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All Hands Magazine's full length documentary "Making a Sailor": This video follows four recruits through Boot Camp in the spring of 2018 who were assigned to DIV 229, an integrated division, which had PIR on 05/25/2018. 

Boot Camp: Making a Sailor (Full Length Documentary - 2018)

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**UPDATE 4/26/2022** Effective with the May 6, 2022 PIR 4 guests will be allowed.  Still must be fully vaccinated to attend.

**UPDATE as of 11/10/2022 PIR vaccination is no longer required.

**UPDATE 7/29/2021** You now must be fully vaccinated in order to attend PIR:

In light of observed changes and impact of the Coronavirus Delta Variant and out of an abundance of caution for our recruits, Sailors, staff, and guests, Recruit Training Command is restricting Pass-in-Review (recruit graduation) to ONLY fully immunized guests (14-days post final COVID vaccination dose).  


RTC Graduation

**UPDATE 8/25/2022 - MASK MANDATE IS LIFTED.  Vaccinations still required.

**UPDATE 11/10/22 PIR - Vaccinations no longer required.


Please note! Changes to this guide happened in October 2017. Tickets are now issued for all guests, and all guests must have a ticket to enter base. A separate parking pass is no longer needed to drive on to base for parking.

Please see changes to attending PIR in the PAGES column. The PAGES are located under the member icons on the right side.

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Pillowcase Instructions
Selecting Fabric:
There are so many wonderful choices out there for fabrics but care does need to be
used when selecting it. Remember these pillowcases are intended to be slept upon.
This means that they need to be soft. Also they will be washed many times, so they
need to be durable. In addition, you will probably be piecing some to make your
fabrics go farther; this means that you will want to have similar weights of fabrics.
A good rule of thumb is the Symphony Broadcloth offered by JoAnns. It is probably
the minimum weight and the appropriate softness for any pillowcase. It comes in
solids and is a full 44‐inch width so a collection of colors of this fabric is nice to have
on hand. It is also quite reasonable. It can be purchased for as little as $1.79/yard.
Use this fabric as a guideline when evaluating other fabrics.
Pay attention to the width of fabrics when you purchase it. You will want to get
either 44‐inch fabric or 60‐inch fabric in width. Sometimes fabrics are advertised as
44‐inch wide but in actuality they are less. Some have wide selvages and this can
cause difficulties. Sue incorporates wide selvages into the pillowcase, making an
extra stripe. She does not mind having JoAnn’s on it, especially since they have been
so generous to all of the Heads at Ease crew. If you are not going to incorporate the
selvage, remember you will lose anything you cut off.
Some fabrics have a wonderful pattern but the dyes are heavy. If this is the case,
you will probably put a softer fabric on the back for sleeping, e.g., the Symphony
Patriotic fabrics, e.g., stars, flags, etc., are wonderful but regional and seasonal
fabrics are nice as well. Remember anything that will remind the person of home
will be appreciated. Look for colors that will mix and match. This will allow you to
create more different pillowcases.
Cotton is always a great fabric but a blend will work well too. You probably do not
want all polyester or some other similar types of fabric. They tend to be stiffer or
more scratchy.
One thing to pay attention to is how the fabric was cut before and the pattern of the
fabric. Recently I purchased fabric and noticed that it had not been cut straight.
This means that you can lose several inches of usable fabric. If you notice this, make
sure the cutting person, straightens the fabric before cutting. Even doing this, I
frequently buy an additional inch or two to allow for shrinkage and adjustment in
cutting. Sometimes the pattern is not printed on the straight of the fabric. If this is
going to bother you, you better pass on the fabric. Otherwise you have to just ignore
Deciding upon the amount to purchase depends upon your sewing style. If you are
going to make pillowcases out of one piece of fabric, then you will not want to
purchase more than 31 inches of fabric that is 44 inches in width (allows for
shrinkage and loss for not being straight). Otherwise, if you are willing to piece,
purchase several yards of a fabric, e.g., three to four yards.
Pre‐treatment of Fabric prior to Sewing:
Before you cut, wash your fabric in cool to warm water with some vinegar. This will
accomplish several things. First if the dyes have a tendency to bleed, they should
“set” with the vinegar and cool water. Second, if there is going to be shrinkage, it
should happen during this washing. Third, it should remove the sizing, making the
fabric softer and showing up problems with fabric being straight.
Please do not use heavy fabric softeners. Many people have problems with those scents.
Once the fabric has been washed and ironed, you can check the actual measurement
of the fabric in terms of width and length. You can also check to see if the fabric is
straight when you match selvage edges. If you put the selvages together and run
your hand towards the fold, the fabric should be smooth. If it is not, then probably
you have a problem with the fabric being straight. In this case, you will want to pull
the fabric from opposite corners. If you have several yards, you will need to get
someone to help you. Even a yard is difficult to manage alone. When I was taught
to do it, I pulled a thread and matched the threads together. Then I pulled to make
them match. I don’t do this with my pillowcases but I do check for obvious
After you have washed, ironed and straightened the fabric, cut one end to make a
straight, even edge from which to work. Now you are ready to begin cutting.
Cutting the Pillowcases:
If you are going to create a pillowcase from a single piece of fabric, you will want to
cut a piece that is 44” x 30”. When you fold it in half, you will have a piece that is 22”
x 30”.
If you are going to put a band on your pillowcase, the width of the band plus the
width of your seams will determine the length of the body. Remember, you will
want to end up with a piece that is 22” x 30 inches or 44” x 30” to complete the
When you attach a band, press the seam toward the open end (top) and top stitch
for a finished look.
So let’s assume that you are going to have a ¼” seam and you are using a six‐inch
band, left over from a yard of fabric that was used to make a pillowcase. You will
lose ¼ inches of the band and ¼ inches of the body, so you will need a piece that is
24‐1/2 inches long (allows ¼ inches for the body and ¼ inches for the band).
Constructing the Pillowcase,
There are several ways that you can make a pillowcase. The simplest is to have a
1/4” seam that has a zig‐zag seam to protect from raveling. If you have cut a piece of
fabric that is 44” x 30” inches, then you will fold it in half so that the selvage edges
are together. Sew along the bottom and side, turning the corner at a 90‐degree
angle. The bottom will need to have a zig‐zag to protect from raveling but the
selvage edge will protect the side. The top (open end) will be turned down ¼” and
then one inch for finishing. If you wish to turn down more for the hem at the top,
you will need to allow for this when cutting. You do not want to leave the top
unfinished or not hemmed. Your finished pillowcase will be 21‐1/2 x 28‐1/2”. This
is the “ideal.”
If you have a serger or overcast machine, you will have a seam that is a little larger
than ¼”. Another option is to use French seams, in which case you will probably
have seams that are ½”. All are acceptable but they will affect the dimensions of
some of your cuts.
If you are doing a lot of piecing, be sure to only piece one side of the pillowcase. It
looks great on a rack but will it be comfortable for sleeping. With pillowcases that
have piecing, place a piece on the back that is plain, i.e., only piece one side. A band
may go around but do not make it more than 8 inches wide. And it is best to not
make the band several thicknesses of fabric. When packing the boxes, it really does
make a difference.
When finished, you want a pillowcase that will fit most standard pillows. You do not
want one that is huge nor do you want want that is just too small. A good rule of
thumb is 20 inches minimum for width and 32 inches for maximum length

Views: 2669

Replies to This Discussion

Thank you for updating the directions! Makes it a little easier to understand! Happy Sewing, everyone!
Carolyn, Dori did them. She did a great job. I wrote the original ones in January when I was just getting started and so busy, I didn't know up end was up. But my crew and I made and mailed 56 that month-I sent 1 extra just in case. haha.
FYI: I go to my daughter's school this Mon to talk to them about Heads at Ease and Mollys Adopt a Sailor! I can't wait. Her teacher asked me how much time did I need and I replied with: How much time will you give me?? hehe
Thank you Sue for the updated instructions - I am printing them off and sending them to my contacts at our local small town School - The Life skills Instructor and The Local Sewing/Quilting groups here - as they have and are willing to lend a hand in making pillowcases - I will also be dropping it off at the local sewing and craft shops here too - so they can post it. Never know what will happen - other than adding more pillowcases ....... to send which is the goal ........

I will up- load the document after it get it reformatted and into PFD format - so anyone else that needs it can just down load it and print it up and take with them to share, if that is ok with u
Becky, that is just great. Thanks for doing that. I love that another school is getting involved.
I have a PDF version of the instructions, which I have put below. We need to get Sue to upload it into the part above so it is always accessible.
Thank you for the measurements. I was just winging it! I have a friend that work in Madigan Hostpital at Ft. Lewis WA, she has emailed the whole radiology dept about adopting pillowcases. Her boyfriend is a neurosurgeon and has also emailed all of neurology to adopt! This is great, but where do I send the cases after they have been adopted???? I have about 48 so far.
Kaitsmom! Oh my, I am so blessed. Just hold on to them, cause in January, we will have several groups to do. It is easier for me if we all mail to the groups direct.

And getting the pcs adopted! Ally started that in October I think. Barbara and I both did that at craft fairs with success. So great going! the more help we get, the more that we can do!

Is it possible to post a picture of some of them on here? I love to see what my crew does. I am going to request you as a friend and then pm you my email address. I would want to send you my HAE letter that you can send out to people. Plus, I will add you to my "crew" list for email updates.
can you send me a copy of the HAE letter?
do I have your email address? if not, please pm me it.
BZ, Kaitsmom! You have done a fantastic job.
#1 This is a custom made pillowcase that I made for Shelia Clark's son. He serves on the Crommelin and didn't get a pc in August when the ship had their luau. Anyway, I said that I would take care of it and I have. He loves basketball, U of Kentucky. Couldn't find that fabric, so I went with the colors of dark blue and white.
Do you see that tiny little strip of white? That is the selvage edge. I use the selvage edges all of the time and just make them an extra stripe. Even if the words Joann fabric show, that's fine with me, casue they have been so generous to this project. I don't mind advertising for them.
These pieced ones are really fun to do, but time consuming! AND the back is a solid piece of navy blue for sleeping.


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