Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Crochet Edge Pillowcase Tutorial Part 2

Since yesterday, when I posted on how to make pillowcases, I’m sure you’ve made at least a dozen to which you now need to add a crocheted edging. Let’s get to work.
Close up of the crocheted edges of the pillows.

There are a bunch of different methods for adding edgings. I’ll tell you the ones I know about. If you have any others, let me know.

Method 1: Crochet Your Edging and Sew It On. I’ve done this and I hated it. Why? Because it’s nearly impossible to get the edging to be just the right length unless you are a super genius crocheter. I recommend skipping this one.

Method 2: The Blanket Stitch. This is a Sarah-endorsed method, though it’s frustrating because it puts one more step in front of the crocheting (and by this point, I’m ready to crochet!). Why would you use this method? Because the fabric is not easily pierced by the crochet hook itself. Using a sharp yarn needle, work a row of blanket stitch all the way around the edge of your pillowcase. This will give you a base off of which to crochet. You can find EXCELLENT instructions for this method at the You Go Girl! blog right here.
The pink pillowcase was done using the blanket stitch; the rest used the skip stitch blade.  Can you tell the difference?
Method 3: Piercing the Fabric. This can be the worst way or the best way, depending on HOW you pierce your fabric. Worst way? Trying to shove the crochet hook through densely woven fabric. Better way, pierce the hole with a large needle or awl. It works, but it’s slow going. With these two ways, you also need to pre-mark where your holes will go, or you need to be good at eyeballing it. The best way is to have a gizmo that can quickly and evenly pierce the holes for you. Is there such a thing?
The Skip Stitch blade.
Indeed there is. It’s call a Skip-Stitch blade and it fits right on your rotary cutter. You run it along the edge of your work and it cuts evenly spaced, small holes for you to crochet into. I am in no way affiliated with the Skip-Stitch people, I just like their product. It works and it’s inexpensive. If you plan on doing a few of these edged pillows, it’s worth the money to buy one of these.  I'll add that it washes up with no problems.

Once your holes are cut, you need to lay a baseline of stitches. Again, everyone does this a little differently and a lot will depend on the size of your hook and yarn. In the photo, I've used cotton yarn that calls for an US1 hook. I single crocheted in each hole, then chained 3. When I got back to the beginning, I joined my work with a slip stitch. With a larger hook or yarn, I would not have needed to chain so many stitches between holes.  It takes a bit of trial and error.
The baseline of stitches on the pillowcase.
Now that you have a base to work your edging onto, you can use any edging pattern you want. I tend to make mine up as I go.  On this pillow case, I did the following:

Round 1:  3 sc in each ch-3 space
Round 2:  sc in first sc, *ch 3, sc in third sc*
Round 3:  sc in first ch-3 space, *dc ch-1 4 times dc in next ch-3 space, sc in next ch-3 space*

It generally takes me three nights in front of the TV to finish the edges on two pillows.  So there's nothing left to be done, but settle in with a pile of DVDs or saved up DVR watching and get to work!

See Part 1 here.

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Terry said...

Ok, you have me totally inspired! I'm digging out fabric cuz I already own a skipstitch blade and never used it! How far onto the edge of the cuff did you put your ruler for cutting with the blade? 1/4" up? what do you think looks the nicest? I'm making pillowcases for a friends christmas in my quilting group so this will be a lovely addition! Thankyou for inspiring me!

Sarah said...

I ran the blade just on the other side of the seam allowance so it was going through 2 thicknesses of fabric, not 4. That would be just a little more than 1/4 inch. I'd love to see the finished product! I know your friend will love them.

Thoroughly Modern Me said...

I'm just finding your these tutorials thanks to a google search. I have been wanting to take a stab at crochet edging. This info. is the best! I am a big fan of the blanket stitch, so no wonder the look of this edging has always appealed to me. I'm off to brush up on my crochet and then take a stab at it. Many thanks.

Blessed Grammy said...

My grandaughter Grace is 2 today. I'm attemting a flannel crocheted edge blankie for her Cristmas. That is how I weaned all my babies. We would rock with thier blankie and bottle and one day the bottle would disapper. A few desparate tears dried by their blankie and rocking to some of Grammies off key lullibys. Thanks for your help. Merry Christmas.

Donna Emerson said...

Thanks for the directions. Did you get blade #1 or blade #2 from the skip stitch people?

Susanna said...

The best reason to use the sew on method would be to be able to reuse the edging should the pillowcase become torn or stained.

Cheryl said...

Did you use the number 1or number 2 blade?

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