Christmas in July with a Gnome to Fa La

Clever, right? A Gnome to Fa La (follow)! These delightful fabrics were sent to me from Michael Miller in the Minky version. What fun (or terror - if you've never worked with them before)! And I never, ever sewed with Minky. Time to learn!

A Gnome to Fa La on Minky

I was also sent some equally "scary" Beary Soft. Absolutely beautiful, but so VERY fluffy and not anything like quilter's cotton. But, hey - I'm an adult and I put on my Big Girl pants and  realized that with my almost 6 decades of sewing experience, I can do this!

My original plan was to make pillowcases with Minky as the case and the Beary Soft as the hems. Then, when it came I decided: No. Not me! Not in this life.

I pulled out some Fairy Frost and it now was my plan to use it for the hems. I was going to make 3 pillowcases. This first one with the turquoise was a perfect match!

Minky Gnome and Fairy Frost

But, first - how to work with the Minky?!! As you can see, it FLUFFS when cut. I didn't want this all over my studio, so I devised a clever way to minimize the fluff/fuzz.

 My vacuum cleaner attachment to the rescue! But I didn't want to suck the piece of fabric up, so I used my 6" x 24" ruler to hold the edge of fabric down and then did a gentle vacuum swipe. Perfect!

Now for the steps on making the pillowcases. This pattern will work with ANY fabrics and I have shared it here many times before. This fits a standard sized pillow.

First, I had to wash the Fairy Frost. It will shrink, whereas the Minky will not. You don't want to mix them together that way!

Fairy Frost in washing machine

Then I cut my Minky pillowcase body at 27" x 42". (Minky is 54" wide, so that left me some to use for other projects). Unfortunately, the Gnomes' orientation is turned, but what little kid will care? The hem (light blue) is cut 9" x 42" and the contrasting flange is cut 3" x 42" and folded in half, wrong sides together. They are layered and pinned as shown here:

  • 9" hem, open and right side up
  • Minky, right side up (42" wide aligns with the hem fabric)
  • Folded flange fabric (dark turquoise) last, on top of the Minky. Pin well 

Layered Minky and Fairy Frost parts

Then the main fabric is rolled so that it's inside the hem:
Help, mom! We can't breathe!

Then all the layers are stitched at the top where the pins are. I used a 1/2" as a generous seam.

Now we REALLY can't breathe, mom!

Now it's time to pull that rolled part out!

Whew! Air!

Now that light blue hem encases everything with NO raw edges shown at that seam on the inside. Magic, I think? And what does the pillowcase look like now? Ready for the side seam which will be a French Seam, again with no raw edges showing.

Hip, Hip, Hooray! We're on the outside again!

Seam on the outside as shown. This will then be encased in another seam on the inside.

Inside seam, which is Step Two of a French Seam. You can see this at the top of the next photo. Then I serge or zig zag stitch the bottom closed and she is finished!

Here are my 3 pillowcases made using the A Gnome to Fa La Minky and Fairy Frost. My grandkids will love these!

Pillowcase #1

And with a pillow inside!

Here is what I discovered about sewing with Minky:

  • It will shed, so be prepared to vacuum up those little pieces before they fly around your sewing space
  • Use size 90/14 sewing machine needles. Minky is 100% polyester.

  • A walking foot is a MUST! This fabric has a stretch in one direction and you want to keep those layers together without distortion.
  • Use the selvedge edge wherever possible; it's stable!
Here are Pillowcases #2 and #3.
Pillowcase #2

Pillowcase #3

Come back on Tuesday (July 20) to see what I did using the Beary Soft. You don't want to miss it!


  1. Checking in to see if the comments work!

  2. Looks great. I avoid Minky but I think kids would love the softness of a pillow case. Thanks for the tips.

    1. Yes, kids (both young and old) love the soft texture of this Minky stuff. My grandkids will testify!


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