For this week’s project I wanted to focus on something that could be used and is needed by all age children, a pillowcase. Household linens and towels are in short supply and hard to come by on the Rez due to their high cost. It’s becoming more difficult to find them in good condition at our local thrifts, probably due to the economy. The majority of children on the Rez don’t have a pillow but intend to buy a pillow to go along with each pillowcase I make.
I basically followed the directions from this video. The next pillowcase will be a little shorter and not as wide so it will fit a more standard size pillow. The size in the video is designed more for a queen or king size. Making a customizable project appealed to my creative side and each child can have his or her own “one of a kind” pillow. This is a great stash buster, a chance to use those pieces that are too small to make a pair of shorts or other small project but big enough to piece together for this project. You can also purchase a pillowcase, although this adds greatly to the cost of the project, and add trims or kid prints to the hem to spruce it up a bit.
Expanding on the “pillowcase” theme I found directions to make dresses any little girl would love to wear. A long sleeve T and/or leggings could be added to extend the wearing season into fall and early winter.There are many ways to make this simple dress so am referring you to the videos here, here, and here. If you happen to have the book “Craft Hope” there are guidelines for a pillowcase dress. For this dress I used supplies from the stash however, next time am going to make my own bias tape and make it a bit wider than readymade. I used elastic across the top, but you could also use a ribbon or tie. Embellish your dress by using decorative machine stitches, adding a contrasting band or ruffle, ric rac, lace–you get the idea.
I had a heavier pillowcase and found a backpack idea for kids. The entire backpack was made from a standard pillowcase, plenty of fabric for the body of the pack, a pocket and straps. Time involved, about 90 minutes. Check out this video for more info. The two straps attach through a casing on the top with one strap going through the front of casing and the other through the back and are then inserted in the bottom of the bag through a ½ inch opening, knotted at the end of the strap inside the bag and then seamed up. No need to purchase grommets as seen in this video. All the backpack needs is a child to fill it up with treasures. They can even take along their favorite doll or stuffed animal and stash it in the front pocket.
Have fun with pillowcases and thanks to those who are helping the children of Pine Ridge.