Technique Tuesday: Keep it Reel

Here's a fun novelty print that isn't girlie and will appeal to anyone (male or female) who enjoys fishing. Keep it Reel from Benartex has some awesome fishing images: fish, reels, fishing gear, and great colors.

I decided to make two pillowcases (and not a quilt!). But I was sent a stack of 1/3 yard cuts so I had to improvise. I can do that. I love a good challenge.

Pillowcase #1 using Keep it Reel fabrics
And one more:
Pillowcase #2
I selected two prints with the same background color, seamed and topstitched the seams, and went on to make the pillowcases. The pillowcase pattern I typically use calls for a 27" x wof piece of the main print. I used two!

Two similar prints (color and scale) joined for the main case
Now let's see a few steps. You can visit a few other of my pillowcase posts for more detail. Again, I am using the prints from Keep it Reel (so I can keep it REAL!)
  1. Black print cut 10" x wof for the large hem.
  2. Red print cut 3" x wof for the flange
  3. White print (two pieces seamed) cut 27" x wof.

Layer as shown: Black print (10" x wof) right side up; Main print (27" x wof) wrong side down on black hem; 3" red print folded and pressed, wrong sides together. Pin all layers.
3 parts to my pillowcase
Roll up the main pillowcase. Now bring the other end of the black hem fabric around to capture all that inside. Pin well. This trick will hide all the seams with NO raw edges showing on the pillowcase inside!
Main fabric rolled up as a tube so it fits inside the hem
Stitch through all layers. You can see the white print tube peeking out on the left.
Stitch through layers
Now for the magic! Pull out the rolled up white print (you only caught one raw edge at the top, not the bottom edge). What you see below is the black print now at 5", with raw edges inside the seam.

Ready for last seams
I trimmed off the selvedges and stitched 1/4" seam with WRONG sides of pillowcase touching. I'm going to turn this and make a French seam (again so no raw edges show).
First step of a French seam
 Turned pillowcase inside out and stitched again, capturing those raw edges. Finished the bottom with a seam and zigzag overcast.
last seams
I also want to stitch with the little fishing motifs on the panel fabric. These are extra prints I didn't use in the pillowcases. They are calling me to make a quilt focusing on those panels.

More Keep it Reel fabrics
Check out the link at the top of the page to go to several places to see lots of variations on making these magic pillowcases. And check out all the fabrics in the Keep it Reel collection at the Benartex web site.


  1. Fun way to combine smaller amounts of fabric into pillowcases. Thanks for sharing your plans.

  2. Hi Debbie! Keeping it Reel - I love this post. I know I need to be making some pillowcases sooner than later for my littles. Right now, the two-year-old only puts his feet on his pillow. Goofy boy. But one day, he'll realize it's for his head and then . . . the sewing pillowcases in earnest will begin. Thank you for the tutorial. These are SO darn cute. ~smile~ Roseanne


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