Type of item: Home Decor
Style: Traditional, Retro / Vintage
Mom's printed cotton dress from the 1950s to make trim for the pillow cases. White cotton/poly blend for the body of the pillow case.
What was your inspiration?
Recycling for the Purpose of Sharing.
My Mother Lorraine is my inspiration. She taught me, my sisters, and other neighborhood girls to sew.
Recently I was helping Mom clean out a closet, and found a turquoise and white printed cotton dress Mom sewed for herself in the 1950s. I remember her wearing the dress, decorated with white collar and cuffs and big gathered skirt--she looked gogeous in it. Mom gave me the dress even though it was 4 sizes smaller than I can wear.
The feature photo of the turquoise and white printed cotton shows the final stage of sewing--ready to serge the side seams. I made half a dozen pillow case sets from Mom's 1950s vintage dress.
What are you most proud of?
The thought occurred to me. "How can I share Mom's 1950s cotton dress with my sisters?"
I deconstructed the dress, kept the bodice for a keepsake, and after laundering the skirt I pressed it and used a rotary cutter to make decorative strips for white pillow cases--gifts for my sisters.
What a pleasant reminder of my Mother Lorraine to have her close when I lay my head down to sleep.
I like making all kinds of pillow cases--so I buy white and ivory poly/cotton fabric by the bolt. At thrift shops I find vintage lace, or fancy white kitchen window valances, and sometimes white eyelet bedskirts to recycle into luxury pillow cases. Occasionally I stumble on antique lace borders to make pillow cases for my old Victorian home.
What advice would you give someone starting this project?
If you are new to sewing, making pillow cases is a great way to practice.
The secret to a great sewing is pressing between steps. Your seams will be straighter, and you won't accidently stitch a wrinkle into your finished pillow case.
Take your time. Sewing is more than a hobby. It is time you are taking for yourself. Relax and have fun. You deserve it.