Valentine’s Day Pillow Cases or how to win an argument using embroidery

close up

I love the snuggly warmth of flannel sheets. But I really don’t love the pillowcases.

  1. The flannel sheet sets only come with two pillow cases and we have four pillows on our bed
  2. I hate the flaps on pillow cases. They do not always keep the pillow from escaping and they do not always hide the naked pillow Yes, this bothers me. I have no idea why. It’s worse if the pillow is yellowed and old.
  3. Even worse, the open edge of the pillow is too long and they flap in my face. All night long.

To deal with these issues, I make pillow cases with envelope backs. I make one set by undoing the stitching of the existing pillow cases and resewing it together with an envelope backing. I make another from coordinating flannel. No more naked pillows flashing me or trying to escape. Even better – no pillow flaps slapping me in the face.

I really like the look of embroidered pillow cases, so I made some special pillow cases for our bed for Valentine’s day. As an additional bonus, this allows me to get the last word in an ongoing “argument.”

Here is how I did it.


For the pillow cases:

about 2 meters of cotton flannel. If you can buy matching open stock sheets to match your sheet set, you can use a twin flat sheet.

Light Box

  • Clear plastic tote
  • Light source (flash light, battery operated lamp, or table lamp)
  • Masking tape
  • Pattern weights.


From the flannel cut 2 pieces that are 60 inches by 22 inches.

Hem each of the short edges using a double hem. Fold the edge over ½ inch and then fold it over again by ½ inch. Stitch down.

Determining where to put the embroidery

For the pillow that will be on RIGHT side of the bed, which should be the one that says “I Love You.”:

Using a ruler and the water soluble pen, draw a line on the right side of the fabric that is 3 ½ inches from the bottom and 15 inches from the left hand edge of the fabric.

For the pillowcase that will be on the LEFT side of the bed that says, “I Love You More!“:

Draw a line on the right side of the fabric with the water soluble pen that is 3 ½ inches from the bottom and 22 inches from the right hand edge.

Transferring the pattern

Usually, I would transfer an embroidery pattern to fabric by taping the image to a sunny window and then taping the fabric over the paper. The sun shining through the window allows me to trace the pattern onto the fabric. I use a water soluble marking pen designed for writing on fabric. I have also used an HB pencil and it almost always comes out with the first washing.


However, this project was too big to comfortably tape to the window. Instead I made a make do light box.

Make do light box

As you can see in the picture, I used a clear plastic tote and a battery operated light like the kind you can use in a closet if you don’t want to fuss around with wiring. A table lamp would work as would a flash light.

Print out the pattern. The “I Love you.” Is for the right pillow case and “I Love You More!” is for the left pillow case. Tape the pattern to the top of the box.

Place the fabric over the pattern. Line up the underlining from the pattern with the line you drew on the pillow case.

Line up the lettering

Use pattern weights to hold the pillow case still.  Turn on the light and use the water soluble pen to trace the letters onto the right side of the pillow case.


Embroider and sew

Place the fabric in your embroidery hoop. Use two strands of embroidery floss and a split stitch to stitch each letter. A chair in front of the fire and Netflix on the TV makes the stitching easier.

Sit back and stitch

Once the embroidery is finished, it’s time to sew the pillow cases. I used French seams because pillowcases are frequently laundered and French seams will help the pillowcases last longer.

Place the fabric, right side down on a flat surface. Fold one edge in about 19 inches.

First fold

Fold the other edge in about 14 inches. The edges should overlap by about 6 to 8 inches.

Second fold

Unfold. Place one of your pillows on the pillowcase and refold. You want to be sure that the pillowcase will fit your pillows. Adjust as necessary. Remove the pillow and pin the fabric securely.

Sew the edges using a ¼ inch seam.

1st hem

Trim the seam allowance to ⅛ inch.


Turn the pillowcase wrong side out. Iron well.

Sew along the long edges using a ¼ inch seam allowance. This will neatly enclose the raw edges and keep them from fraying.

2nd hem

Turn the pillow case right side out.

Using water in a spray bottle, or run water from the tap over the embroidery, to remove the pen marks.

When dry, put the pillows in the pillowcases and put them on the bed. Rearrange the pillows after The Man switches them around.

Sweet Dreams.

on the bed



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