Embroidered Pillowcases

I know that time of year is creeping up fast and I’ve been looking for some good ideas to make. Any ideas gratefully received. Gifts that don’t require inordinate amounts of time or skills that I do not possess would be good. Though I think in some cases I may enjoy making things somewhat more than the recipients enjoy receiving them – still it’s the thought that counts, right? (children you will wear these itchy woolly socks I spent hours knitting!)
If you are looking for an idea for a personal handmade gift to make for this Christmas, maybe you could try these personalised pillowcases that I made last year. I used the design for the capital letters from Alicia Paulson’s book Embroidery Companion, but you could use any of the many designs to be found on the Internet or even just elaborate on an interesting font.
  • Buy a pair of plain good quality cotton pillowcases.
  • Scan the capital letters you need from a book or download from the Internet and enlarge them to the size required in a word processing document.
  • Print them one above another on A4 paper.
  • Draw guidelines for the height of the rest of the letters of each name and loosely handwrite them. I did this in pencil first then went over it in black pen.
  • Trace the letters and transfer them onto the pillowcase fabric, keeping them central and equal distance from the edge.
  • Draw ivy and leaves freehand onto the fabric as shown.
  • Choose a few complementary colours of thread to embroider the pattern. I used peaches, greens and dark grey for the lettering. The stitches used are satin, running and stem stitch.
  • Try to keep the back as neat as possible because as you can see it shows through a little depending on the thickness of the fabric.
  • Iron gently on the reverse of the embroidery. Et voilà!

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