For the month of May we are featuring a classic style embroidery design for the Brother Free Design download. It’s the type of design you can use for many different items, stitched in a variety of color options to match your personal taste. Since pillowcases are always a popular gift, I thought it would be fun to dress up a plain one using this design stitched in some soft heirloom colors. The icing on the cake is the satin ribbon trim attached with a light and airy feather stitch. You’ll see a couple practical uses for different accessory feet in this project too. Are you ready? Let’s go sew!
Materials and Supplies
- Brother sewing and embroidery machine. Note: Machine featured in this project is the Brother NS 1750D
- Brother Embroidery Threads, Bobbin Thread, and size 11 embroidery needle for embroidering.
- Brother Adhesive backed stabilizer, SA5906 or SA5815
- SA133 Brother Adjustable Blind Stitch Foot for ease in attaching upper ribbon trim.
- SA198 Brother Adjustable Binder Foot for ease in attaching lower ribbon trim.
- Brother 4-inch embroidery hoop
- Ready-made pillowcase
- Satin ribbon for trimming upper and lower edge, 7/8-inch ribbon for upper edge and 1 ½-inch wide ribbon for lower edge. For yardage, measure circumference of pillowcase and add a couple extra inches to finish ends.
- Basic sewing notions, including sewing thread to match ribbon, super fine sharp pins, and a removable marker.
- Wash out fabric stabilizing spray or starch for stiffening fabric. Note: follow manufacturer’s instructions for using stabilizing spray.
- Brother FREE Design of the Month: Classic Motif1.pes
- See Figure #1 below:
Steps to Create Embroidered Pillowcase
1. Download Free Design and transfer to your machine. Decide on thread colors, gather supplies, and hoop adhesive backed stabilizer in the 4-inch hoop.
2. I used one of my favorite heirloom combinations, a soft pink, light brown and creamy linen. See modified colors in Figure #2.
3. Prepare pillowcase band for embroidery by stiffening the center band area. Since you’re working with two layers of fabric, I recommend basting the layers of this section together before you embroider or use the basting feature on your machine if it’s available. Mark the center point for your design with a cross hair, marking center on both right and wrong side of the band.
4. Get ready to embroider design by centering pillowcase band on stabilizer. For an easy way to center band on the adhesive stabilizer, try this trick:
• Mark a bold cross hair on a piece of paper. See Figure #3.
• Place hoop on top and line up center markings of hoop with cross hairs. See Figure #4.
• Fold back fabric so you can see the cross hairs and then match up the center markings with the cross hairs on the paper. See Figure #5. Take care that you don’t slide the hoop while you’re positioning the fabric. Unfold fabric, making sure it is straight and level in the hoop. You can unstick and re-adjust if necessary.
• Place hoop on machine. Use edit function to center the design more accurately if you need to. See Figure #6.
5. Embroider design. Remove stabilizer and markings. See Figure #7.
6. Stiffen ribbon and press the wider piece in half with wrong sides together. See Figure #8.
7. Set up the machine for sewing with the adjustable blind hem foot. Select the feather stitch, changing width to 3.5 and length to 5.0. See Figure #9a and #9b.
8. Pin 7/8-inch wide ribbon to pillowcase, folding under raw end at the side seam. Note: My pillowcase had a pretty hemstitch at the top of the band, so I positioned the ribbon above this area of the pillowcase. Stitch ribbon along each edge, adjusting guide on foot so guide runs along the edge of the ribbon and the feather stitch catches the edge. Tip: It’s a good idea to practice this technique on a scrap before sewing ribbon to the pillowcase. See Figure #10a and #10b. Tack down ribbon where it overlaps.
9. To trim the lower edge of the pillowcase with the folded ribbon, I used the adjustable binding foot and the same feather stitch. Here are a few tips for using this foot to sew the ribbon:
• Before snapping the foot on the machine, turn the screw at the front of the foot, opening it until the ribbon fits snug. Next, insert ribbon so each edge is inside curved slots on the foot. Slip the edge of the pillowcase into the center opening. You can see these areas clearly when you examine the foot without any fabric inside. Observe how ribbon is inserted and positioned in Figure #11a and Figure #11b.
Snap the foot on the machine and adjust the screw at the back of the foot as needed until it’s aligned so the stitch catches the edge of the ribbon. See Figure #12.
10. You are finished! See closeup of ribbon and embroidery below: