This week that something was a toddler bed sheet which had not been used in our house for over three years. It was the first sheet we bought when our son moved from his crib into a big boy bed. It never got much use because in the meantime his sister got the toddler bed and he moved again to a regular bed, but the fabric is super cute for a boy room, so I kept it with the intention of turning it into something else.
Finally I got round to it, so after the reuse and up-cycling of pants tutorial (if you missed that post, you can find it here) I bring you the pillow cases made out a toddler bed sheet, in two different styles (with snaps and with ties).
It was really a very quick project and I would have finished in a couple of hours (or less) if I did not have a mountain of laundry to wash, fold and put away and if I had not been busy trying to make my house look a bit more like a house and a bit less like a bad episode of Hoarders. In reality, the first pillow was made on Saturday, the second one on Sunday and some of the pictures were taken at night (which I hear is a no-no in bloggers' world, but I'm keeping it real here, right?).
Anyway, I forgot to measure the original sheet, but I have a vague recollection it was something like 160 cms by 80 cms. If not that, it should be close as it was enough to make two 60 cm by 40 cm pillow cases with a bit of fabric left over.
In this picture you can't really see the pattern (and I did not take a closer shot) but there are blue cars and trucks with the words "vroom" and "beep beep" repeated in each line.
Anyway, I cut the first pillow sideways because I wanted to use the stripy edge. This was the easiest thing ever: cut, fold. sew on two sides (the third side is the fold and the fourth is the opening).
If you want you can leave it as is. Because my son is a restless sleeper and thrashes around his pillow a lot, I added three pairs of snaps to keep the opening closed. Here is the pillow, ironed and already in use in his bed (pardon the mess, he keeps a full zoo of stuffed animals in there):
For the second pillow I folded and cut the remaining fabric from the sheet, so that again I only needed to sew on two sides (the left hand side and the bottom in the picture below).
Before sewing the sides, however, because there was still some fabric leftover, I decided to make ties to close the opening. The ties are long strips of fabric folded bias tape style and then sewn on one side.
I pinned the ties on the wrong side of the fabric (keeping them symmetrical when the fabric is folded over), then folded the edge over and pulled the ties to the outside again (if you're lost in this explanation, please look at the second picture below, hopefully it will help). This way the ties are secured and their ends do not show even if you turn the pillow case inside out). Because was able to use the original hems of the sheet, there was no hemming involved anywhere.
Here is how it looks after sewing the sides and then with a pillow already inside it (not the same pillow, the boy was already asleep by this time).
I'm sure there are much prettier pillowcase patterns around, but these were easy and fast, just the way I like (need) it. And allowed me to finally turn the toddler sheet into something that hopefully will get much more use in the future.