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Little Patchwork Pillowcase

Zakka Style Sew Along

Welcome to this week’s Zakka Sew Along project: the Little Pocket Pillowcase, designed by Meg Spaeth of elsiemarley.com.

Little Pocket Pillowcase

When Lindsey asked me to be part of the Zakka Along, I basically begged her to let me do this project. It has my kids written all over it—they love cute little animals, and they especially love cute little animals that come with their own homes, beds, and/or carrying cases. So, a cute little animal that can be stowed in its own pocket on a cute little pillow? Three-year-old-girl heaven, I’m telling you.

This project is from the book Zakka Style, compiled by Rashida Coleman-Hale, so you’ll need the book to make it. Lindsey of LR Stitched has spent the last several months running a sew-along of all the projects in the book, and this post is part of that series. Click here to catch up on all the posts.


This pillowcase might be more involved than the average Zakka Style project because of the diamond patchwork, but even so, most sewists should be able to make it in a solid evening or two. I used Essex Linen in Putty by Robert Kaufman for the body of my pillowcase, winter-white felted wool for the bear, and an assortment of pink and green scraps for the patchwork.

The first thing to tackle: The diamonds, which are used for the patchwork pocket, the bear’s tummy, and the patchwork piping. The book provides a template for cutting out the diamonds, but that is a lot of template cutting. I found it much easier to cut the diamonds from strips. Here’s how I did it:

1. Cut strips 1 9/16″ wide. Yes, that’s a crazy measurement. No, my ruler doesn’t have 1/16″ marks. I just lined it up between the 1/2″ mark and the 5/8″ mark. Trust me, it’ll work. : )

Patchwork Pillow diamonds

2. Line up the 60-degree mark on your ruler with the bottom of the strip and trim off the end of the strip on an angle.

Patchwork Pillow diamonds

3. Measure 1 7/8″ over and cut another angled line using the 60-degree mark on your ruler. Ta-da, you have a correctly-sized diamond.

The most challenging part of this project for me was the piping on the pillowcase—I’ve never made piping before, so this was all new to me. The book says to use 1/4″ piping cord, but that seemed awfully chunky to me for such a little pillow, so I went with 1/8″. Even the 1/8″ cord seems wide to me, but that might be because I have no idea how to make piping, so I didn’t get the fabric casing very tight around the cord. LOL.

Little Pocket Pillowcase

The bear was very easy to make and turned out so cute. You’ll want to have a chopstick on hand for turning and for jamming stuffing into those little legs and ears.

C and Barry

As you can see, my daughter really loves this bear—she named him “Barry.” (Well, I think she meant “Beary,” but we won’t quibble over spelling.) All in all, this was such a great project! And based on my daughter’s very positive feedback, I recommend it as a gift for the little girl (or boy!) in your life. : )

As part of the Zakka Sew Along, I’m giving away some variety packs of lovely Aurifil thread, which you probably already know is the bomb. Three winners will get an Aurifil thread pack, and one lucky winner will get an Aurifil thread pack and an Aurifil color card! Just leave a comment on this post for a chance to win.

And finally, don’t forget to check out Lindsey’s post for her Zakka Along giveaway—this week, it’s a fat-quarter bundle of the Le Femme line by Robert Kaufman. Plus, link up your own Little Patchwork Pillowcase for a chance to win even more prizes. Enjoy your pillowcase!

199 replies
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  1. Linda
    Linda says:

    Your pillow carrier and bear are adorable, and look so cuddly. They'd be nice to sew for grandchildren too. As for Aurifil thread, you're right, "It's the bomb." Still my all-time favorite. Thanks for the chance to add spools to my thread stash.

  2. Fran
    Fran says:

    That's such a lovely patchwork pillowcase/carrier satchel – such pretty fabrics! Thanks for the chance to win some Aurifil, I have just discovered how amazingly fantastic it is.

  3. mahoo
    mahoo says:

    I was afraid you were going to try to take the bear from that little sweetie! (and it's obvious Barry belongs to her!) Thanks for the chance to win.

  4. Beeshebags
    Beeshebags says:

    Great tip about the diamonds, would never have thought of that, gonna have to bookmark this post in my techniques folder.

    Just shared the post on my Facebook wall.


  5. Margaret
    Margaret says:

    This is way cute. I had picked this as one of the projects in the book that I wanted to make. Unfortunately, I have a ton of stuff from the last couple of hops that I am working on and I just know if I start this now it won't get finished. I am hoping to make one for my granddaughter for Christmas. I also want to try the Aurifil thread but my local shop doesn't carry it and I haven't wanted to order it due to shipping costs. Hope I win.

  6. jemfl
    jemfl says:

    My grandaughters made bears simlar to yours
    for a suummer sewing class with me. They gave
    one to a new cousin, the other to a friend's
    baby shower! Wallets are next project!

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