you think you need them. As you sew, you'll probably stretch the elastic out a bit, and you'll probably stretch it out a bit more as you wash and wear your skirt. The cool thing about elastic waistbands is that they are super versatile. I can wear this skirt on my natural waist with a belt over leggings, or a little lower on my waist as you see in these photos. As I lose weight, I'll just wear the skirt lower on my hips. Unless I lose a crap ton of weight(rolls eyes), in which case I'll just slit the casing open and trim then re-sew the elastic. EASY PEASY I TELL YOU!
Now, if you are lucky enough to be a skinny Minnie, you can use pretty much any standard pillowcase to make your skirts. But, if you're a more voluptuous gal like me, you may need to take a tape measure with you when you go pillowcase shopping, to make sure your case will provide enough width. Also keep in mind that well worn and washed white/yellow/pale pillowcases are gorgeous and soft, but they may also be very, very transparent in the sunlight, so maybe think about adding a liner if you are concerned about modesty.
Also, when you make an elastic waistband skirt, and you're a hippy(meaning ya got big 'ole hips) girl like me, you have to be careful with how full and how short you make this type of skirt, because too much fullness and not enough length will make you look ever so much more hippy and/or bulky/awkwardly shaped. Like you've got a circus tent orbiting around your waist and butt. True story. I speak from experience.
This particular skirt is a little on the full side for how short it is, but it is easily tamed with a long tank top or a belt(when worn higher on the waist).
The best part about these skirts is that they can go many different style directions. Use a vintage Superman or Cabbage Patch case if you're the Queen of Kitsch. Use a pretty, faded, vintage floral for a sweet and demure Sunday afternoon picnic skirt. Or, pop open your findings drawer and dig out some vintage lace, rick-rac and patches to create a truly one of a kind, unique and funky, wearable art piece.
I can hardly wait to get started on my next piece!
So, if you have some pretty pillowcases in YOUR stash, or even on your bed, you better hide them next time I come over, because I am now officially a pillow case snatching fool.
But seriously, better hide that vintage Star Wars sheet set...
*These ARE the Star Wars pillow cases you are are looking for...to give to Brandy Cupcakes...*